IMAGINE THIS: an eight year old boy who just moved to the Boronia Park area and teamed-up with a few mates to spend many of his weekends in the bush reserves throughout Hunters Hill.
We were known as “Peter, Paul and ….” in recognition of the famous musicians of that era.
There were many adventures at these times of my childhood, swinging from the ropes in the trees, swimming in the river and making tracks that are now part of the Great North Walk.
The most memorable time was when we hitch hiked to Valentia Street wharf and fished a few flathead, to hitch back to Boronia bush and with pan and matches in hand, we walked to our double-ended cave to climb down the steep tunnel, lighting the candles as we slid to the bottom and cooked-up our delicious meal at the water’s edge.
We had a good time in visiting the caves, especially the cave at the ‘Hermit’s Camp’ where we ate the fruits of the loquat tree.
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THE BUSH of the Boronia Park area holds many secrets, from long time past and not too long ago; of people who lived and fished on the banks of the Lane Cove River; those who just camped there and those who were in need of somewhere to live.
Back in those days there was no recognition of the need to manage the bush.
Today, I have a different role, that being President of Friends of Boronia Park (FOBP) bush care group.
Friends of Boronia Park is one of eleven bush care groups of Hunters Hill with members who are passionate about maintaining their piece of the bush so that each pocket remains a natural environment for future generations to enjoy.
These days when we are doing bush care, I take note of the wonderful sounds and the marvellous sights that the bush shares with us.
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EARLIER THIS year at the Australia Day ceremony, the bush care groups of Hunters Hill collectively received the Project of the Year award from Mayor, Councillor Mark Bennett.
This award is recognition of the dedicated and hard work contributed by the many people who make-up the bush care groups within our community.
Even though I don’t remember ever doing homework, I do remember the sights and sounds of this wonderful bush that we can all share.
I don’t see my mates any longer, but perhaps they also reflect on the old days of our bush adventures.
If you wish to join bush care or perhaps you would like to complete your own award scheme for Scouts, Duke of Edinburgh or school projects, contact Hunters Hill Council and our bush care manager will assist you in having your own adventure.
By the way, the cave’s entrance is now covered by boards for the original GNW footway.
STEVEN BUCHERT is President of Friends of Boronia Park Group.