Cumberland Reach resident and inspiring young volunteer Richie Benson has been announced the winner of the 2019 NSW Young Landcare Leader Award by Greater Sydney Local Land Services. Richie recently won the regional Landcare Award and he is now in the running for the 2020 National Landcare Award. All winners from the 2019 State and Territory Landcare Awards go forward to the 2020 National Landcare Awards.
Hawkesbury City Council also named Richie Benson as the Environmental Volunteer of the Year at the 2017 Bushcare Landcare Awards. This Award was for his commitment to the restoration of natural areas along the Hawkesbury River through bushland regeneration and revegetation and for his involvement with the Hawkesbury Environment Network.
Richie is a volunteer who shows great commitment and dedication to the Hawkesbury environment.
His involvement includes:
- Revegetation projects along the riverside at Cumberland Reach
- Hawkesbury High ALIVE program involvement
- Formation of Cumberland Reach Landcare
- Hawkesbury Environment Network Committee, past member
- Hawkesbury Environment Network, current member
- Hawkesbury Landcare Network Committee current member
- Raising awareness of sites in need of urgent attention
- Founded Koala fest event in the Hawkesbury to raise awareness about koalas and their environment.
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert praised Richie for his awards and for the success as a volunteer and excellent citizen of the Hawkesbury.
“Congratulations to Richie. I’m sure he is still beaming from all of this excitement and well deserved attention – and then he’ll just go back to his great work like everyone else,” Mayor Calvert said.
“Over the past 30 years, Landcare has evolved into a powerful movement of volunteers who donate their time, skill, and expertise for the benefit of the environment, and the communities that seek to protect it.”
At the 2019 Hawkesbury Show, Richie joined Bushcare volunteers and Council staff at the Hawkesbury Council display tent to help give away around 1000 native plants to members of the public, along with plant care advice.
“It’s uplifting for us all to recognise the outstanding achievements of such a Hawkesbury volunteer who does so much for the Hawkesbury,” the Mayor added.
“As well as volunteering for Landcare, Richie works closely with Council’s Bushcare staff and volunteers as well as the Hawkesbury Community Nursery volunteers who grow thousands of native plants every year,” he said.
“At only 21 years old, Richie has contributed thousands of hours of voluntary work in the Hawkesbury to protect and enhance our natural environment.”