It was with heavy hearts that volunteers, staff, friends and neighbours gathered last weekend to farewell stalwarts of the Landcare movement, Maureen and Jim Baker. The couple are moving to Wollongong to be closer to family.
Jim and Maureen founded the Tuross Lakes Preservation Group in the early nineties and were one of the first Landcare groups operating in the Eurobodalla. For nearly 30 years they have campaigned strongly to protect community and environmental interests, dedicating thousands of hours towards advocacy and to on-ground environmental works.
At their farewell, founding members spoke of the couple’s drive and determination, recalling the many projects Jim and Maureen have been instrumental in coordinating and delivering around Tuross.
These include riverbank revegetation at Coopers Island and Tuross Lakes, erosion control at Applewood Dairy, dune rehabilitation on the foreshore, bush regeneration at fifteen reserves, and the plan of management for Kyla Park community land.
Maureen received an Order of Australia for her volunteer efforts and her commitment to the environment.
Chairman of the Eurobodalla Landcare Committee Paul May spoke with great affection, describing Maureen’s generosity and skill as a sounding board for him over the years: “She had a way of getting things done,” he recalled.
Council’s Acting Director of Planning and Sustainability Deb Lenson shared her recollections of the environmental power-couple, saying their important contribution to multiple environmental projects has been an inspiration.
“As volunteers for more than two decades, Jim and Maureen have given their time and expertise with great generosity,” she said.
“They have a professional and sincere way of delivering and implementing projects, not just in Tuross but across the Eurobodalla. They also supported Landcare initiatives across the state, and made significant contributions to local Landcare, estuary management and National Parks committees.
“Maureen is a passionate and level-headed individual, always committed to the task and carries herself with poise and decorum. And she always got her way!”
“We wish them well with their move and life’s next adventures.
“They leave an unfillable void behind them, however their legacy lives on in the many great works they have instigated and contributed to since forming the Tuross Lakes Preservation Group nearly thirty years ago.”
Above:Maureen and Jim Baker (front) will be sorely missed in the Eurobodalla. Saying their farewells on the weekend are Council’s Emma Patyus, Heidi Thomson and Deb Lenson, and Peter Gow from Local Land Services. Media Release