25 years of Bushcare on Dangar Island 1993 - 2020
Dangar Island is one of a few Blackbutt and Rough barked Angophora communities in the Hornsby Shire. The beauty of the island’s urban forest inspired residents in 1993, over 25 years ago to organise monthly bush regeneration sessions. Before this, individual residents would randomly remove lantana or organise spirited working bees called “ Lantana Bashes“.
The group decided to focus its efforts on Kiparra Park as it is on top of the island and so achievable to keep weed free. Twenty Five years later and you have to search hard to find a weed in the reserve.
Since 1993 the group has learnt major lessons in what not to do; has received a grant from Hornsby Shire Council to engage a botanist to do a thorough plant study in the reserve; put together an island plant list that is available for residents; has plant displays to inform residents and; been involved in three major reconstructions of the main track leading up to the reserve.
Recently a constructive dialogue between the island’s local fire brigade and Bushcare group has started to manage fire risk and plant diversity in Kiparra Park.
A new project has just started where the large water tank has been removed from the reserve to revegetate and regenerate the area. Now, instead of viewing this very large structure, visitors can enjoy looking at a very healthy and large Blackbutt on the highest point of the island.
The care given by the Dangar Island Bushcare volunteers is reciprocated from the joy received in connecting with fellow islanders, island plants and birds.
Would you like to get to know others who are interested in the natural environment that surrounds Dangar Island?
Learn about indigenous plants of the Island by spending a pleasant few hours with the Bushcare Group.
We meet every second Saturday of the month at 9:00am at the main access track into the reserve, adjacent to 149 Riverview Ave. Wear closed shoes, long sleeves and hat. No prior knowledge necessary. To join our group you can either contact us through the facebook page, or just turn up in person to a session.
Indigenous Plants of the Island
When adding plants to your garden, consider indigenous plants.They’re easy to maintain, compliment the special bush environment of the island and surrounding national parks, and you’ll also be providing a good food source which will attracts birds.The Bushcare Group has recently updated a comprehensive list of plants which are local to the island, which parts of the island they do best in, and details of local nurseries where you can source seeds and plants. You can access the list here.
The Hornsby Herbarium is a great resource for identifying and learning more about both native and introduced plant species endemic to the Hornsby Shire. The physical collection exists in the research room and online and currently includes over 900 native species and 300 introduced species and continues to grow. It is a great help for identifying plants and weeds in your garden.
This Hornsby Shire Council Flora & Fauna page also has helpful information about local native plants and weeds, as well as the community nursery, plant giveaways, gardening booklets and fauna.
Friends of Lane Cove provides good info about flowering times, weeding tips and more.
Finally, the Hornsby Shire Council Bushcare Management Page has plenty of info about volunteering as well as providing regular newsletters, and bushcode training dates.
Assessing trees on your block
Established gum trees are the architecture of ecosystems forming natural high-rise apartments and amusement parks for Australian fauna. Tree sustainability beyond today relies on interconnected urban vegetation as well as good fragments of reserve habitat. Remnant forest is found intact here on Dangar Island around Riverview Ave however where our main urban development exists today, was all cleared for grazing before subdivision. With time the natural canopy is re-establishing from the uncleared edges, however the rate of tree removal from private and public land is increasing and outpacing regrowth. Old trees have low tolerance to disturbance in the root area. Often removal of sick trees becomes a necessity after poor treatment of root area during building and gardening works. Let's try to keep our trees healthy and maintain a sustainable canopy for our unique ecosystem. Download a form if you are assessing the trees on you block by clicking here.