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Ramon's Garden - Transcript

Ramon: I built the house since 1972 and I’ve lived here continuously since then.

Irene: My relationship with Ray stretches back for probably close to 20 years, we’ve worked together at the Knox Environment Society Indigenous Plant Nursery as volunteers.

Ramon: I soon learnt the difference between Australian native vegetation and indigenous vegetation, and now I plant only indigenous vegetation.

John: He’s very energetic, he knows what he wants.

Ramon: I didn’t set out to become an environmental volunteer, it was a gradual process. Living on a bush block, of course, gave me the right atmosphere to think about safe guarding the bush.

Ian: The things he was involved in; getting Council to identify the value of Old Joes Creek, that lead to some study being done that identified the value of the private properties and I guess a real question of how can we get residents to appreciate the value and educate them and get a real passion about looking after that vegetation. That lead to the Gardens for Wildlife program and Ray has been a consistent person who has been involved in all of those it’s a real theme that he’s followed on that journey for 20 years.

John: Ray’s always there, always on the go. He’d put a lot of younger people to shame.

Ramon: I’m 85, and I still clamber up Chandlers Hill.

Ian: Ray’s contribution to this area, the Old Joes Creek area has just been outstanding, getting the Friends Group going, but also him personally. Removing literally thousands of weeds, planting trees, working with residents to raise their level of awareness in terms of remnant vegetation.

John: I guess it’s just showing what one person can do on a local level. When you look at Ray’s block; his backyard, it’s almost pristine.

Ramon: Well having spent 43 years maintaining it, I’ve taken steps to ensure that the remnant bush on the block remains remnant bush.

Irene: For somebody to spend virtually their life work preserving this; the integrity of the bushland, and working in old Joes Creek and up at Chandler Hill, doing exactly the same thing, going back week after week, and returning to the same spot. That legacy will be felt for a long long time.

Ramon: When I die, the classification of the block, will be changed from residential to environment. And the block, in essence will be added to the Old Joes Creek Reserve.

Ian: He’s very well aware of the environmental values and habitat values that this block provides.

Ramon: It's important because there’s so little left in Knox, only about 4% is remnant bush and I'd say that patterns repeated throughout Victoria.

John: He’s really fulfilling a part and really adding to the environment in this area particularly.

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