Park Victoria recognises committed volunteers
The huge contribution made by volunteers in and around Lara and across the state is being acknowledged by Parks Victoria during National Volunteers Week (9 - 13 May).
There are currently more than 200 volunteer groups across Victoria that give about 200,000 hours of time every year to Victorian parks, reserves, marine sanctuaries, historic areas and bushland.
Several of these groups are doing great work in the You Yangs Regional Park, Brisbane Ranges National Park, Serendip Sanctuary, Ocean Grove Nature Reserve and Edwards Point Wildlife Reserve on the Bellarine.
Parks Victoria Ranger in Charge Mark Urquhart said Serendip Sanctuary and the You Yangs are particularly lucky to have very active and dedicated volunteers whose generous donations of time and effort make a real contribution in caring for these parks and make them great places to visit.
“It makes such a difference to have dedicated people helping us to preserve and maintain the natural beauty and heritage of our local parks,” said Mark.
“Although the You Yangs is closed for flood recovery works, volunteers were very active in the park prior to the closure, and will no doubt will in action when the park reopens.
“The Geelong Mountain Bike Club and You Yangs Mountain Bike Club Inc. have worked tirelessly to help make the You Yangs nationally renowned for the quality of its mountain bike trails and the events we can hold here as a result.”
Local volunteers range from the Australasian Native Orchid Society (Victoria Branch) who help protect the threatened Brittle Greenhood Orchid, to students from Gordon TAFE who volunteer time on environmental projects such as bone seed removal, and the newly formed Friends of the You Yangs.
“Serendip Sanctuary is also fortunate to have some very committed individuals who have volunteered an incredible amount of time, almost daily, over the past few decades,” said Mark.
“We would like to thank our band of dedicated volunteers including John Moon and Hazel Goatman who bring a wealth of skills such as animal husbandry to Parks Victoria, while giving them great personal satisfaction from making such a valuable contribution at the same time.”
Park volunteers get involved in a wide range of activities such as tree planting, campground hosting, cultural site protection, animal monitoring, track clearing, construction and visitor information.
Last financial year it was estimated that volunteers contributed over 25,000 days in 116 parks and reserves across the state. That’s equivalent to 101 full time Parks Victoria employees.
For information on becoming a volunteer go to www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/1volunteers.cfm
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