The Friends of Marino Conservation Park
The Friends of Marino Conservation Park were formed in 1989, after the dedication of the Park which was proclaimed in November of that year. It has continued to operate since that time, with a small but dedicated membership.
The Friends assist the staff of Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR), to protect the Park’s remnant coastal heath vegetation, and to return the remainder of the Park to it’s presumed original condition, that of a grassy woodland, by controlling weeds and replanting appropriate species.
Membership is open to any interested person with a fee of $5.00 per annum. While numbers of financial members have been quite good, the bulk of the work continues to be undertaken by a much smaller group. This group of around 10 members, most of whom are retired from the workforce, have been working in the park for some 25 years now. We are therefore always keen to welcome new and hopefully younger members. Either contact the Regional Office of DEWNR or any of the members listed on the Contacts page, for information about becoming a member.
The Friends Group Committee hold formal meetings bimonthly, usually around 7.30pm on a Wednesday evening. Contact one of the members listed on the Contacts page to find out the date and venus for the next meeting.
The AGM is usually held in April/May at the Community Hall on Newland Avenue, Marino. Visitors are always welcome to attend and hear the guest speaker.
Members hold regular working bees to assist with the management of the Park. Regular activities include weed control, direct seeding, seed propogation, and planting and watering of tube stock.Past activities have included mapping and counting of individual threatened species, and identifying and photographing indigenous species. Weed control is especially important in areas affacted by fire late in 2011. In 2015, the Friends Group has commenced the construction of a Botanical Trail through the park. This should take about a year to complete and will enable visitors to have an easy but interesting walk through the park, finishing at the Lighthouse on the top of the hill.
The Friends have carried out a great deal of work in the park and these efforts have been recognized. The Friends have twice won the Landcare Award which is an annual award to Friends of Parks Groups.
The first award recognized our efforts in clearing olives, boxthorne and other woody weeds from the deep western gully.
The second award recognized our work in clearing woody weeds from the Railway corridor along the western boundary of the park.
At the end of 2003, Don Mattsson, one of our original members, was forced to retire due to ill health. The Friends invited Don to plant a tree to commemorate his work in the Park. Most of the current members were present to mark the occasion including our youngest member, Angus Higgins, who helped fill in the hole.
Since then, we have seen two more long-term members retire, Jack Fraser and his sister Norma Skinner. During 2011, we celebrated Jach’s 90th birthday.
Sadly, in 2013 we lost Jack but in June 2013, led by his sister, Norma, we planted a tree in his memory.