The only regret Lois Simpson has about joining Landcare is she wished she joined earlier.
The Lake Macquarie 70-year-old was one of a number of volunteers celebrated throughout the region last week during National Volunteer Week.
At a special event hosted by Lake Macquarie City Council to thank Landcare groups in their area, Ms Simpson spoke passionately about the benefits she had experienced.
“I moved up from Sydney 40 years ago and was delighted with the bushland,” the Toronto resident said.
“I’ve become more passionate about it the more I have got to know it; it is part of our natural heritage and worth valuing.
“It’s great to be out there in the bushland and enjoying the peace and nature surrounding you.
“There’s a great sense of satisfaction from knowing that even though it may be a humble legacy, you’re building a legacy to leave long after you’ve gone.”
Ms Simpson volunteers her time with Landcare groups in Toronto and Coal Point.
There’s a great sense of satisfaction from knowing that even though it may be a humble legacy, you’re building a legacy to leave long after you’ve gone.Lois Simpson
“It started from humble beginnings, walking through the little local reserve with my kids to take them to the bus and pulling out the odd weed long before Landcare even begun,” she said.
“Once Landcare was up and running there was an opportunity to become involved in a much more formal way and to also gain an awful lot of valuable knowledge on the way.
“And at Lake Macquarie we get such excellent support from the council.”
She has met many “like-minded people”, who she joked are “very down to earth”, and said volunteering meant being invested in the community.
“It’s the little bit about thinking globally and acting locally, which is an old phrase but is so true,” Ms Simpson said.
“Looking after the bushland means a healthier environment as far as air quality, water quality around the creeks and of course that leads to healthier quality of Lake Macquarie itself, so there are so many pluses.”
“And you do not have to wait to be old to do Landcare. Don’t wait .. before you begin to enjoy the satisfaction of volunteering.”