The joy of volunteering at Boolcoomatta

on 20 May 2015 

Posted on behalf of Ann and Frank Ingwersen

Boolcoomatta – our third visit and the cottage feels like home. We are here to caretake the Reserve while Glen, the Manager, is away at a conference. The tasks he has given us to fill our days are varied and interesting.

Top on the list is the mapping, using GPS, of numerous tracks in an area which previously had a heavy infestation of the noxious boxthorn. These tracks were cut by the previous manager to spray the plants as removal by hand was impossible. An enjoyable task involving driving and walking around the tracks in between dry, red, sandy creek beds, lined with ancient red-gums.

Other work included maintenance of the campground facilities, updating the inventory of chemicals and their Safety Data Sheets, checking and setting cat traps, gardening, checking and repairing drippers to the avenue of young trees in the entry drive-way, assisting other volunteers putting in a new boundary fence, repairs and maintenance of buildings.

And then there was Stevie, recently arrived, a very friendly young kelpie, not yet fully trained. She kept us on our toes as, under our watch, she learnt to jump the high homestead fence to find freedom (short-lived!).

At the end of the day, whatever we’ve done, we return to the comfort of the cottage with a great sense of satisfaction. Weekends are a chance to explore or travel the 100km to Broken Hill for shopping and a swim.

What do we enjoy most? The peace and quiet, the environment and its spaciousness, the richly vivid sunrises and most of all, the knowledge that future generations will benefit from our small contribution to improving Australia’s environment and the habitats of vulnerable species