Bushcare’s Major Day Out scored two awards at last year’s North Sydney Community awards, where Joe Hockey presented the awards. One went to founder Don Wilson, for creating the initial idea for Bushcare’s Major Day Out and the other award was accepted by Marianne Wilson on behalf of the committee. Joe congratulated the committee on their achievement in bringing together 100 bushcare groups from all over Australia on the same day in 2012 to celebrate the value of caring for bushland.
Joe said he always loved the bush, having grown up opposite The Knoll in Northbridge NSW and having played there as a kid. Joe’s parents still live there and sometimes when he brings his own children to see their grandparents, they get to play in the same place where their Dad played years ago. Joe said he was heartened to see that Clive Park/The Knoll bushcare group was regularly caring for that site. He said there are many thousands of people from all around Australia who regularly get out into the bush pulling weeds, planting trees and soaking up the atmosphere. Joe highly recommends people to contact a bushcare group and try it out for a morning, he says you will be surprised at how much you will enjoy it.
Bushcare’s Major Day Out is the brainchild of Northbridge resident, Don Wilson. With the backing of Willoughby Council, the first event was held in 2009 and attracted 55 volunteers who worked on a site adjacent to the men’s shed on the fringe of Northbridge golf course. This became a regular bushcare site and the convenor Marianne Wilson appropriately named it “The Nineteenth Hole”.
Each year the event has grown at the rate of knots as more councils and other groups become aware of it. In 2011, encouraged and supported by Willoughby Council and Landcare, the committee contacted interstate groups and 35 of them held their own Major Day Out on the 9th September. In 2012, 60 organisations turned out on 100 sites
Almost without exception first time bushcarers have a great day, and some become regulars, while others hang up their gardening gloves until the following year. The date for 2013 has been set down as 8th September during Landcare Week. The committee is aiming to increase the appeal of the event and encourage a lot more people to come out for the morning and enjoy the bush.