Lismore Landcare dynamo Derek Goodwin is leading the charge in cleaning up an historic area of South Lismore that has been neglected for decades.
After spending years clearing away weeds and rubbish from Hollingworth Creek in South Lismore, Mr Goodwin has turned his attention to the ‘Duck Pond’ at South Lismore.
The Duck Pond is large flood prone area of land adjacent to Leycester Creek, bounded by Union Street, Casino Street and Ostrom Street.
While it floods during wet weather, the rest of the year the site provides a large open space next to the river which Mr Goodwin believes could be utilized by the community.
In past years, before the coral tree infestation took hold, the area was used for various activities, such as grazing cattle, sandmining, and even as a training ground for football.
Hidden among the weed trees are artifacts of the past, including old telegraph poles, riverboats buried in the mud during a flood, and barges used to transport timber.
According to historical records, the area was a popular swimming spot back in the 1920s, and the council even built bathing sheds for people to change into their swimming costumes.
The sheds are long gone, swept away in one of Lismore’s numerous floods.
Mr Goodwin is confident the Duck Pond can once again become a popular spot for locals.
The work is being carried out in consultation with the Lismore City Council and other Landcare groups, however Mr Goodwin has been doing much of the work himself, with some help from local residents and contractors.
In recent months, Mr Goodwin has been removing coral trees in the eastern section of the site, but admits a few more helpers would be welcome.
He is particularly interested in any community-minded contractors who might donate some time with their machinery.
He has organized a meeting at the Duck Pond Coffee Shop in Union Street this Saturday at 10am for anyone interested in becoming involved with the South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare group.
A Facebook page has been created to chart the progress of the work. Just type in South Lismore Duck Pond and make a friend request.
*The author is a member of the South Lismore Duck Pond Landcare group.