A workshop that used creative methods to help residents express their connection with Glenbrook Lagoon was held at Blaxland East Public School hall on 2 June 2012.
The Institute’s Jade Herriman, who has a background in environmental education and community arts as well as sustainability research, worked with Dr Annie Bolitho, a facilitator who uses creative media to exploring public values around water issues to deliver the workshop supported by Blue Mountains City Council. Annie is a Chancellors Award winner for her 2005 thesis at UTS. Jade has a particular interest in community sustainability education that uses creative methods, including arts process and story. She has facilitated environmental arts projects in schools, with young people and adults, as part of threatened species programs, wetland restoration, and sustainability visioning activities.
The workshop was small, but full of energy and resulted in a range of varied outputs from participants that expressed their stories about the history and use of the lagoon.
“We used to visit some friends nearby
Walk round the lagoon with the baby in the pusher.
We come down to see the ducks mainly,
But last time we saw a tadpole, a fish, an eel and a small turtle
The eel came up for some bread floating in the water.”
“Once big pipes took water down to the station from the lagoon
It fed the steam trains
Now it feeds helicopters when there’s a bushfire.
Thirty years ago my cousins had canoes and they always brought them down -
You can’t do that any more
The kids told off the scientist when she put out in a canoe to take samples!”
Glenbrook Lagoon is nestled in amongst suburban houses, in the lower Blue Mountains. It is a rare upland wetland, and is one of only three of its kind in the entire Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment. Over many decades urbanization has severely degraded water quality and ecosystem functioning at the lagoon – the most visible consequence being infestation by noxious aquatic weeds Salvinia molesta and Cabombacaroliniana.
Blue Mountains City Council is working to restore the ecological values of Glenbrook Lagoon through a variety of on-ground works, weed removal and community education.
The Institute is interested in hearing from other councils who may be interested inusing similar community arts based projects to engage community on sustainability issues.
To discuss possibilities contact email@example.com
For more about the project: