Incredible Mt Burr Swamp News – thanks to the NCSSA we’ve reached the target!

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Several days ago I took a call from Michael Stead, President of the Nature Conservation Society of SA, who rang to inform me about the decision of their Committee about making a contribution towards the NGT fundraiser for the purchase of Mt Burr Swamp.

Perhaps not surprisingly, since we stopped actively campaigning after settlement and the celebration weekend in early October, the donations have pretty much dried up – leaving us with a small deficit being covered by a bank loan.

And so I was expecting Michael might say that the NCSSA had decided to chip in a modest amount to help bridge our gap – but no, he said that their Committee had generously offered to cover the entire fundraising shortfall of $16,500. It was about that point where I think I almost dropped the phone, but did recover in time to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of NGT!

There are a few reasons why this incredibly generous contribution means so much, that I really want to share with you:

  • This contribution means we made it! That is, $110,000 raised by the community in just under four months to secure the last piece of the funding puzzle for NGT to purchase the 300 hectare site for future restoration, without having to carry debt from the purchase. In my view, that is incredible!
  • Not only do I have a soft spot for the NCSSA (they gave me my first big break with a part-time job in the South East in the late 1990s working on near-coastal wetlands), but it also just so happens that a NCSSA report written by Warren Jones in 1978 is one of a number of crucial documents that identified the restoration potential of the site, and that I have referenced many times over the last 5 years in various reports and funding applications (see excerpts below).
About the Marshes - From Page 13 of Warren Jones (1978) NCSSA Report on Wetlands in the South East

About the Marshes Native Forest Reserve – From Page 13 of Warren Jones (1978) NCSSA Report on Wetlands in the South East

About Mt Burr Swamp and adjacent areas - From Page 14 of Warren Jones (1978) NCSSA Report on Wetlands in the South East

About Mt Burr Swamp and adjacent areas – From Page 14 of Warren Jones (1978) NCSSA Report on Wetlands in the South East

  • Finally, and most significantly, this NCSSA contribution is being madeĀ from the Madeleine Boyce Bequest and is being given in her memory. Madeleine was a gifted artist who worked at the South Australian Museum for 29 years (until the late 1970s) whose colour sense and brilliant designs made a remarkable impact on their exhibitions over that period.

The NCSSA contribution from the Madeleine Boyce Bequest will be recognised on the permanent signage to be erected at the shearing shed, overlooking the swamp, along with all other project supporters.

While the real work (of restoration) is still to begin and will be a big project over the years ahead, let’s take a moment to reflect on the fact that – almost 40 years after it was first proposed by the NCSSA – Mt Burr Swamp has finally been secured for restoration and thanks to their support we reached the fundraising target. I think Christmas has come early this year!

and the live tally is…

$116,633.00 / $110,000.00

Finally, if you’d like to help us overshoot the original target, so that we can set aside funds for future restoration costs, we’d still appreciate your donation!

Mark Bachmann
Mark Bachmann
mark.bachmann@natureglenelg.org.au