Volunteers make an extraordinary contribution to Australian society, they are the lifeblood of our community and come from all walks of life: working people, students and professionals, young people and retirees, from every town and community.
The out pouring of generosity that is being witnessed from within our own community as well as by our city cousins to support farming communities during one of the worst droughts in history is overwhelming.
I've been lucky to be a part of a city/country initiative called the 'Building Bridges to Boorowa' program which is unique in the otherwise expansive and diverse world of Bushcare/Landcare.
A large contingent of North Sydney Bushcare volunteers make their way to Boorowa in September each year and have been since the year 2000.
The importance of this urban/ rural partnership and its persistent success over the years is testament to the hard work, dedication and enthusiasm of all involved.
The award winning Building Bridges to Boorowa Program has complemented a variety of different revegetation projects over the years.
These projects may have different aims, i.e. to provide stock shelter, address dry land salinity and or erosion.
Some are riparian projects, revegetating creeks and gully lines, which will eventually improve water quality.
All create habitat for local wildlife including the Superb Parrot and improve habitat connectivity across the landscape.
There are so many benefits of this program that go far beyond the impressive statistics. While we are immensely proud of the 60,000 plus locally native trees, shrubs and ground covers planted by literally hundreds of city volunteers around Boorowa, it is the friendships that have grown alongside these plantings that truly symbolises the value of this program and the model it provides for others to embrace.
Next weekend we once again welcome the large contingent of volunteers from North Sydney who will plant approximately 3000 trees in the Boorowa district over two days.
The city/country divide may not be as wide as we think!