Volunteer partnership brings more money and fewer weeds
A new volunteer program with a major neighbour of Cumberland State Forest at West Pennant Hills, IBM Australia, is helping make a significant difference to bush regeneration.
"Forests NSW has long had a team of dedicated volunteers undertaking bush regeneration to improve the forest environment," said Forests NSW manager of public programs and community interaction Joanna Bodley.
"Now we have begun a volunteer program with IBM and as part of its corporate commitment to volunteering, teams of IBM staff dedicate a day every three months to bush regeneration in the forest.
"This concentrated effort is complimenting our ongoing volunteer program and really helping to make a difference."
Miranda Scarff, manager, corporate citizenship and affairs, IBM Australia said the company is dedicated to corporate citizenship.
"IBM works in partnership with worthy causes in coordinating the donation of funds, technology, and employee time to support our global programs and help our community partners," Ms Scarff said.
"We are pleased to be providing support to this local initiative as it complements our activities to develop initiatives addressing specific societal issues including the environment.
"IBM provides grants of IBM software, services and consulting to local non-profit organisations and worthy causes to improve their effectiveness and as part of this program Forests NSW recently received grants from IBM to help fund the bush regeneration program and improve forest facilities."
Being an urban forest of 40 hectares surrounded largely by houses brings some challenges in managing a healthy forest.
Ms Bodley said weeds can be a big issue in urban forests and forest neighbours can help stop the spread by being wary of what they plant in their gardens.
"A team of rangers at Cumberland State Forest work to monitor forest health which involves managing trees and curtailing weeds," Ms Bodley said.
"A regular group of volunteers meet two mornings each week to help combat the weed problem and restore native vegetation, which has led to some big improvements in recent years."
Media contact: Howard Spencer 02 66568825 or 0428 696672