Kilaben Bay Landcare was formed in 2003.


The group started work at Kilaben Park and then expanded their activities to include sitework around Kilaben Creek after acquiring a Federal Government Envirofund Grant in 2004, and another in 2006. They have also been successful in securing grants from the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (HCRCMA), Hunter Water (HW), and assistance from Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC), Department of Lands, and local businesses.
Utilising this grant the group, in just 18 months, built and installed a boardwalk to reduce visitor impacts, removed weeds, and planted 2,000 native plants andtrees over a one-kilometre stretch of the Kilaben Creek bank.
Jeff Hunter, State Member for Lake Macquarie in 2006 commented, “The evidence of the dedication and hard work by Landcare members can be seen along the banks of a one kilometre stretch of Kilaben Creek. They have built a beautiful elevated boardwalk that is strategically placed over gullies and uneven ground and winds along the creek, protecting the valuable vegetation underneath.”
Graham Whitelaw explained in the Lake Macquarie Landcare newsletter “We have had to be resourceful and organise working bees to coincide with national awareness themes such as Water Week, Wetlands Day and Clean-Up Australia Day to get this vital work done. We got a helping hand from the community through Landcare Resource Office volunteers, Earthcare Earthshare, Landcare in schools and other local groups”.
“With a rejuvenated Kilaben Bay in the group's backyard, eco-tours and study groups/workshops are being conducted on the site, targeting the nearby St Joseph's School and community groups. Local school students have already joined the work party, helping out with greenhouse propagation and tree-planting days. Information signs have been erected to promote the values of community stewardship of our environment. The signage will raise community awareness of the impact of urban development of Kilaben Bay.”
Kilaben Bay Landcare Group also worked with Lake Macquarie City Council and the Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority to complete an erosion control detention basin to filter sediment and reduce the velocity of water flow into Kilaben Creek.
Two biodiversity studies completed by Umwelt Environmental Consultants identified rare and endangered flora and fauna on the Kilaben Bay Landcare site, as well as five separate vegetation communities and over 100 birds. The Kilaben Bay Landcare site covers approximately 60 acres of land owned by Lake Macquarie City Council or Crown Lands.
Funds from the CMA and Hunter Water enabled the Kilaben Bay Landcare Group to commence a new project in 2009 that attempted to isolate an adjacent weed infestedgarbage dump from the natural bushland in the Kilaben Bay Landcare site.
They commenced by clearing an access track along the edge of the garbage dump to contain weeds within the dump and undertook weed eradication on the natural bushland. The Landcare Group’s strategy was to allow the existing lantana to shade out other weeds up to the edge of the track, and to retain the Lantana while it provided shelter for a few shy Kangaroos, Swamp Wallabies and Possums.
The group then worked with the Lake Macquarie Landcare Bush Regeneration Team to weed along the edge. While weeding along the edge of the dump, Barry Smithson, from our group, discovered another form of Tetratheca, on the site - Tetratheca thymifolia, similar to Tetratheca juncea but with a completely different leaf form.
The Kilaben Bay Landcare Group was started by Graham Whitelaw in 2003 to restore remnant bushland in Kilaben Bay. Graham worked tirelessly to obtain grant funds and support to enable the Landcare work on the Kilaben Bay site. Graham also contributed to both the Lake Macquarie Landcare Network where he was Treasurer for several years and the Hunter Region Landcare Network where he held a long term committee position. Graham passed away in 2010 after a long battle with ill health.
John Fitz-Gerald, another tireless worker for Landcare also passed away in January 2010. John focused on the educational aspects and served as Secretary and Deputy Chairperson for the Network Committee. Both Graham and John are sadly missed by their fellow landcarers.
This tradition of landcare commitment to the site is carried on by Ken Macpherson, who now leads the group, and designs and implements the onground strategies.
Part of the timber boardwalk on the Kilaben Bay Walkway, constructed by Kilaben Bay Landcare.



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