So what does it mean to be Field Crew at Natural Area? We asked James Piper from the Whiteman Team to tell us exactly what it’s like to work in the field and be a part of the Natural Area crew.
Crew member: James Piper
Task: Summer Watering
It’s Monday morning, I’ve just had a week off work to go fishing and despite pining to get back out in the field for 9 days it really is a struggle to get out of bed at 6 am! The mornings are getting much lighter and although I know I’m going to be early, the advancing sunrise gives me an urgent unease as I throw my lunch, sun screen and a few frozen water bottles into an esky and fly out the door. It feels like I’ve been gone for a month and I have no idea what is on the scheduling board for me to do today. As I walk through the office door I close my eyes, hold my breath and hope for a day of watering. I quite audibly proclaim “YESSSSSSS!” My eyes light up as I see my name next to………watering! I get to work at my own pace, don’t have to be responsible for anyone else and best of all, I get to see the progress of our winter reveg works.
It’s the follow up on all the previous hard work that really makes, what may seem on face value, a basic task rewarding. Sure – the weed spraying, erosion control and planting are great fun, but seeing the results is the real reward. Going back to a site a month after weed treatment and seeing that (hopefully) nothing has been missed, or seeing just how many of our own nursery’s native seedlings have survived the frost and winter rain really makes the hard work hugely rewarding. And I tell you there’s no more thorough way to see such efforts played out than watering one of our fantastic revegetation sites.
So naturally I was keen to jump in the big ol’ truck full of water, get out to Lake Badgerup and see how the 2016 winter effort looked. I won’t bore you with a blow by blow but essentially I water our most recently planted seedlings and when the water runs out take a short trip to DPaW to refill and get back on with the job.
Like I said, on face value it may sound like a basic task, but it’s the ideal way to take a close look at plant survival rate and weed reduction success all the while giving our amazing little greenery a helping hand to survive what can be a brutal and long summer period. And after all, if they survive the first one they will most likely survive the second and third.
So who is James?
James is a Supervisor working from the Whiteman depot, he has been with Natural Area since June 2015.