Environmental volunteers awarded

Date posted: 09 October 2012

Environmental volunteers were awarded for their outstanding contribution at the 2012 Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) Volunteer Awards on Saturday 6 October

The awards recognise individuals and groups working directly with DEWNR on projects which provide long-term environmental benefits and use natural resources sustainably.

DEWNR director of volunteer and visitor services Anne Sellar said the DEWNR Volunteer Awards were presented as part of the annual Friends of Parks Forum, held at Naracoorte during 5-7 October.

“First presented in the 1980s, the awards have remained at a consistently high standard,” Ms Sellar said.

“This year’s Outstanding Individual Volunteer Achievement Award was presented to Arthur Simpson for his involvement in the Friends of Burra Parks, the Friends of Heysen Trail, and the Burra Rangeland Action Group.

“Arthur has been an active member of the Friends of Burra Parks and of the Burra Rangeland Action Group since their inauguration in 2003 and 2011 respectively.

“He is also a member of Friends of Heysen Trail and has assisted with trail maintenance activities for more than seven years.

“Furthermore, Arthur participated in the restoration the Tooralie Gorge Shepherds Hut and the heritage listed Coach House at Bimbowrie Conservation Park, where he has undertaken the role of volunteer caretaker.”

Ms Sellar said Outstanding Group Volunteer Project Achievement Awards were presented to three groups, the Biodiversity and Endangered Species Team, Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Parks, and Cultana Jenkins Shack Owners Association.

“The Biodiversity Blitz is an innovative project developed by the Biodiversity and Endangered Species Team (BEST) in collaboration with DEWNR,” she said.

“For a week in the spring of 2011, 45 volunteers from BEST and other volunteer groups undertook eight high priority projects on Southern Yorke Peninsula.

“The Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, in partnership with Para Broadcasters Association (PBA FM), and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management (NRM) Board contributed to the development of 12 radio broadcasts, engaging with a wide audience to communicate the value of conserving South Australia’s parks and reserves.

“The project embraces new technologies to link radio, website, photographs, CDs and podcasts, to connect people with environmental volunteering initiatives.

“The Cultana Jenkins Shack Owners Association worked in partnership with the Whyalla City Council, Eyre Peninsula NRM Board, Conservation Volunteers SA and local indigenous groups to rationalise vehicle tracks over and around South Australia’s only stranded shingle beach ridges and promote natural regeneration of the surrounding remnant coastal vegetation.

“South Australia’s shingle ridges have significant indigenous significance, with the belief that they are connected to the Seven Sisters in The Dreaming of local Barngarla people.”

The individual winner and the three group awardees each received $1,250 to further their conservation efforts.

Friends of Parks Incorporated also presented annual awards at the Forum to the following recipients to recognise their outstanding efforts:

  • Best Biodiversity Project - Biodiversity and Endangered Species Team
  • Most Supportive Staff Member - Northern Lofty District Senior Ranger Erik Dahl
  • Friends Group Achievement of the Year (Incorporating the McLaren Shield) - Friends of Mount Gambier Area Parks.

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