Grass grows fast in summer. Too fast if you ask Bill Dennis and the team of volunteers from the Friends of Browns Creek (FoBC) in Taree.
Bill knows recent rain will trigger a flush of growth at 10 grassed sites near the creek that weaves through the heart of Taree. The look of green grass is welcome but the work required to maintain the sites is a labour of love that he and a small team of volunteers will do over the growing season. It’s days of unpaid work each week and it’s done to encourage community access, respect, and pride in the natural environment that is beginning to thrive around the creek.
MidCoast Council knows the value of the work undertaken by FoBC and on Wednesday council’s community liaison officer, Steve Howard gave the group a new Husqvarna mower valued at more than $5500. It is one of three gifted to groups in the Manning area – with volunteers also accepting mowers in Harrington and Johns River.
“It’s people like Bill and these volunteers that stand up and work to make things nice that deserve support. A lot of areas like this would be forgotten, litter-infested areas - a bit of weeding, a bit of planting, a bit of litter pick-up makes it a nice area rather than being somewhere that no-one goes or cares about. It’s work that council can’t afford to do to the standard that residents would like, so it’s very important.
“The days of ratepayers just paying rates and expecting council to be able to do all the work are gone. The partnership between council and volunteers is very important and we can support them with some gear if they can give us a bit of time.”
Mr Howard is contacting groups in the new council area to learn about current projects and if possible will provide support from MidCoast Council.
“The new mower and MidCoast Council get a big thumbs up from the Friends of Browns Creek,” says Bill.
John Elcoate is “a whizz” on mowers, according to Bill, and will be supported by volunteers who will weed and whipper snip in his wake. It can be hot work in summer and the volunteers are happy that it can now be done a little faster.