2002 – Present
Jacknorman Street Landcare was first set up by my wife and myself in June 2002, 18 months after my family moved there. The area consists of a patch of bushland adjacent to and above the western side of the old Waratah quarry. A no-name water course runs from Cooksey Close, Waratah West through the area into Boatman Creek and then into Ironbark Creek. Flora in the area consisted of local canopy trees, understorey trees, smaller shrubs and grasses, and a lot of local garden escapees. We also started to mow a 15 metre wide fire-safety strip behind our houses. Work hours are flexible but usually are either Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons.
My wife first started to remove a lot of dumped rubbish like old pool liners, plus all manner of human refuse and rubbish. We then started to remove noxious plants like lantana, Madeira vine, moth vine, and morning glory as well as many backyard escapees. This took us many months to achieve. After we had the site reasonably free of weeds and pests we were ready to start a planting program. This entailed a lot of reading about local provenance plants, and trips to the Greening Centre at Kotara to talk to the Newcastle City Council (NCC) staff about what plants they could supply. We were keen to keep the area as near to original as possible, so to that end we constructed multiple animal hides across the area which has resulted in a diverse lizard and bird population. The storm water that comes from Jacknorman Street had cut a deep gouge through the area and NCC provided eco logs which were placed to stop further erosion.
Over the last 16 or so years that we have been working on the site we have planted many thousands of local provenance plants – some were sourced from the Greening Centre but most were grown by me from seed I collected from the Hunter Wetlands Centre at Shortland. We have attracted a large population of varied bird life to our little piece of paradise and it very nice to sit on our back deck looking over the bushland.
-Ken Bayliss and Gail Bayliss