By Lauren Grimshaw
Motivated by creating community awareness and protecting wildlife, the Doulton-Alfred Park Bushcare Group has been taking part in Adopt-a-Spot for 5 years. The group not only carries out monthly Bushcare activities, but also regularly undertakes litter clean-ups in their neighbourhood park.
The Doulton-Alfred Park Bushcare Group is based in Calamvale and is one of the many Adopt-a-Spot teams taking pride in their local natural reserves. Group leader, Michael Ryan, sometimes even uses his own lawn mower to keep the park looking presentable.
Litter has always been a problem, however, if you were to compare it with the amount of litter 3 years ago (in the park), to the amount today, it would be unrecognisable. The group has worked tirelessly over the years, and have partnered with local council to have bins installed and a number of ‘no littering’ signs displayed at the entrances.
Many of the volunteers have become involved after seeing other people active in the community. The group has since formed a tight relationship with 10 active members. “When a place is being looked after and people see you taking care of it, they are more likely to jump on board” says Michael, “if it looks pretty, they feel it’s their responsibility to respect it. Whereas, if it’s a mess, they won’t care as much”.
The group has a wide age and cultural mix. Michael explained that some of their volunteers don’t speak English, but doing something for the environment is a universal language. All members want the same thing – a clean and beautiful environment. The group as found some pretty bizarre items over the years, including a stolen brief case – which they were able to return to its owner.
For the Doulton-Alfred Park Bushcare Group, being involved in Adopt-a-Spot also means looking out for the people in the local community.
One of the more significant issues is the littering of food wrappers and drink containers, that find their way into the local creek. The native wildlife around Calamvale is extremely important to the group and adopting whole-of-community support and harnessing the enthusiasm, good-will and spirit will help to protect several water bird and fish species.
The team have focused much of their effort on educating residents, especially school children. Having local schools on board will not only help reduce the amount of rubbish, but it will also preserve the scenic views and water catchments for future generations.
“Being a part of the group and the Adopt-a-Spot program gives an intrinsic feeling of satisfaction” Michael explained. “It is rewarding to work in a team with other passionate people, look at how clean the park is and be proud of what we’ve achieved”.
The team hopes to see more active volunteers involved, a boardwalk created around the creek and have even more bins and signage installed in the park.
If you would like to join the Doulton-Alfred Bushcare Group with their Adopt-a-Spot or Bushcare activities, you can contact them via Facebook: [click here]