Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Dedicated Hornsby bushcare volunteer wins top honour

Two decades of dedication to preserving Hornsby Shire’s beautiful natural environment have been acknowledged as local bushcare volunteer, Barry Lees, was named the Senior and Overall Regional Volunteer of the year at the NSW Volunteer of the Year Awards.

Mr Lees has contributed generously to the care of bushland and waterways of Hornsby Shire, having volunteered with Council’s Bushcare program and other organisations since 2002.

As leader of the Carrs Bush Bushcare group at Fagan Park, his dedication, innovation and guidance has seen the site flourish, becoming a healthy remnant of the Critically Endangered Ecological Community of Sydney Turpentine Ironback Forest.

His extensive work includes bush regeneration, planting native plants and providing advice to landholders on growing native plants and managing their bushland. In addition, he works with Council’s Warada Ngurang Community Nursery to distribute local tree species throughout rural areas to improve habitat corridors.

As a member of the Australian Plants Society, Mr Lees managed the Hornsby Herbarium online project which documents the plants of the local area. His work with the Herbarium also sees him attend plant surveys, searching for new species on bushland from Wisemans Ferry to Bobbin Head, Pennant Hills and Hornsby. The botanising group has provided over 75 comprehensive species lists for Council’s bushland reserves, adding considerably to our database of local native plants.

As an inaugural member of the Still Creek Landcare Group, he has monitored water quality in local streams and removed weeds in remote areas around the Hawkesbury River.

Having recently retired as coordinator of the group, he continues to volunteer at information stalls and events, advocating for bush regeneration on private property. This work conserves the local character of our rural suburbs, improving habitat for local wildlife and enhancing liveability of the Shire.

“Many congratulations to Barry Lees. These well-deserved awards recognise his outstanding contribution to the preservation and improvement of our beautiful bushland Shire’s environment,” said Hornsby Shire Mayor, Philip Ruddock.

“We very much appreciate Barry’s willingness to volunteer his time and share his expertise, so that our partnership with the community can continue to flourish to the benefit of everyone. Thank you for your decades of hard work and dedication.”

Hornsby Shire Council’s Bushcare program has been working to restoring bushland areas since 1989. There are 400 registered volunteers working at 65 different sites across the Shire.

For more information and to volunteer visit https://www.hornsby.nsw.gov.au/environment/flora-and-fauna/bushland-management/bushcare

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