We acknowledge and respect the Traditional Custodians and Elders past and present of the South Lawson Park bushcare site and the surrounding Country. We are mindful and respectful of the presence of traditional places and artefacts on the site (Customary acknowledgement)
Why do bushcare?
Urban bushland, being part of broader ecosystems, has much to offer the community, both as something that is good in itself (life, knowledge, beauty) and in the form of ecosystem services (healthy soil, food, clean water and air, positive recreational and cultural experiences and much more). However, it is constantly threatened by adverse urban impacts, particularly invasive weeds and large stormwater flows that cause erosion.
If these issues are left unmanaged at the urban/bush edge then they not only destroy urban bushland but can spread to significant areas of the National Park, threatening fauna and plant diversity, ecosystems and the World Heritage Area.
A major practical aim of bushcare is to tackle weed and erosion issues on bushland perimeters before they develop into major problems that are very expensive to remediate or even impossible to control. In this way, bushcare seeks to preserve the unique qualities of all bushland, both as something that is good in itself and for the enjoyment of the community. Maintaining healthy bushlands and ecosystems also helps to ameliorate the adverse effects of and combats climate change.
We also have a great time! Good company, exercise, new skills and rewarding experiences are readily available.
Please take a look at our eight minute film, Bushcare Blue Mountains: South Lawson Park. Professionally directed (Vera Hong) and filmed by Seconds Minutes Hours Productions, it has some stunning footage of the beautiful Lawson Creek Catchment:
When, where and how?
We meet on the third Sunday of the month, from 9.30 until 12 midday. Please contact our BMCC Bushcare officer (firstname.lastname@example.org and 4780 5623) ) or the Bushcare Team Leader (4780 5528) or convenor Erst (4759 2058) for the relevant meeting spot on the Sunday, as it can vary each month. Visit http://bushcarebluemountains.org.au and http://weedsbluemountains.org.au for further general information.
New members and visitors are always welcome. Long sleeved shirts and pants, sturdy footwear, drinking water and a hat and jacket are recommended gear. Our BMCC bushcare officer will supply tools, gloves, kneeling pads and relevant training. Come for all or part of the session. Each session usually involves a range of activities so we can usually find a task that will interest and suit participants. If you’d like to come to a session to observe and ask questions then that’s fine too. Children accompanied by adults are welcome. BMCC and the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network regularly offer optional bushcare training courses and environmental study field days.
The South Lawson Park bushcare group, under the guidance of a Blue Mountains City Council (BMCC) bushcare officer, began work in the area bounded by Waratah Street, Honour Avenue and John Street, south Lawson, in 1995. The site, over time, has spread towards Wilson Street and south along the Lawson Creek riparian and woodland corridor. We primarily work in the upper reaches of the Lawson Creek catchment, just south of Lawson shopping centre.
Since 1995 BMCC has obtained funding for the employment of various bush regeneration contractors to tackle specific weeds and other problems on the site. BMCC’s own bush regeneration team also works in the area on a regular basis. We are most appreciative of the skills and dedication that BMCC’s bushcare officers and Environment Branch staff have displayed when working with the bushcare group.
All of this effort provides the local and broader community with many benefits. Weeds like Blackberry and Honeysuckle can smother walking tracks, waterfalls, cascades and access routes if not contained. The natural beauty and diversity of the Australian bush is protected. The water quality of Lawson Creek is regularly monitored and the water remains in a reasonably fit state to support animal and plant life, clean and not polluted. Local residents have a pleasant patch of bushland to walk through and live near. The bushcare group removes rubbish and notifies BMCC of illegally dumped rubbish. Tourists, bushwalkers and visitors are interested in experiencing the uniqueness of Australian bushland landscapes and not hectares of Blackberry and Privet.
Much has been achieved: masses of invasive weeds have been removed and new plantings of local provenance shrubs and trees have been established. The continuous weeding has provided the bush with an opportunity to repair itself over time. The bushcare work on this site will always be an ongoing process.
(Text on this website © 2016 Peter Ardill. Photos © 2017 Peter Ardill, BMCC, Vera Hong)