Most days I take a quiet, reflective walk along the beautiful Corinella foreshore.

I observe the birds, such as the blue wren and new holland honey eater, as they flitter and forage in the bushes.

I breathe deeply to catch the scent of the season’s blossoms, such as wattles in the springtime. I stand amongst the sheoaks and hear the wind whisper its eerie magic, catch the taste of salt on my tongue, and feel the waving soft grasses slip through my fingers. I am aware of my feet connecting with the ground and know that I too, belong in this place.

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning has finally released its long-awaited draft landscape plan for the Corinella Foreshore Reserve.

We can join together in leading the charter of protecting and enhancing this area’s significant values, inclusive of its natural beauty, protected habitat areas, and Aboriginal cultural heritage. We have an opportunity to unite as a community, for a shared cause, which seeks to preserve our precious environment.

Take some time to walk along the foreshore. Notice the abundance of birds, the sounds of small animals foraging, butterflies flitting across the pathway, and the rich diverse flora which provides vital habitat for all of these precious creatures.

Ask yourself… what choices will I make so my children and my grandchildren can also engage their senses and feel the wonder of this environment? What choices will I make to ensure this environment thrives, and enriches future generations to come?

Will I choose to:
• Preserve our last remaining intact Indigenous grass plain because this unique and important wildlife habitat is rapidly diminishing?
• Ensure habitat diversity (inclusive of trees), which provides the best chance for our birds, animals and plants to survive and thrive, maybe even return?
• Accept that nature is not neat and uncluttered, and in its intact form provides critical habitat?
• Abandon my desire for a water view in favour of providing a home for wildlife?
• Keep existing trees growing on or near cliffs in order to prevent soil erosion and minimise the impact of buffeting winds?
• Seek to understand the value of citizen science, learnings gained from careful and considered observation, so that I may acquire new knowledge and learnings?
• Honour the wisdom and knowledge of others, including those of our First Nations people who have continued to care for this land for thousands of years?

It is our individual and collective responsibility to protect and care for what we have. This is where we belong.

To have your say, go to bit.ly/3Drn1Ez.

Alison Normanton, Corinella.