Venturer Scouts from around NSW converged on Bundilla Scout Camp Winston Hills over the weekend September 10-11 for the first of many weekends restoring the riparian zone around Toongabbie Creek. The Scouts learnt about the local ecosystems, which includes several endangered communities, how the creek connects to the Parramatta River, native fauna and how to plant habitat islands for small native birds.
Greater Sydney Landcare Network provided some amazing speakers and special thanks goes to Jeff Cotrell who gave the Venturer Scouts hands on land management techniques for weed removal. Special thanks also to Bev Debincrat (Greater Sydney Landcare Network) who taught the Venturer Scouts how to plant specifically to create habitats to protect the small bird species.
Shaun Lesslie, the Hills District Venturer Scout Leader said “The plan is to set the Bundilla Scout camp up as a centre for focusing on the environment. This is the first of many groups who will be focusing on weed removal and native species replanting along Toongabbie Creek. We also tested the water quality and hope to have this whole area transformed within ten years.
Dr. Jacinta Green, the Local Landcare coordinator for the Parramatta River Catchment area and the Parramatta River Riverkeeper said “The Toongabbie Creek, and area’s like this are critical in the plans to restore the health of the Parramatta River. Private landholders, however remote from the Parramatta River, play a huge role in the health of the Parramatta River”.
“We are excited by the plans for the Bundilla Scout camp and look forward to them setting an example for others lucky enough to live work and play along the catchments creeks.” She continued.
One of the local scouts from 1st Winston Hills Venturer Scouts Sean Turner who attended the weekend said “The best thing about the weekend was putting into practice want we learnt from Bev Debincrat (Greater Sydney Landcare Network) about how to plant habitat islands for small birds which also benefit a large number of other species like lizards. Creating new homes and new life was excellent and felt like I was really learning how to give back to the community.”