Trevor Waldhuter wins landcare award

BUSHGARDENS: Volunteer Trevor Waldhuter with his individual landcare awards. He will attend the National Landcare Awards in Sydney next year. Photo: Stuart Taverner
BUSHGARDENS: Volunteer Trevor Waldhuter with his individual landcare awards. He will attend the National Landcare Awards in Sydney next year. Photo: Stuart Taverner

Trevor Waldhuter's passion for the Barossa Bushgardens is infectious.

Spend just five minutes with him and you are bound to walk away new knowledge, understanding and interest in your natural environment.

Now, thanks to this passion and dedication, Trevor has been awarded the SA Individual Landcare Award.

The 2019 State Landcare Awards, held in Bordertown on October 29, recognised the outstanding contributions made by volunteers to South Australia's natural resources.

Trevor, who has been volunteering at the Barossa Bushgardens for six and a half years, said the nomination and eventual win came as a big surprise.

"It was a definite shock at the time, but at the same time I felt very honoured to be the person that was selected, extremely honoured," he said.

"Immediately my mind rushed through that I was very grateful for having the opportunity to be here because of the staff members, the barossa council and the volunteers. If that hadn't happened I wouldn't be able to be here."

Trevor volunteers at the gardens at least two and a half days a week and, in that time, has a variety of responsibilities including tending to the plants, assisting in leading tour groups and helping visitors to the gardens.

"Concurrent with the tours, I am involved with school groups and that can be from preschoolers to highschool students and eventually tertiary through TAFE or University," he explained.

He is also an avid photographer and is very involved in the 'Friends of' Committee and a representative in the council committee. Trevor is extremely proud of what the garden is able to offer locals and visitors, calling it "Barossa's best kept secret."

"The whole centre here is working with community groups, that helps to encourage people to plant and do things," he said.

Features of the garden including the sensory garden, native australian garden, CFS (fire resistant) garden, drought resistant garden and nature play space are all sources of pride for Trevor.

"Sure, I am the one who has got the award but all of these aspects are the reason why I've got it... If there wasn't all of that I wouldn't be here and wouldn't have the opportunity to participate in that way."

Trevor's interest in plants and the natural landscape began at a very young age.

"As a youngster - maybe 3 or 4 year old - I can quite clearly remember working with plants at home," he said.

"I had parents and grandparents who were very interested in plants and I can very much picture the first plants that I worked with at home."

After turning down a four year university course in Botany, Trevor became a teacher and worked throughout the state.

After he retired as an educator he was able to, once again, get his hands in the dirt.

"I very much like to be the practical sort of person who hits the ground running to get to work."

When asked he enjoyed volunteering at the Barossa Bushgardens, Trevor said he enjoys the camaraderie.

"We're not all teachers, we're not all plumbers, we're not all electricians but we all do what we have to do to."

Next year, Trevor will attend the National Landcare Awards in Sydney in the hopes of winning the national award.

Barossa Grape & Wine Association were awarded the Australian Government Landcare Farming Award.