We are all very sad to hear of the passing of Michael Bolding, who has done so much for our landscape. Michael was instrumental in the development of the Archies Creek Reafforestation Group (ACRG) in the late 1980's and early 1990’s. He and his family transformed their bare property into a natural bushland setting over numerous years. By undertaking these works around his home property, Michael set a great example to others in the Archies Creek valley as to the best ways of improving their surrounding environment. The initial activities of this group were prior to the development of a co-ordinated Landcare program in the Bass Coast region, so Michael could be considered to be an environmental thinker ahead of his time. As Landcare works grew in the region, the ACRG were then able to consolidate their activities with the help of the Powlett Project Landcare program.
In combination with a number of other community members, Michael helped drive the development of the Archies Creek wildlife corridor. The concept was simple – fence out and revegetate the length of Archies Creek. The practicalities were a bit more challenging; the engagement of all landholders along the length of the Archies Creek to fence out and plant their part of the creek. To engage the community, the ACRG helped co-ordinate many community planting activities on numerous properties along the Archies Creek. As a result of a consolidated corridor of vegetation along the creek, the environmental benefits have been immense, including habitat creation, water quality improvement, enhancement of visual amenity in the Archies Creek valley and a sense of pride within the local community as to what they had achieved collectively.
Michael continued in his quest to contribute to the environmental enhancement of the broader community by setting up an indigenous plant nursery sometime around 2005. His immense understanding of the local indigenous vegetation and how the plants grew, meant he was in a good position to develop a nursery which would eventually provide tens of thousands of plants each year for revegetation works.
Apart from providing plants, Michael would always go out of his way to ensure that his clients understood what they were planting and where best these plants would thrive.
Even while Michael was dealing with health issues in recent years, he set up a small nursery in Daly Street, Dalyston, where he and his family sell native and locally indigenous plants to the public along with imparting his extensive knowledge of the benefits of these plants in the landscape. Michael will be greatly missed in our community. All of us from the Landcare community send our condolences to the Bolding family in their time of grieving.
Article by Geoff Trease
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