larapuna dune mushroom – K Letsch

larapuna Community Weekend Zoom

Each winter a large gathering of hardy souls normally heads to the coast for the larapuna Community Weekend. The team includes members of Wildcare Friends of larapuna Coast working in partnership with many other organisations and community members. Over three days, the team covers about 40 km of coastline, removing sea spurge and marine debris while sharing the new wonders the larapuna/Bay of Fires landscape seems to offer every year.

Unfortunately, this year, Covid-19 intervened and found us all at home pining for the sea and the sand and the usual conviviality of our annual gathering. Although we couldn’t meet in person, a short Zoom catch up in early September gave us the opportunity to see some familiar faces, enjoy photos from past events, learn about coastal projects that are underway, and share ideas for the future.

The presenters were –

  • Monique Case (NRM North) who spoke about the ‘Defending the Hood’ project to improve conservation outcomes for Hooded Plovers on the east coast
  • Jason Orr (Lulworth Community Association and George Town Coastal Community Management Group) who shared ideas from local weed management efforts including sea spurge removal.
  • Polly Buchhorn (Wildcare Friends of larapuna Coast) who reminded us all about the fun and purposeful times we’ve had during previous larapuna Community Weekends with a great collection of images.  View Polly’s presentation here.
  • Polly then chaired a discussion about ‘where to from here’.
  • Tracey-Ann Hooley (PWS Acting Community Engagement and Partnerships Officer) facilitated the session.

The Zoom was hosted through Wildcare Tasmania in partnership with PWS and NRM North. Kim Willing provided technical support (and lots of encouragement!) as we transitioned from our usual beach habitat to the world of Zoom – thanks Kim😊

Excitingly, early on in the Zoom, we thought we were being Zoom bombed, and there was considerable speculation about which famous celebrity it might be! Of course it turned out it was someone we were definitely expecting, just with an internet name that we weren’t – maybe next time!

Hard at work  Many hands

For those who might be planning on running Zooms in lieu of, or in addition to, regular catch ups, we definitely recommend making use of the chat function. We found this was a particularly useful way for participants to respond to the presentations and pose questions throughout the gathering. We captured the complete chat dialogue afterwards and now have a kind of ‘to do’ list of ideas and questions that we’re following up on.

We’re all looking forward to gathering again in person for the larapuna Community Weekend experience as soon as we can. In the meantime using Zoom has been a simple and beneficial way of helping to keep the Friends of larapuna Coast team together, and got us thinking that sea spurge and marine debris are still out there to be tackled in smaller ways.