Land for wildlife members honoured

Mayor Mark Jamieson presents the Dillons with their award

Twenty years ago, Joan and John Dillon moved to their property at Hunchy, and were faced with 4.4 hectares of degraded environment.

Fast forward two decades, and their property is greatly improved and thriving thanks to their hard work and the advice and support from the Sunshine Coast Land for Wildlife program.

Earlier this month the couple, along with 90 other Sunshine Coast Land for Wildlife members, were recognised for their long-term dedication to conserving and preserving the environment at a ceremony at Venue 114, Bokarina.

The members, who joined the program between 1998 and 2001, were given 20-year commemorative signs to hang with pride at their property entrance.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson expressed his gratitude to the property owners for their commitment to the environment.

“Today, we recognised and thanked these Land for Wildlife members for their time, hard work and financial dedication to our region,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“The improvements they have collectively made to their properties have been incredible – removing weeds, protecting waterways and restoring grazing land to native forests.

“This important work benefits our whole region by extending our vital wildlife corridors and improving the Sunshine Coast’s biodiversity.”

Mayor Jamieson said approximately 9500 hectares of private land was currently managed for conservation in the Sunshine Coast Land for Wildlife program.

“Back in 1998, the Sunshine Coast Land for Wildlife program started with just 62 properties,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“Now, 20 years later, the program continues to grow, with 1242 properties participating.

“In fact, in the last year, 101 new members joined the program.

“About a third of those new members purchased a property that was previously part of the Land for Wildlife program and decided to continue the previous owners’ work.

“This demonstrates the incredible legacy of past owners and how the value of their ongoing commitment to conservation is carried forward.”

Joan Dillon, who joined as a new resident, said Land for Wildlife offered a welcome opportunity for advice and help in “tackling a somewhat overwhelming prospect”.

“The task we were faced with then was daunting and is now much reduced and manageable but the reasons, namely creating habitat and links for wildlife, remain the same,” she said.

“My advice to new owners is to join immediately. Land for Wildlife is a fascinating journey. You’ll learn so much and enjoy your successes along the way.”

More information on Land for Wildlife is available at https://www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Environment/Get-Involved-in-Conservation/Land-for-Wildlife

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