By spending many hours in the marquees selling catalogues, Cottesloe Coastcarers are part of the dozens of volunteers from all over Perth who contribute to the annual open-air sculpture exhibition of local, national and international artists.
Today was a beautiful Sunday and a fantastic team of 17 people gathered to water plants and collect seed at Cottesloe Native Garden. A monoculture of weedy Victorian teatree had been cleared from the site a year ago.
“Volunteers don’t get paid for what they do, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.” In 1995 a small group of locals banded together to form the South Cottesloe Coastcare Association to to achieve a more robust and diverse ecosystem for the Cottesloe foreshore. In 2001 it became Cottesloe Coastcare and extended its range along the 4 kilometres of the Cottesloe coast.
Malte and Leander from a rural area in Northern Germany concentrated on spotting and removing some very invasive Euphorbia species from our Dutch Inn site.
During October 2006 I did a plant survey at Cottesloe Native Garden with the naturalist Robert Powell. We found only one silky scaevola (Scaevola anchusifolia) whereas several plants had been recorded approximately 15 years earlier.
After two weeks of intensive planting in May and June we now have 3,500 new plants in our natural areas. We had some terrific help from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Rio Tinto and for the first time the Green Army. The extra hands meant we could achieve so much more.
As part of our involvement with local community events, we have supported the annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibitions in Cottesloe for some 10 years, contributing many volunteer hours selling catalogues in marquees.
Between 2009 – 2011 I led CCA’s campaign to have the weedy seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) protected in Western Australia. During this time I often corresponded with Dr Nerida Wilson, at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in California.
It has been long and hot summer but as you can see from the photos, Cottesloe Coastcare volunteers keep busy. There is seed to collect - some big seed heads such as the Spinifex longifolius are not difficult to gather but as you can see in the photo of the Conostylis candicans that their seeds are very tiny indeed.
Mudurup Rocks is believed to be one of the traditional haunts of the crow or warrdung according to Aboriginal oral history. Now the stories from Aboriginal elders have been recorded by Dr. Barb Dobson and Ken Macintyre, local anthropologists with a long connection with Cottesloe.
Friday 14 November was another good working bee on the dunes. Pricewaterhouse Coopers have given us lots of help over the years with planting and weeding. We are very grateful for this on-going support.
I am very grateful to Lotterywest for sponsoring me to attend two days of the recent conference. It was held over 5 days at various venues around the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre. The first Australian Coast to Coast conference was held back in 1994.