Mt Pleasant Natural Resource Centre wins SA Great Award

The Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre has won the SA Great Award for the Science and Environment Category in the Barossa and Light region, having competed for the award against businesses, projects, committees and organisations that have used science related initiatives to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

The Mount Pleasant Natural Resource Centre (MPNRC) is a not-for-profit, volunteer based centre that provides a focal point for spreading new and useful information for living within our natural environment and the creation of partnerships in land and environmental management.

The MPNRC primarily services the Northern and Eastern Adelaide Hills, and the Barossa and Murray Plains regions.

Co-ordinator of the Centre, Ms Faye McGoldrick, said the Centre opened in February 2000 with the vision of local community members who wanted to have a resource in the region to access information on natural resource issues.

“The Centre has continued to develop and expand due to the commitment and vision of volunteers and is now a vibrant space full of activity.

The Centre forms an integral part of the community, providing community capacity building in natural resource management and sustainability.

“The MPNRC is managed by a Management Committee comprising of volunteers elected from the local community plus local government members.”

The Chair of the MPNRC, Mr David Lillicrapp OAM, accepted the award and said that it was pleasing that the Centre had been recognised for a number of very significant initiatives over the last twelve months, many involving strong partnerships with individuals and groups.

“A prime example of such co-operation is the long-standing successful partnership between the Centre, the Upper River Torrens Landcare Group and the Mount Pleasant Primary School in revegetating sites along the River Torrens.”

The key achievements and initiatives over the past twelve months were:

  • ‘Biodiversity Matters’ Regional School Activity and Education Days: Over 850 students from 12 different primary schools attended this two day event, learning about biodiversity and threatened species in a range of special workshops.
  • Free community workshops and forums on topics such as Greywater, Mundulla Yellows, Phytophthora and Dieback, Grassy Woodlands and Butterflies, Native Grass Identification, Environmental Management Systems, and Bats for Biodiversity.
  • An active volunteer program with volunteers involved in most areas of activity at the MPNRC, from sitting on the Management Committee to facilitating a monitoring project. Volunteers contributed 1758 hours to the Centre from July ‘05 – June ‘06.
  • A Sustainable Garden Project in which volunteers landscaped and replanted the MPNRC garden with native local provenance plants, providing a showcase of sustainable garden techniques.
  • A ‘Bats for Biodiversity’ community monitoring project run by the Centre aimed at encouraging landholders to engage in sustainable land management by fostering an interest in bats.

The MPNRC facilitates other community groups that are involved in the project by running workshops and training sessions for volunteers and interested community members, as well as distributing fact sheets and circulating displays.

Ms McGoldrick said a prime objective of the Centre is to provide a hub from which a wide range of natural resource services are available to the community, and through which regional natural resource managements, other government bodies and local community groups are able to maintain a constructive connection.

“We are pleased that our achievement of this objective has been recognised by the local community and SA Great.
It is a credit to the many volunteers involved in our work.

“We will display the SA Great Award with much pride and continue to diligently address the many natural resource and environmental management issues that face us,” Ms McGoldrick concluded.

The MPNRC is proudly supported by the Government of South Australia, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board, the South Australian Murray-Darling Natural Resources Management Board, and The Barossa Council.

Mt Pleasant Natural Resource Centre Coordinator, Faye McGoldrick, with the SA Great Award and Certificate in front of the sustainable native garden at the Centre.