History of our Group
47.5 hectares reserve that is a gift for local people to appreciate
as a sanctuary for birds and native flowers must be a special
place. Merthyr Park is. However it has a sad history.
the Second River Road, 2.5Km North West of Lilydale, is a
plaque inscribed -
reserve was presented by Lord Merthyr of Saundersfoot, Great
Britain, to the Municipality of Lilydale for the use of
the public for all time - 1938"
land was officially transferred in 1946. This native bush
was then debased through the development of a local tip (extending
from 0.4 ha to 6 ha), inclusion of a hydatid testing strip
and a 5ha plantation, all approved by the authorities of the
reserve deteriorated further, becoming a source of firewood
and a graveyard for car bodies, sheep, cattle and garden waste.
Threatening weed invasion was inevitable. It is no wander
it was called the "tip".
who wants to befriend a rubbish dump?
local people had become involved with the management of the
Lilydale Falls Reserve resulting in the inception of the Lilydale
Landcare Association. Subsequently the Launceston City Council's
Parks and Recreation Department invited the newly formed group
to help with the rehabilitation of the degraded bushland at
yes the "tip". Since carting
out truckloads of rubbish in the early stages this project
has focused on the northern side (16 hectares) of the reserve,
a filter for part of the Second River.
families are members of the Lilydale Landcare Association.
Interest and ages vary considerably, as do cultural backgrounds.
We are a mini United Nations. Merthyr Park will be in good
hands if the wonderful children growing up with this project
retain their enthusiasm. Their inquisitive minds are refreshing.
The sensitively executed illustrations of Merthyr Park vegetation,
interpreted through their young eyes, are a colourful reminder
of the treasures which can be found in our natural environment.
protection, restoration and preservation of Merhyr Park for
the enjoyment of present and future generations is a project
we are proud to be a part of. At times we lament the loss
of families who leave the district, despair at the task of
ongoing weed removal, the destruction of native vegetation
and the difficulties getting technical expertise to assist
our volunteers. These issues do not wipe the smiles from our
faces because our group is fuelled by a sense of fun, enthusiasm
and pride in our achievements. Some of our activities include
planting days, weeding, seed collecting, propagation, botanical
drawings, education workshops, guided educational tours, track
construction and maintenance, weed mapping, fauna and flora
identification and surveys, celebration barbecues and working
successfully lobbied for a walking track, which was constructed
by a Green Corps team and proved invaluable. Other groups
that have been involved in the Lilydale Landcare Merthyr Park
project include: Greening Australia, Understorey Network,
Lilydale District School, Tamar Valley Weed Strategy Working
Group, Australian Conservation Volunteers, Boy Scouts, Green
Reserves Teams and the Tamar Region Natural Resource Management
Strategy. There is also a healthy local government/community
partnership present and public attitude is changing. Hearing
people call the area Merthyr Park more frequently and not
the "Tip" is very encouraging.
transformation of a wasteland into a beautiful bushland for
all time is a great example for other communities and groups
that through hard work, commitment and determination an almost
impossible and mammoth task can be achieved.