Garima Conservation Reserve - Currumbin Valley
Located in Currumbin Valley, this 27.5 hectare property is home to many native plants and animals and is essential habitat for Koalas and home to 13 threatened flora species.
The word Garima means ‘respect’ or ‘to take care of’ in Yugambeh language. The Yugambeh language people are the traditional custodians of the land located in south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales
Lush dense green subtropical rainforest and traditional Australian bushland combine to offer a palette of greens, amid earthy browns and crystal-clear creeks that cascade over rocks into deep pools throughout the site.
Meet the Team
Glenda McCully | Horticulture Manager Garima
Glenda McCully is a passionate Horticulturalist dedicated to restoring and regenerating the natural environment.
In the late 1990s she acquired a certificate IV in Horticulture and a Diploma in Horticulture before receiving a Bachelor of Ecology and Conservation Biology from Griffith University in 2014. In her early career she had a plant nursery and vineyard. However, she chose to shift away from amenity horticulture and as she did, she learnt about how exotic/ invasive plants species are a major cause of environmental degradation throughout Australia, affecting most ecosystems, vegetation types and threatening biodiversity.
Glenda became the Horticulture Manager at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in 2017. In this role she was involved in the landscape design and construction of the park grounds. She and the Horticulture Team ensure the grounds are presentable, safe and usable. For a small team, they have made a huge difference over the years, working on projects such as the Extinction Trail, Free Flight Bird Show, Yarning Circle, Melaleuca Green, and more!For the next 12-months Glenda will be using her green thumbs to get two plant nurseries successfully up and running, one at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and another at Garima Conservation Reserve.
Glenda is currently undertaking a 12-month secondment and is the full-time Horticulture Manager at Garima Conservation Reserve. This duty includes rehabilitating and restoring the 27.5 hectare site to a healthy native ecosystem. This massive task to transform Garima’s initial state of weeds and degradation involves planting many native plants which creates countless amazing benefits such as providing habitat for local fauna, increased biodiversity, flood control, climate regulation, soil formation, cleaning water and air, food medicine, pollination and the list goes on! The vital importance of Glenda’s contribution to regenerate the land is a critical component to healing our planet and mitigating climate change.
“At Garima Conservation Reserve we are a small bush regeneration team making a big difference”.
Tom Edwards | Bush Regeneration Officer
Tom Edwards is an experienced bush regenerator with a strong passion to rehabilitate Australia’s native rainforests.
As Bush Regeneration Officer at Garima Conservation Reserve, Tom is rejuvenating the lush subtropical forest in a variety of ways. His aim is to restore and maintain ecosystem health by helping the natural regeneration of native plants. This is done by removing invasive plant species, transplanting native species, reducing erosion and soil disturbance, stabilizing landslide areas and expanding the botanical knowledge of the 27.5-hectare property.
Since he was a young kid Tom has always loved plants, especially Australia’s very unique flora. This fascination fueled him to go into a career that helps save and build our native forests. Tom studied Forestry Science and Management at Southern Cross University in Lismore in 2012.
For the past 10 years, he has worked in nurseries and as a bush regenerator across South-Eastern Queensland and Northern New South Wales. Over this time, his passion for rehabilitating rainforests was solidified and he jumped at the opportunity to be part of the bush regeneration team at Garima Conservation Reserve. In the next 12 months he hopes to discovery two other threatened flora species at Garima.
Tom’s continued conservation efforts, including the planting of many trees and the reduction of invasive plant species are vital steps in secure Australia’s spectacular biodiversity. Rehabilitating forests around the world also offsets greenhouse-gas emissions - the more trees that are replanted, the more atmospheric carbon can be sequestered.