The Community Environment Network’s (CEN’s) Land for Wildlife (LFW) program and its Wildplant Nursery have both won major Greater Sydney Region Bushcare and Landcare Awards.
The 2023 Greater Sydney Regional Bushcare Landcare Awards Forum was hosted this year by Greater Sydney Local Land Services to celebrate the achievements of environmental volunteers.
The theme 'Connectivity' captured works that fostered connection across landscapes, culture and connection to Country across Greater Sydney.
Land for Wildlife NSW (LFW) won the 2023 Partnership for Landcare Award and the CEN Wildplant Nursery received the coveted 2023 Community Group Award.
CEN’s CEO, Samantha Willis, said she was proud that both the Wildplant Nursery and the Land for Wildlife volunteers, who work thousands of hours each year, had been recognised for their efforts.
“All the groups who made submissions for the awards were incredibly dedicated and produced great outcomes for the environment across rural and regional NSW, so the competition and standard of entries was incredibly high,” Ms Willis said.
“We are now finalists in the NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Awards along with finalists from all the other regions across NSW. In turn, NSW winners will compete in the National Landcare Awards.
“The Land for Wildlife Program is a voluntary property registration scheme for land owners who wish to manage areas for biodiversity and wildlife habitat,” she said.
“CEN provides NSW-wide coordination and the framework for Land for Wildlife in partnership with interested local organisations.
“LFW encourages and assists landholders to include nature conservation along with other land management objectives.
“It is free to join and registration will not change the title of the land.”
Ms Willis said the Wildplant Nursery was another integral part of CEN’s commitment to ecologically sustainable development on the Central Coast.
“Our Wildplant Nursery volunteers collect and propagate local provenance flora species.
“They work across two sites at Tuggerah and Ourimbah, collecting seeds, operating a seed bank, growing seedlings, watering and nurturing stock.
“We offer plants to the public through an online shop and a sale at our Ourimbah nursery on the first Saturday of every month.
“Our nursery volunteers are an excellent team of caring individuals, and their collective knowledge of local flora is astounding.
“We are so proud of both groups and delighted they have been chosen from groups across Greater Sydney to receive these awards.”
The awards were presented at a major event in Katoomba by Trish Doyle MP.
After the awards ceremony, Ms Willis gave a presentation on CEN’s COSS Connection and Rehabilitation Project – Improving habitat connectivity across the landscape.
The project works with local landowners to improve the habitat and biodiversity on their land and eradicate pests and weeds.
Visit cen.org.au for more information about Land for Wildlife and the CEN Wildplant Nursery.