250K for Big Scrub Landcare
THE NSW Government's Environmental Trust awarded yesterday Big Scrub Landcare Group a $249,000 six-year grant.
Big Scrub Landcare Group is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2012 controlling weeds and preserving subtropical rainforest in the Northern Rivers.
Ken Dorey, from Newrybar, was one of the original Big Scrub volunteers from 1992 and has restored 8ha of rainforest on his own land over two decades.
He explained that the group applies principles of "integrated pest management: working with nature to keep pests and predators in balance".
Jenny and Charlie Handley own one of the last rainforest remnants at their Wollongbar macadamia farm.
It was a big change for them to go from a farming culture to one of integrated pest management on their property.
"Big Scrub Landcare came and helped us in 1997 when we started improving our property", said Mr Handley.
"Weeds have gone, we had a prolific increase in wildlife like wallabies and birdlife that we have never seen before," said Mrs Handley.
Over the years, the remnant at the Handleys' property has been cared for by seven Green Corps teams, three bush regenerators working for five years one day a week, plus follow-up maintenance one full day a week.
President Tony Parkes explained that the grant confirms the long-term future of the grassroots organisation in the Northern Rivers.
Local MP and acting minister for environment Don Page delivered the cheque to Big Scrub president Tony Parkes yesterday.