Signs set to showcase volunteers’ great work

Jan Juc Coast Action (JJCA) has completed its latest project after being a recipient of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s (GORCC) Coastal Grants Program.

The group began the project in June 2019, erecting interpretative signage along the Jan Juc clifftops, providing visitors to the Surf Coast Walk with a before and after view of the area.

It’s not hard to see the huge amount of work the volunteer group has put into the Jan Juc clifftops area, but it will be even easier to see now with new signage in place.

The project aims to highlight to visitors the amount of hard work that has gone into making the area what it is today, showcasing the environmental successes the group has delivered.

Jan Juc Coast Action volunteer Luke Hynes and Great Ocean Road Coast Committee CEO Vanessa Schernickau alongside one of the newly installed signs.

The signs can be found alongside the Surf Coast Walk near Bird Rock Car Park, Jan Juc Beach Car Park and Steps Lookout in Jan Juc – locations that show the direct impact the volunteer group’s efforts have had on creating substantial positive environmental change on the clifftops.

Dedicated JJCA member Luke Hynes, who has been involved with the volunteer group for more than a decade, was thrilled to see the project completed and said it was a tribute to the many hours and great work the group has put in.

The transformation at Steps Lookout from 1995 to now.

Luke also thanked GORCC for their generous assistance, providing a $3,840 grant to get the project off the ground.

“There have been thousands of hours of volunteer work put in to enhance these areas. Hopefully, these pictures tell a bit of a story about how important it is to treat it well,” Luke said.

Not only will these signs provide great insight into the preservation of the Jan Juc clifftops, but they also help educate visitors.

It’s a new-look car park compared to 1980 at Jan Juc Car Park.

The signs read: ‘Our community chose to restore this coastal ecosystem. Help us look after and respect our fragile, diverse and unique habitat.’

The message is clear; the choice is ours to help our precious coastal ecosystems thrive.

The signs also provide visitors with information about JJCA and how they can get involved.

The popular walking track sees plenty of people, both local and tourists, enjoy the area and these signs will help to reduce the negative impact of people entering the protected areas on the clifftops as well as encourage environmental protection.

A perfect track to take a walk on, a far cry from the informal track pictured left 30 years ago.

The coastal vegetation along the clifftops has been restored over many years after human pressures degraded the landscape. With increased awareness, visitors will hopefully gain a better understanding and greater respect and awareness of the role we can all play in protecting the environment.

Jan Juc Coast Action holds a monthly working bee on the first Sunday of the month. Anyone interested in getting involved with the volunteer group can contact Luke Hynes on 0406 113 438 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/JanJucCoastAction for details.

Each year, GORCC dedicates funds for community-led projects that enhance the natural values of the 37 kilometres of coastal Crown land under its management between Point Impossible and Cumberland River. The grants aim to encourage proactive environmental and heritage protection along the coast. The next round of Coastal Grants opens mid-March 2020.

Swimming group preserving beloved Cosy Corner

It began with a few keen swimmers making their way down for a morning dip at Torquay’s popular beach Cosy Corner. Some 20 years later, it has developed into a dedicated volunteer group known as Friends of Cosy Corner (FoCC).

Back (L-R): Max, Rob and Mal. Front: John, Kim, Terri, Cassie and Liz.
Some members of FoCC absent, the group has 15-20 members.

Those few swimmers quickly turned into five and then 10, but it was only a couple of years ago that the casual swimming group took on the responsibility of helping preserve their beloved Cosy Corner.

Everyday swimmers from FoCC meet at their usual spot at the picnic benches near the bottom car park for a swim and a cup of tea or coffee afterwards. On this particular occasion, members of the group commented on a low-reaching tree branch that hung over their bench. They reached out to see what could be done and were pointed in the direction of the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC). This initial contact would go on to create a strong relationship that now sees FoCC keep a first-hand eye on the area.

GORCC conservation team members and members of FoCC at a recent planting day.

FoCC have partnered with GORCC conservation staff in a number of planting days and general upkeep of Cosy Corner and continue to discuss new projects and initiatives to best maintain one of Torquay’s favourite spots for beachgoers. The volunteer group have even been approached by Parks Victoria to help with marine studies.

One of the most recognisable features of Cosy Corner is the arrangement of Moonah trees. FoCC said preserving these was one of their biggest priorities and asked all beachgoers to be mindful of treating them with care and not climbing on the trees, given this causes damage and could lead to the tree dying.

The Moonah trees that add plenty of character to the picnic area.

“It’s just the evolution with more and more people coming down,” one member of FoCC said.

After chatting to a number of the FoCC members, it is clear how passionate the group is about the safekeeping of Cosy Corner, and they’re proud to be making a difference.

“It’s been a really lovely thing (being part of Friends of Cosy Corner) … the swimming’s fantastic, but it’s another focus for the group,” another member commented.

“We use this place almost every day and we’re actually looking after it, it’s a great feeling.”

For anyone interested in getting involved with FoCC, they can contact Cassie Curnow on 0438 089 061.

About us
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is a State Government body responsible for protecting, enhancing, and developing coastal Crown land from Point Impossible to Cumberland River. All funds raised through the organisation’s commercial endeavours are reinvested back into the coast. www.gorcc.com.au

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