The Margaret River Wine Association organised their first Community Day for its members last Friday – and it was dubbed a “raging success”! In partnership with Nature Conservation Margaret River Region, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the Margaret River Coastal Residents Association, a group of over 60 volunteers assisted with revegetation work at the Margaret River rivermouth.

The day began with a welcome to country by Wadandi custodian, Zac Webb, followed a briefing by Nature Conservation General Manager, Drew McKenzie, Shire Coordinator Environment Landcare Services, John McKinney and Margaret River Coastal Residents Association Committee Member, Janet Dufall.

The volunteers then began focusing on the degraded areas at the rivermouth foreshore and around the car park, with weed removal, spreading brushing and planting to help control access, prevent trampling and vegetation loss, stabilise the dunes and improve biodiversity.

The ancillary purpose of the day was to create a community teambuilding activity for MRWA members and support the association’s sustainability goals. MRWA also hoped it would give members a taste of volunteering in fun and approachable environment with their peers.

MRWA CEO, Amanda Whiteland said, “Given it is our wine region’s namesake, and Margaret River (Wooditjup Bilya) has significant cultural, marine and biodiversity values, it made sense to do something at connected to the river. The rivermouth represents a recreational focal point of visitors and locals alike, and is a particularly special site, with a fragile landscape.

“Given it was our first time to run the event, we capped the numbers at 60 people and had a waitlist of MRWA members who wanted to join.

“Despite the terrible weather forecast, there was a great turnout on the day and the rain held off, then provided a nice watering for the newly planted coastal species of native plants, once were finished.”

Nature Conservation’s Drew McKenzie said “The day was a raging success with a significant amount of important work achieved. Hats off to the Wine Association, the vineyards, wineries and staff involved with this initiative – a great example of local organisations and individuals giving back and demonstrating respect for our coast and river.”

MRWA thanked the Shire and John McKinney, Nature Conservation team, Ann Ward, Drew McKenzie, Mandy Edwards, Nathan Hammer and Rick Ensley.

Nature Conservation is supported by Line in the Sand as their main funding partner for their Caring for Coast program, which provided staff time to make it happen.

The day was possible due to fundraising efforts by MRWA that have raised over $6,300 to-date, through Containers for Change, from MRWA Raffles, Voyager Estate Community program and Movies at Cape Mentelle. These funds were used to purchase cuttings, tubestock, brush and materials for the Community Day.

Morning tea and lunch were donated by IGA Margaret River.