Scottsdale Reserve really turned on the charm with some beautiful weather to welcome two groups of bequest supporters, who joined us for an inspirational weekend of exploring the reserve first-hand.
Hosted by the charismatic and down-to-earth reserve management team of Phil Palmer and Brett Peden and Volunteer Coordinator, Michelle Stook, 27 of our most committed bequest supporters were treated to a diverse tour of Scottsdale.
Through the day we explored the successes and challenges in restoration ecology throughout the valley floor, highlighting our grassland restoration demonstration sites, erosion control measures, and the large-scale revegetation projects across the reserve. And, of course, the Striped Legless Lizard reintroduction sites.
In the high country we were treated to spectacular views of the reserve surrounded by a beautiful carpet of Wurmbea dioica (Early Nancy).
The high country provided supporters with a bird's-eye view of the context and important role Scottsdale reserve plays in the connectivity of the surrounding landscape.
Over lunch we were inspired by a guided tour around the Scottsdale nursery by long-term and dedicated volunteer Sue. She showcased her passion and enthusiasm for her work collecting a diverse array of native seed from the reserve to propagate and nurture the seedlings right through to planting stage.
Over the weekend supporters were delighted with rare and fleeting sightings of the Rainbow Bee Eaters, which are currently nesting at Scottsdale; had a close but safe encounter with a Brown Snake and; courtesy of Phil’s Steve-Irwin-esque dive into the road verge, an up-close and personal interaction with an Echidna.
For me, it was an incredible privilege to spend time with such a dedicated and enthusiastic group of supporters. Being surrounded by like-minded people and engaging with our team of amazingly committed reserve staff leaves you with renewed buoyancy and great sense of comradery, that so many of our supporters chose to support our work in life and beyond through gifts in their Wills.
Upon my return to the office in Melbourne I was delighted to receive many positive reflections of the time spent on Scottsdale from our supporters.
“My favourite part of the day was seeing the wonderful job Susie is doing in the nursery, propagating local plants to be planted on the reserve. I also greatly enjoyed meeting the Bush Heritage staff. What a great lot of people”
“I really love the science and the research involved in the work on Bush Heritage properties”
“[We enjoyed] the privilege of being about to spend time seeing the place as well as sensing the commitment of the staff to the reclamation process […] we have not only a better understanding but will be stronger ambassadors [of Bush Heritage Australia] and we will be more likely to find a niche to volunteer into the future”