It goes without saying that volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities, making a valuable contribution in a range of capacities.
Throughout the Mid Coast LGA (local government area) volunteers are continuing with their contribution, ensuring council parks and gardens are maintained for everyone to enjoy despite social distancing requirements.
However, they are undertaking their volunteer work on an individual basis.
The six-member Darawank War Memorial Park Volunteer Group, which meets weekly to ensure the popular park along The Lakes Way is always in top condition, has been whittled down to just two.
To ensure the men adhere to social distancing, mowing and gardening equipment is delivered by council to the Darawank site from the Tuncurry council depot.
It's important we continue to pick-up the rubbish and cut the grass as we have always done, the group's council liaison officer, John McNeil said.
Seventy-three-year-old Mr McNeil - the youngest of the group - who grew up on acreage and now lives on a suburban block, described his weekly mowing job as great therapy.
"It's a good outing for me," he said.
Our volunteers are an extremely important part of how we can deliver maintained open spaces for our community.Paul De Szell
Traditionally, the Mid Coast has more than 10000 volunteers working across the region mowing, weeding and whipper snippering to keep parks and open spaces maintained for the benefit of the community.
While the groups that usually undertake these activities have been put into hiatus, arrangements have been made for individual volunteers to continue this essential work, MidCoast Council liveable communities director, Paul De Szell said.
"Our volunteers are an extremely important part of how we can deliver maintained open spaces for our community," Mr De Szell said.
"With over 3000 hectares of parks, 750 hectares of which require mowing there is a huge need for this work to continue so we can provide our community with maintained open space for them to continue to exercise and take care of themselves both physically and mentally at this time."
Mr De Szell said this was likely to result in reductions in the level of service in some areas that rely heavily on volunteers.
"Areas where our parks and gardens staff undertake maintenance work will continue as usual."
Meanwhile groups such as Dunecare, Landcare and bush regeneration works have been suspended on council owned or managed land.
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