Volunteers plant thousand of trees on foreshore

Carl Cilaster from the Botanical Gardens collecting tree samples and bush tucker from the Puckey Reserve. Photo Paul Jones.

UP to 3650 native trees and shrubs and several thousand volunteer hours have been completed on three projects with funding from the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

Council has been collaborating with bush care groups at the sites – Puckeys Estate North Wollongong, Towradgi Creek estuary and dunes and Wollamai Point Lake Heights – to restore these areas through the ‘Caring for Our Coast’ program.

The one-year restoration project at Towradgi Estuary included the dunes at Towradgi and Corrimal beaches, and was completed with grant funds.

The grant of $20,000 and Council’s contribution of $15,000 went towards control of exotic vines and woody weeds in the Swamp Oak and Grassy Woodland areas, to support the Bushcare groups targeting invasive weeds, and to revegetate the Towradgi Creek riparian zone at Rotary Park.

The areas contain the endangered ecological communities Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest and Illawarra Lowlands Grassy Woodland. The site also provides habitat for wader birds, reptiles and the endangered Green and Golden Bell frog.

The grant supports the volunteer work of Council contract bush regenerators and three Bushcare volunteer groups – Bluedivers Bushcare Group, Towradgi Dunes Bushcare and Corrimal Dunes Bushcare. Bluedivers Bushcare group (named after the Azure Kingfishers seen at the site) has been volunteering at the site for 18 years (since 1994).

Manager Environmental Strategy and Planning Renee Campbell said these projects have shown that Council, working with selfless volunteers, have been able to make great progress in preparing and planting these coastal areas with thousands of native trees and shrubs.

“The Caring for our Coast program has enabled Bushcare volunteers to be able to put in more than 4,000 hours removing exotic vines and woody weeds and replanting with native trees and shrubs that will help restore the endangered ecological communities – Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, Swamp Sclerophyll on Coastal Floodplain and Littoral Rainforest,” Ms Campbell said.

“These sites also provide habitat for the Green and Golden Bell Frog, the Barking Owl, wading birds and Grey Headed Flying Fox.

Council received grant funds of $41,180 and contributed $27,000 for bush regeneration of the Puckey’s site at North Wollongong. More than 3000 plants from Council’s Botanic Gardens Nursery were also supplied.

The areas contain the endangered ecological communities –Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, Swamp Sclerophyll on Coastal Floodplain and Littoral Rainforest – and provides habitat for the Green and Golden Bell Frog, Barking Owl, wading birds and the Grey Headed Flying Fox.

The grant supported the volunteer work of two Bushcare groups and Council’s contract bush regenerators. The Puckeys Estate Bushcare group has been working on site for 12 years and the Bushcare weekday volunteer project which has been involved at the site since 2007. They contribute about 2000 hours a year undertaking weeding and planting.

“Council thanks the Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority for these grants which total $71,180 and Council has contributed $51,000 towards the three projects,” Ms Campbell said

If any person would like to volunteer and join the Bushcare groups involved with these projects or other Bushcare projects in Wollongong they can contact, Council’s Customer Service Centre on (02) 4227 7111.

About Mick Roberts

A Sydney journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.


2 thoughts on “Volunteers plant thousand of trees on foreshore

  1. Animal conservation groups, which include Green and Golden Bell Frogs, Barking Owls, Wading Birds and and Grey Headed Flying Foxes will be appealing to Council to provide funds so that the uncontrolled introduced vegetation on our regions beaches, can be removed. The animal groups feel sorry for humans such as Lifesaver Nipper groups who have no beach sand to train on due to the vegetation that has spread to the shoreline due to lack of maintenance. A spokesman from the animal group Mr Frog says, “it is important that Human Activity is allowed to continue on the coastline but with the spread of the vegetation there is no beach left at high tide especially after storms and dangerous sand cliffs form along the shoreline, as the plants go right down to the water. Mr Flying Fox added that thousands of human beach goers are being shortchanged and feels guilty that tens of thousands of dollars are being spent on select areas for animal habitat when the beaches such as Woonona, Corrimal, Towradgi, Woolongong City and Port Kembla beaches a are disappearing under the thick vegetation. Willy the Wading Bird says “I used to go to these beaches but the currents and shoreline deep gutters are too much to cope with since the plants changed the beach. They used to have gently sloping beaches but now the waves bang into the sand cliffs at high tide, I wont take my family to feed there any more, its just too dangerous, I don’t know what the tourists will think. The animal committee had a meeting last week and concluded that the Council just likes animals more than humans. Mrs Owl said she saw the photos of ruined beaches on Facebook Page “Sand On Beaches” and said she is glad she is not a human.


    Posted by Michael Zaracostas | May 31, 2012, 12:24 pm
    • Beach Care Illawarra supports responsible maintenance of our public recreational spaces including our beaches. This includes the removal of the introduced coastal wattle which is not native to our beaches. We also treasure the community vistas of our beaches and the ocean. Indiscriminate planting has caused damage to these natural amenities.


      Posted by Michael Barnett | July 28, 2012, 12:45 pm

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