The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268
Email: rangenews@dnet.aunz.com

Mark Russell leaves
his legacy

by Simon Roper

The first person that many landholders on the Blackall Range ever met at Barung was Marc Russell as Barung’s Nursery Manager.  Marc was Nursery Manager from 1996 and the public face that visitors to Barung met when they came to find out about local plants.

Marc’s incredible love for the local flora and fauna, fostered by his passion of our native forests, inspired many of these Blackall Range landholders, not only to learn more about these plants, but to enrich their lives with their own revegetation and bush regeneration projects.

It is only now, nine years later, that we realise just how much his ability and willingness to share his knowledge and passion have influenced both our community and landscapes.   When Marc started with Barung as Nursery Manager in early 1996, his seed collecting background resulted in a huge increase in species diversity in the nursery.

After more than three dedicated years building the Nursery (and disappearing on the whiff of a breeze to windsail on coastal waters), Marc took up the challenge of revegetating the Range working through projects that included Corridors of Green (he persuaded more than 25 Bridge Creek landholders to rehabilitate their creeklines), a Threatened Species Network Project and Stage 2 of Barung’s Natural Heritage Trust Revegetation Project.

He has linked and protected remnants, created habitat for the rare and threatened such as the Giant Barred Frog and Coxens Fig Parrot, encouraged countless landholders to join the ranks of Blackall Range revegetators and bush regenerators, and assisted other groups to establish nurseries.

Marc’s inspiration gave birth to Barung’s community Bridge the Gap treeplants now an annual tradition.    The inaugural Bridge the Gap treeplant saw over 500 people planting 4,000 trees in a morning.

And now it’s time for Marc to move on.   We wish Marc and his family all the best in the world for their new life and know that Marc’s legacy will grow as our creek bank vegetation flourishes.

Barung staff and committee invite everyone who has been touched and inspired by Marc’s passion to thank him at a farewell party to be held in conjunction with Barung’s Christmas party from 2pm on Friday December 10 at the Resource Centre.   Please ring the office on 5494 3151 for details.    BYO drinks.

Marc sets out to ground-truth vegetation on the Obi Creek

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.