Dedication to naturelesson for the future
'Even more impressive is the extensive fieldwork they conducted in the Shannon Creek area, which has led to a greater understanding of the rich biodiversity of this special place.'
SHANNONDALE'S John and Patricia Edwards were two of three conservationists honoured by the Re-weavers at a dinner and presentation of certificates in Grafton.
The program, organised by the Anglican Commission for the Environment of the Grafton Diocese, the Clarence Valley Conservation Coalition and the National Parks Association Clarence Valley branch, recognised the Edwards and former Nambucca Heads woman Janet van Spanje for their contributions to the environment and communities.
"Re-weavers such as the Edwards and Janet van Spanje have greatly enhanced the tapestry of our earth community by re-weaving green threads of sustainability back into its living fabric through their commitment and perseverance. They are a wonderful example to us all," Re-weavers convener Stan Mussared said.
Mr Mussared listed the substantial contribution the Edwards had made over the years to the Coutts Crossing community through organisations such as the historical society and the bushfire brigade.
"But it is John and Patricia's contribution to the environment that we are focusing on tonight," he said.
In describing their work as environmental re-weavers, he referred to Patricia's dedication to the wildlife protection group WIRES and John's support of her efforts.
He outlined the enormous contribution they had both made to the community consultation process and the public debate on the regional water scheme and the Shannon Creek dam.
"Even more impressive is the extensive fieldwork they conducted in the Shannon Creek area, which has led to a greater understanding of the rich biodiversity of this special place," Mr Mussared said.
"In a five square-kilometre area there are nearly 1000 species of flora, some 200 species of fungi and 300 species of fauna.
"One of the highlights of their fieldwork was the discovery of a new species of boronia ? boronia hapalophylla.
"Over the years they have lobbied tirelessly for improvements to the regional water scheme which would have led to a better outcome for the biodiversity of the area," Mr Mussared said.
"Now the Edwards are using their extensive knowledge of sandstone ecology to assist the National Parks and Wildlife Service as volunteers in Sherwood, Banyabba, Tallawudya and Chambigne nature reserves.
"John and Patricia are members of several Clarence conservation organisations including the newly-formed Clarence Branch of Climate Change Australia. They are making contributions to these groups as they work towards sustainability for our community.
"The Edwards commitment to protecting and enhancing eco-systems on which all life depends has been undertaken gladly because they both know that the welfare of future generations and the true sustainability of the area depend upon the human community taking such action," Mr Mussared said.
Following the honouring of the Re-weavers, certificates of appreciation were presented to them by Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Grafton, the Right Reverend Keith Slater.
Re-weavers honoured at a previous dinner were also presented with certificates by the Bishop. They are Greg Clancy, Russell Jago, Kay Jeffery, Col Lee, and Dennis Milne.