A community event will be held on Sunday, November 21, to celebrate the early work of the region's conservationists who fought to protect Port Macquarie's coastline from development.
The event will mark the 50th anniversary of when the first meeting was convened and a local conservation society was formed, lead by one of the region's trailblazing women, Grace Easterbrook.
It was on 29 November 1971, in response to a high-rise proposal, the remarkable 60 year old Ms Easterbrook held a meeting at her home and formed the Port Macquarie Conservation Society (PMCS).
The group campaigned to save Windmill Hill and to protect Port Macquarie's precious coastline from future development.
Port Macquarie's popular coastal walk from Lighthouse Beach to Westport Park is part of the legacy of this environmentally-conscious group.
Port Macquarie local Krissa Wilkinson has spent the past two decades researching local stories, transforming them into installations and performances.
In recent years, her focus has been learning about the people who worked to preserve the beauty of local wild places that we enjoy today.
"PMCS also fought to save Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park and supported efforts to gazette Sea Acres National Park. We can also thank them for the preservation of the Historic Courthouse and the site of Mrs York's Garden," she said.
"The 50th anniversary of PMCS first meeting is November 29 and is important to commemorate because the story of these women had been lost to history.
"It's important to know our history."
Krissa said the PMCS was first started around Ms Easterbrook's kitchen table and involved a lot of letter writing to both the State Government and council.
"What they did took a lot of will and planning. It took 10 years before Windmill Hill was protected," she said.
"It's worth celebrating this anniversary because these places along out coastline wouldn't be open for public access if Grace and many other early conversationalists didn't do what they did.
"Now the region loves to boast about these beautiful destinations and the local economy benefits enormously from these places that were fought for."
Krissa said Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has been instrumental in looking after the coastal walk and ensuring people can enjoy local green spaces.
Council is also in the process of requesting the chief executive officer to utilise best endeavours for council's promotion of the upcoming anniversary and the installation of a suitable interpretive sign.
"Deputy mayor Lisa Intemann has asked council to commit to installing signage. There will be a temporary sign installed for the anniversary and more permanent signage will be installed at a later date," Krissa said.
Residents are invited to a community picnic at Windmill Hill Reserve at 3pm on Sunday November 21.
"There will be a few speakers highlighting the history of our early conversationists. We also encourage people to bring some food and drinks to toast our environmental pioneers before venturing out on a short walk," Krissa said.
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