Community group restarts its dunecare program

Umina Community Group has restarted its dunecare program, with the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.

It has also doubled its number of dunecare teams.

“From July 1, the program will be re launched and expanded while operating under strict Covid-19 guidelines,” said group vice-president Mr Rod Unsworth.

The group would now run four Wednesday dunecare teams each month, where previously it had run two, he said.

Now two teams will be run at South St. One will be held at Berith St, and the other will be held at Ocean Beach Rd, adjacent to the Ocean Beach Surf Life Saving Club.

The Ocean Beach Rd team will meet on the first Wednesday of the month, led by Ms Jan Deighton.

The Berith St team will meet on the second Wednesday of the month, led by Mr Mark Nitsos.

On the third Wednesday of the month, a team led by Ms Alison Winch will meet at South St.

On the fourth Wednesday of the month, a team led by Ms Debbie Sunartha will also meet at South St.

“Our leadership group for this expanded initiative, of Jan, Mark, Alison and Debbie, provide a wealth of experience,” Mr Unsworth said.

He said the group was calling for volunteers to help with the work of restoring the health of the dunes at Umina Beach.

Mr Nitsos is the other vice-president of the Community Group.

He said: “Our work sessions provide an interesting outdoor activity in a great environment with the opportunity to meet with enthusiastic community minded locals while providing the satisfaction of contributing to a better local environment.

“Over the past five years, a string of enduring friendships have been built while valuable work has been done on the dunes.”

He said the work was conducted under the supervision of Central Coast Council’s Landcare program.

“Council will provide protective gloves, tools and ongoing training while each session will be supervised by a qualified environmental specialist.”

Mr Nitsos said the program started in 2014 and had “clocked-up” more than 1000 volunteer hours.

He said it “has had a significant impact on the health of the dunes through removal of weeds and revegetation with local plants species”.

The dunecare teams will meet from 9am to 11am in the winter months from April to October and from 8am to 10am in summer.

Media Release, 1 July 2020
Rod Unsworth, Umina Community Group