Noosa Landcare celebrates 21 years
THE "coming of age" of a community organisation is a milestone worth making a bit of a fuss over.
To celebrate its 21st birthday, Noosa Landcare invited 100 members, past members, sponsors and members of similar groups from the region to a party.
Held in the historic Majestic Theatre at Pomona, the party allowed a large amount of catching up and reminiscing.
Guest speakers were Graeme Elphinstone, who spoke of the formative days; Dr Brian Stockwell (delivered by Phil Moran) dealt with the transition period and Ben McMullen spoke about the recent years.
Well known raconteur and chairman of the Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee, Ian McKay delivered a spooneristic and very amusing version of the Three Little Pigs tale.
With Gympie Landcare established as the first in the region, it helped other groups become independent and a sub-committee was formed in the Kin Kin-Cooran area that conducted macadamia, grazing, forestry and weed control field days.
Issues by many local landholders regarding aerial spraying led to the establishment of the Noosa Landcare, with a $1000 grant from the shire council and an information kit sponsored by produce merchants Frank Sauer and Sons, which was distributed to new landholders in the area. A number of issues were dealt with and gradually the landscape started to change, as weed control, revegation and aquatic weed control projects were carried out.
At this point, cabomba in Lake MacDonald was shaping up as a huge problem and expertise developed until the group became nationally recognised for its knowledge of aquatic weeds.
During a summation, it was stated the Noosa Landcare ethic of "always having its bare feet firmly planted on the ground" had been a key to its success.
There were a few tough times but the group "hunkered down", held its nerve and came out the other side as the strong and vibrant organisation it is today.
Noosa Landcare always got out and did the work.
In modern parlance, they don't just talk the talk and they certainly do more than walk the walk.
The Noosa Landcare group can claim an immense amount of credit for transforming their local community - and many others.