Voluntary community work is increasingly being recognised as a creative and positive way to spend leisure time, contributing your energy to benefit the local community. Nowadays it even attracts some recognition from local and state governments, although that's not the end goal of course.
The Friends of Glenthorne group are passionate about protecting and managing Glenthorne Farm - the large open space south of Adelaide that has variously been called Lizard Lodge, Glenthorne Farm, an Army Remount camp, and Glenthorne CSIRO Field Station.
Glenthorne provides a valuable corridor for native flora and fauna that has existed since before European settlement, and the Friends of Glenthorne aim to preserve and enhance the natural and cultural heritage assets of the property. This includes the replanting of local species of native plants, destroying exotic weeds and eliminating feral olives, and doing whatever possible to restore the natural balance of the land.
In addition to this, the Friends are deeply concerned about the heritage buildings on the site which are sufficiently important to merit State Heritage protection. They are active in promoting community interest in this unique place, and actively campaign to find ways to re-use the built heritage to ensure it is preserved for the future.
The Friends of Glenthorne hold regular Enjoyment Days, which incorporate working bees. Members come together to work on re-vegetation and weed control, but in doing this they also do much more. They share their knowledge about local wildlife, seed propagation, bird identification, and land management practices which gives them unique skills. Some of the volunteers also actively share this information by giving talks to other like-minded groups.
Visitors are always welcome at Glenthorne Farm Enjoyment Days, and are able to see what the group is doing to improve Glenthorne Farm's future, and to view the heritage buildings and learn more about their history from knowledgeable guides. It's not necessary to book in advance - just show up on the day. Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes, sun hat, and something to drink if you plan to stay for long.