2023 has been a memorable year for members of the Bordertown Field Naturalists Society Inc. On Sunday 23 April, sixty two people helped celebrate their 50th birthday at the Hardings Springs Conservation Reserve located on the Ngarkat Highway, 24 kilometres north of the Dukes Highway.

The Reserve is owned by the Department for Environment and Water and has been managed and maintained by the Bordertown Field Naturalists Group since March 1997 when they joined the Friends Of Parks South Australia as Friends of Hardings Springs.

The group maintain a walking track and have built a bird hide, seats and table. They have also grown many trees and bushes from locally collected seeds, and planted them on the reserve, conducted bird surveys and managed pest species.

Walter and Cynthia Michelsen, who joined in 1981, are the groups longest serving members. Walter was awarded Life Time membership of the club at the birthday celebration in appreciation of his 42 years of dedication to this group (photo 1).

Fast forward to Sunday 10 December when 26 members and friends attended the end of year function and AGM at the Wolseley Hotel. Those reading this would know that the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Friends of Parks SA recognise the commitment of people from members groups. 

Members were surprised and delighted when they were presented with Certificates of Appreciation and commemorative pins for voluntary service and commitment to environmental stewardship.

Walter and Cynthia Michelsen (photo 2), Jenny and Alan Killicoat, Claire Martin, Gwen Colwill and the Bordertown Field Naturalist Club received recognition for twenty five years service.

Dorothy and Dennis Sigston (photo 3), Ian (Jack) Tink, Robyn Norton ( photo 4), Geoffrey Butler (photo 5), Rosie Salisbury (photo 6), and Raelene and Bob Meakins (photo 7) were presented with pins and certificates for ten years of service.

Nine of the groups members were also presented with Gold Passes to SA National Parks because they have actively contributed 15 years to a Friends of Parks Member Group.  Congratulations again to Walter and Cynthia, Alan and Jenny (photo 8), Gwen and Jack (photo 9), Claire, Dorothy and Dennis.

The group believe that due to the success of their 50th Anniversary Celebrations, there has been a renewed interest in the Club with membership increasing significantly.  New members are bringing valuable interest and skill sets including birds, land care, fungi, orchids, entomology, spiders, pest & weed control, local history, and administration and financial skills.  This will guarantee that the Club will continue to provide an ongoing and valuable resource for the Tatiara community.

A final note, the success of many groups is aided by the wonderful Friends of Parks Secretary, Pam Smith. Thank you for everything you do Pam!