Mullumbimby shows the way to rejuvenate

Thank you to residents who turned out to volunteer their love and labour to rejuvenate street gardens in Burringbar Street.

Thank you to the businesses and Mullumbimby Chamber of Commerce for your help in organising the event and providing lunch for volunteers.

Thank you Byron Shire Council for the staff, tools and plants as well as the regular Community Roundtables with residents and business that allowed this idea to flourish and grow.

Thank you also to Ms Petroff of Tidy Towns for acknowledging past efforts, but no thanks for the brickbats against the efforts of the many who made last Sunday a wonderful day.

Rather the pride and volunteer ethic celebrated by Tidy Towns needs to be nurtured in the current crop of budding helpers.

This reawakening of the spirit of tidy towns is to be welcomed and can be put to good use in helping to rehabilitate roadside vegetation across the shire.

There are many individuals and groups who currently repair roadside reserves in rural areas by eliminating exotic weeds and planting native ground covers.

This reduces the need for slashing, which in turn reduces the spread of weeds. Over time the amount of maintenance is dramatically lowered to minimal or none.

In the past many of these efforts have been discouraged or even abandoned due to a lack of guidelines for roadside slashing and lack of support for organised volunteers due to safety concerns.

I believe there is more we can do. Skilling up volunteers to be accredited traffic controllers would be a great start.

Where groups are active, council and the community could decide together where slashing and other control methods will be undertaken locally.

If the community is willing and council is prepared to support residents and groups like Landcare, much can be achieved.

Linking these individual efforts over time will result in a healthier ecology, substantial cost saving for ratepayers and be a few more steps we can take towards lowering our carbon emissions.

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