As the world around me continues to fall victim to the ever-looming threat of urbanization, the place I call home has endured and grown with me over the past eighteen years. From my home which has stood for nearly two decades, to the many friendships I have created with the people who live here, there are many reasons why the land around me feels almost sacred.
However, there is one aspect of the surrounding land that has always evoked a greater connection—the local reserve. Situated on the Port Hacking River, Lilli Pilli Point Reserve, and the bushland that encompasses it, is the birthplace of many fond memories as I have grown over the years. Memories that range from swimming in the river under the hot sun, to taking our dog for swims off “the slab,” or admiring the beautiful nature on an afternoon walk, it has always been there for me as an escape from the complexities of everyday life.
The threat of losing connection with this place has increased tenfold over the years. Prevalent issues ranging from climate change, urbanization, and even Mum’s constant talks of moving have forced me to question and fear whether or not my connection with this place will exist in the next few years.
The reserve which occupies the point of Lilli Pilli is made up of swimming baths, a walking track, many houses that overlook the river, along with multitudes of various flora and fauna. Due to the lack of infrastructure, these flora and fauna are constantly under threat of erosion due to public walking use and runoff from houses and building sites. Also, homeowners along the reserve have their views blocked by large trees. As a means of deterring homeowners, signage with hefty fines have been put in place. I believe this is the first step to protecting the reserve, but it is not enough. Further investment into the area is needed. I would like to see the addition of new pathways for the public, erosion management, and increased native planting. By doing these things the reserve will continue to serve as a connection for many in the years to come.