As published in the Bellingen Shire Courier Sun on Wednesday December 10th 2014.
In 1994 when a group of permaculturalists undertook the task of designing the rehabilitation of Cemetery Creek in Bellingen, there was barely a creek at all. However, six months later, with funding gleaned from different sources, bridges were built, fences erected and riparian zones replanted.
Twenty years on, Cemetery Creek is now a healthy and biodiverse wildlife corridor, forming the backdrop for Bellingen’s popular monthly markets.
According to Bellingen Urban Landcare’s Charlie Brennan, that project became the first of many around the town’s public urban waterways.
“Sites at O’Sullivans Park. Connell Park. Bellingen Park, Bellingen High School, The Bowling Club and Scout Hall, Ringwood Cree, The Point and western end of Bellingen Island were painstakingly rehabilitated,” Charlie said.
Charlie also said that over the years, these projects have involved more than 1000 people, 40 organisations, 50,000 hours of time, as well as combined funding and in-kind contributions valued at over a million dollars.
“Bellingen Urban Landcare’s conservation projects have changed individual people, our community, as well as the waterways and wildlife corridors of our town,” he said.
“The work of looking after these sites continues still and it’s only through all the community members, volunteers and contractors, funding organisations, project leaders and the BULC committee who have thankfully contributed so much over the years.”
A decade on and with the support from Council’s Environmental Levy, Bellingen (Market) Park site is about to receive an upgrade. This will involve weeding, planting, bush regeneration and fence work. The first phase of this will be a working bee on Sunday, December 14 from 9 to 12.
Charlie assures all those who attend are in for a celebration too: “Come help us celebrate our 20 years with a special birthday cake morning tea.”
For more information about Bellingen Urban Landcare see: www.bellingenurbanlandcare.org.au