Giving Back – Cardinia Friends




Established in March 1998 by Judy and the late Ralph Smith the group has a long history with the Cardinia Creek section bordering Berwick and Beaconsifled. Today the committee members include by Jarod and Meaghan, and their former neighbours John and Di, the group has become a vital force in conservation efforts along the Cardinia Creek corridor.

FoCCS engages in a variety of activities that are crucial to maintaining and enhancing the local ecosystem. These include planting trees, removing invasive weeds, and restoring habitats for native animals, birds, insects, and aquatic life. Over the years, volunteers have planted thousands of trees and shrubs, significantly contributing to the area’s biodiversity.

Jarod highlights the critical role of volunteers: “The volunteering work that the friends group provides is an integral link in the Beaconsfield Flora and Fauna Reserve, which is located within the larger Cardinia Creek Regional Parkland area. This larger area encompasses more than 600 hectares of parkland from Beaconsfield to Clyde on both sides of Cardinia Creek. The parklands include and link much-loved existing parks, including Cardinia Creek Regional Park and Grasmere Wetlands, Akoonah Park, and many more.”

The theme for this year, “Something for Everyone,” resonates deeply with the group’s mission. It underscores the inclusive nature of volunteering, inviting people from all walks of life to contribute their unique skills and passions. By combining their knowledge and strengths, the members of FoCCS aim to reinvigorate the group and welcome a new generation of volunteers and members.

Community support has been instrumental to the success of FoCCS. The Cardinia Shire Council, City of Casey, the High Horse café, Parklea Developments and Berwick Grammar have all provided valuable assistance. This collaborative effort ensures the sustainability of the group’s initiatives and fosters a sense of shared responsibility for the environment.

One notable project has involved the removal of hundreds of plastic tree guards from the creek and surrounding areas. This effort has seen the participation of various community groups, highlighting the collective commitment to protecting and preserving the natural beauty of Cardinia Creek.

Additionally, the Cardinia Environment Coalition (CEC) plays a supportive role in these conservation efforts. The CEC, an umbrella organisation linking individuals with environmental interests in the Cardinia Shire, operates the CEC Indigenous Plant Nursery at Deep Creek Reserve. This nursery stocks a wide range of indigenous plants, providing essential resources for local restoration projects and reinforcing the importance of using native species to maintain ecological balance.

The FoCCS continues to seek new committee members and volunteers to join their cause. By engaging more people in their activities, they aim to further their impact and ensure the ongoing health of the Cardinia Creek ecosystem. The FoCCS is more than just a group of volunteers; it is a community united by a shared passion for nature and a commitment to making a difference.

For those interested in contributing to a meaningful cause and joining a dedicated group of environmental stewards, the Friends of Cardinia Creek Sanctuary offers an opportunity to make a lasting impact. Through their tireless efforts, they are not only restoring habitats but also nurturing a community spirit that values and protects the natural world.