Friends of Meelup forms

Sophie ElliottBusselton Dunsborough Times

A new group has launched with the goal to keep one of the region’s most beautiful and diverse assets alive and well.

Friends of Meelup Regional Park Inc. has been created to complement the work of the Meelup Regional Park Management Committee.

The group’s mission is to facilitate the conservation and promotion of the park and encourage community participation and education.

The group is being led by chairperson Kerry Grist and committee member Cate Edwards.

The pair have a long-term connection to the park through Ms Edwards’ mother, Claire Guinness.

During her life, Ms Guinness was a staunch advocate for the park, spreading the word about the need to preserve the coastal landscape through her magazine, MagaNews.

Ms Guinness went on to become the first chairperson of the Meelup Regional Park Management Committee.

Ms Grist took over MagaNews when Ms Guinness fell ill, and during her time caring for her mother, Ms Edwards fell in love with the region.

Ms Grist said they both wanted to see Meelup preserved and enjoyed by generations for years to come.

They plan to lift the park’s profile, increase community engagement and raise funds to enhance visitors’ experience and to help with research.

“The idea for us is building relationships with the community and making sure the park is loved, cared for and used by people who nurture the environment,” she said.

Ms Grist encouraged residents to take ownership of the reserve and learn just how special it was.

“By being a Friend of Meelup, you don’t have to volunteer, there is no pruning or cutting,” she said.

“It is just putting your hand up to say ‘we feel this park is of value and think it should be kept so it is environmentally healthy’,” she said.

A Celebrating Meelup Regional Park event is on at Eagle Bay Community Hall from 2pm on Sunday, with food and drinks provided by Friends of Meelup.

For details, email friendsof meelup@gmail.com or visit meeluppark.com/friends-of-meelup-inc.

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