2009 – Present
In 2009, a neighbour hopped over his fence into the bushland reserve and began to hack away at lantana and cassia. I went to offer assistance. It was not long before another neighbour appeared, concerned about the loss of privacy. Nobody wanted discord. To the rescue came neighbour number four, suggesting the formation of a Landcare group. The lantana and cassia are now past history, but we continue to tend our beautiful site and try to keep it free of weeds and, truly, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.
As housing spread out from Toronto, this small bushland reserve was probably left undeveloped because it was too steep. It is on the northern side of Coal Point ridge and is a link in the green corridor running along the ridge from the end of the peninsula to the Crown land forests around Awaba.With the larger weeds removed, management now mostly involves monitoring and halting the invasion of backyard escapees. The reserve is ringed by houses, so a small amount of planting has been done to form a barrier for weeds. Quite a lot of effort is put into keeping neighbours updated on what we have been doing and why, through a letterbox drop before every working bee and through casual encounters.
The bird population, permanent residents and visitors, is a pleasing indication of the health of the bush. It is also rewarding to know that the three gullies that feed into Puntei Creek are filtering good run-off towards Lake Macquarie.Learning to care for the land has been a huge.