Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

We Love Lithgow! – Banner Day in the Gardens of Stone

On Sunday November 26, 150 people gathered near Dobbs Drift just outside Lithgow to celebrate the Gardens of Stone region.

A Spring Day in the Gardens helped organise and rejuvenate environmental campaigns for reserving the Gardens of Stone, saving Sydney's Mountain Rivers from flood inundation, protecting another threatened areas in the Mountains - Radiata Plateau and repowering Lithgow with green energy.

Images, video and poetry      Dave Noble's photo album      Media Release - Hello Lithgow!

The welcoming address by Waradjuri Elder Aunt Helen Riley gave the right note for this event that sought “Respect for Country and People”. These words were on one of the 30x3 metre banners in Waradjuri and English, the other appealed - "Protect Gardens of Stone". Stirring songs by Peter Drinkall and inspirational pagoda poetry by Wyn Jones helped put us in the right frame of mind.

All participants received a “We Love Lithgow, Protect Gardens of Stone” bumper sticker and our program guide that offered Wild Cafés on one side and a map of mysterious “Sphinx Spur” on the other.

Those who had never seen the internationally significant pagodas before included three Srilankan women who were on the 8.15am train with Janine Kitson whose boundless enthusiasm roped them in to this event. Janine also brought along John Koch, a retired member of the CFMEU, who pledged to raise protection of the Gardens of Stone region with other retirees.

Informative lunchtime workshops where held under shady tarps. There was something for everyone and all with views of internationally significant pagoda scenery - Wild Cafés indeed. Participants outlined hopes and plans to save the Gardens of Stone, the Kowmung River and Radiata Plateau, and to develop community-based renewable energy in Lithgow. These Wild Cafés uplifted spirits and inspired deeper involvement in these issues. Each workshop was professionally facilitated by Dr Eugene Fernandez and colleagues.

Tim Harris, Dave Noble, Ian Brown and Henry Gold expertly captured by drone and camera our professionally produced banners. Through these efforts the message went out that Lithgow needs to reserve 39,000 hectares of internationally significant bushland if it is to grow its tourism industry. This message is captured by the following bumper sticker:

Sunday, December 10th Swamp Day at the Gang Gang Swamps was a great success.

The Gardens of Stone Alliance observed the damage to nationally threatened swamps that should be protected as part of our National Heritage.

The Gardens of Stone Alliance, formed by Blue Mountains Conservation Society, Colong Foundation for Wilderness and Lithgow Environment Group, spearhead the campaign to Protect the Gardens of Stone.