Above Young Alban was in charge of forestry tubes collection at a Fellmongers Creek planting in 2019.
Wattle Flat Pootilla Landcare Group is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. Our group started in 2002 when some neighbours came together wanting to have a positive impact on the local environment.
We cover public land, urban blocks, acreages and farms around Brown Hill, Glen Park, Wattle Flat, Pootilla and Dean in the area between Creswick and Ballarat. From the earliest days, the group encouraged whole of family participation.
Babies and children are regular attendees at group events and planting days. Many youngsters love to help get the plants into the ground, others take pride in being the ‘official’ forestry tube collectors at planting days. While work can be slower, all members help in keeping children safe and involved and we delight in their gleeful squeals as they splash in muddy puddles and leap over creeks.
When new families move into the area, neighbours will encourage them to join the Landcare group as a way of connecting with the local community. It builds a sense of belonging and pride that we love to share with our children.
Nine-year-old Carys from Wattle Flat said, “I like doing Landcare work. It feels like we are helping the creatures and animals on the land, and I like how we get together with our neighbours to have a barbecue at the end.”
Andrew and Sue Martin were on the founding committee of the group and involved their three daughters Emma, then nine, Kate, then seven, and Leah, then five, in all of the activities. Andrew’s father, David, was also an active member in the early days. David was the head chef at the group’s planting events until he passed away in 2021.
The three Martin girls grew up in Landcare and have stayed involved even after they moved away from the family property.
The next generation is now helping to keep the group going. Emma brings her two children James aged four, and Bella aged one to working bees and events. Kate joined the committee in 2016 and was president in 2018-19. To our great delight, Kate recently announced our youngest ever member had joined the group – her first baby is due at the end of the year.
According to Kate, Landcare isn’t just about environmental outcomes.
“For us, it’s a big family group who put just as much time and effort into building a strong community. The group has supported and encouraged me to follow my passion in the environment and I value every minute I spend with them because of it,” Kate said.
We look forward to seeing the latest batch of junior members at the helm of the group in another 20 years.
Anthony Murphy is President of Wattle Flat Pootilla Landcare Group. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org