Celebrating 50 years

MILESTONE DAY: Pat Hall, Audrey Kutzner, Brian Richardson, Graham Bush and Ian Smith hand out free plants to visitors at Fitzroy Falls.

MILESTONE DAY: Pat Hall, Audrey Kutzner, Brian Richardson, Graham Bush and Ian Smith hand out free plants to visitors at Fitzroy Falls.

The Fitzroy Falls Visitors Centre celebrated a milestone on Sunday.

The centre marked the 50th anniversary of the National Parks and Wildlife Service with a community day.

About 1000 people came through the Fitzroy Falls Visitors Centre for the anniversary.

The day included Aboriginal cultural presentation, bushtucker walks, guided nature walks, a photographic display and activities for children.

Visitors were also given free trees to plant in their garden.

Area manager Graham Bush said the response from the community was pleasing.

“The day went really well, particularly the Aboriginal cultural presentation and children’s activities,” Mr Bush said.

“For one organisation to be around for so long is worth celebrating. We’ve seen it grown from one per cent of the state to nine per cent of the state.”

Mr Bush said the service protected the environment in several ways.

“It’s pretty varied from bushfire fighting to land management and species management,” he said.

“It shows the importance of protecting the environment and the different ways of protecting it.”

Visitation numbers have grown over the years, with about 200,000 visitors to the Fitzroy Falls centre each year.

Mr Bush said a boost in numbers was due to an upgrade in facilities. 

“It’s getting more and more popular,” he said.

“The [Fitzroy Falls Visitors] centre was refurbished in 1994, and we boosted the number of walking tracks.”

One of the biggest milestones in the past 50 years was the establishment of Morton National Park.

The park is full of rich Aboriginal history, and is a sanctuary for wildlife supported by rainforest and moist eucalypt forest. 

Mr Bush said employees were proud of its contribution to the park and future generations.

“It’s a real privilege to look after Morton National Park,” he said.

“It’s a legacy not now but for the future.”

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