Eurobodalla Council farewelled the Green Army program at a special ceremony at the Batemans Bay Water Gardens last week.
A federal government initiative, the Green Army offers young people aged 17 to 24 six months of practical experience and training in environmental projects. The program will cease next year.
Over the past two-and-a-half years Council has hosted six Green Army teams, who served as a huge asset to the community undertaking a range of valuable environmental projects.
Council’s Environment Services Manager Deb Lenson said the Green Army would be sorely missed.
“Council is thankful for the teams’ work over the past few years and looks forward to having a similar program in the future,” she said.
“They’ve been a huge benefit to us and the general community to complete environmental projects that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Ms Lenson said the teams worked on various land tenures in Eurobodalla, including on Council reserves, within National Parks, the Botanic Gardens, on private property and at local schools.
“They’ve fixed fences, controlled erosion, upgraded beach access, worked alongside local Landcare groups, carried out weed control, removed litter from beaches, and they’ve walked along every northern beach checking for sea spurge, a highly invasive environmental weed,” Ms Lenson said.
“They provided significant assistance to local schools, helping with St Bernard Primary’s outdoor environmental education area, with revegetation and weed control at Sunshine Bay Primary and weed control and planting at Broulee Primary.
“Environmental benefits aside, the program has also provided much-needed work experience for local youth, many of whom have since gone on to exciting things.”
The most recent team, which wraps up in the next few weeks, carried out extensive work to improve the Batemans Bay Water Gardens. Ms Lenson said Council would continue their good work along with willing volunteers. She also praised the working relationship with the Courthouse Museum, Batemans Local Aboriginal Lands Council and Council.
“We received significant funds and support from NSW and Australian Governments that assisted Council with managing the huge influx of flying foxes in 2016,” Ms Lenson said.
“The works at the Water Gardens, including the vegetation buffers, should provide some relief to residents and businesses that abut the Water Gardens when and if the flying foxes return.
“The gardens really are transformed and I encourage people to visit and enjoy the revitalised park.”
Council celebrated Eurobodalla’s Green Army at a special event last Monday that also served as the graduation of the Water Gardens team. Council is one of several partners in the Green Army program, which is facilitated and managed by Skillset and Campbell Page.
Above: Eurobodalla Council celebrated Eurobodalla’s Green Army at a special event last Monday that also served as the graduation of the Water Gardens team.