Landcare volunteers’ time and resources in Burke Shire
Category: Newsletter

This month, members of the Gregory River Landcare Group in Queensland arrived at the Gregory River to set up camp then headed to Burketown to discuss with students at the Burketown State School the importance of Landcare management and outdoor activities.

President of the Gregory River Landcare group, Mark Van Ryt and a Brisbane volunteer Chris Gray’s first project was a fishing activity with the senior students.

Each student received a well-stocked tackle box to take home to encourage family outdoor activity.

The activity was funded by the Queensland Department of Fisheries via Sunfish QLD and the Mount Isa Fish Stocking Group.

Mr Van Ryt said, “We always fish off the old Albert River Bridge where Burke Shire Council have established a safe family fishing platform,”

“The students caught four brims and a catfish and enjoyed the change from a normal school day.”

Mr Van Ryt said he took the opportunity to talk to the students about land care.

The environmental issues were already well understood as they were familiar with the good work of the local Gangalidda and Garawa Rangers.

On Thursday the Landcare volunteers helped the school to refresh and replant the Healthy Foods Garden.

This time the whole school was involved with the junior students and seniors having one garden bed each.

“The students all love the opportunity to smell the fresh herbs and plant a wide variety of plants,” Mr Van Ryt said.

“This particular Gregory Landcare project started in Burketown in 2009. It would not have been possible without the ongoing support of our friends from Brisbane. It was our good luck a sturdy Landcare group in Brisbane, Bulimba Creek Catchment (B4C) chose to befriend and support us.”

“These days funding is harder to find but the volunteers still keep coming, sometimes twice per year to help us to do Landcare projects. In May we do the School Gardens, every second year the kids go fishing and in between, we work together trying to hold back the rubber vine on the Gregory. The B4C volunteer for this year, Chris Gray was a real champion. He was always ready to help with the next task and to offer solutions to problems,” Mr Van Ryt said.

On Friday morning the Gregory Landcare Group held their Annual General Meeting which was chaired by Megan Munchenberg.

“We were joined by Landcare group members Charles Curry from Southern Gulf NRM and Paul Johnson from O’Regan Partners Accountants.”

“We used this opportunity to support the North West Canoe Club by handing out enviro-bags to almost all the paddlers during the Saddle and Paddle Canoe race,” Mr Van Ryt said.

The bag contained various rubbish bags, gloves, shovel, and tongs to encourage campers to dispose of waste correctly.

It also included information on weeds and advice on correct camping protocol.

“A big thank you to Pru Wharton the Regional Landcare Facilitator at Southern Gulf NRM for putting together the bags,” he said.

Originally published in The North West Star

Written by Melissa North


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