The first wetland restoration initiatives began in 1987 when Ian Lantzke, P.W. Gabriel and Bruce Haynes conducted the Lake Claremont Environmental Study on behalf of the Town of Claremont. The Lake Claremont Management Plan was published the following year (by Lantzke and Haynes) and used in the 1988 Lake Claremont Implementation Grant ($164,000) to commence rehabilitation of the wetland. The Bird Observation Platform, Stirling Road playground and interpretive signage were installed as part of this program.
The Town of Claremont established the Lake Claremont Management Committee (1992) with Bruce Haynes as Chair. A group of local volunteers began meeting monthly to assist the Town implement its Management Plan, which consisted mainly of weed control and replanting on the western side of the lake. They were assisted on occasion by classes from Scotch College and Graylands Primary School. Progress was slow in the 1990s but elimination of cornflag and lupins as the dominant weeds were markers of some success. Algal blooms and attendant duck deaths, together with tortoise road kill, were seasonal reminders of the need to continue the work.
In 2003 the Friends of Lake Claremont was established as a community volunteer organisation to assist in the conservation and enhancement of Lake Claremont. In 2009 the group was formally incorporated as a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee in order to access grant funding from State and Federal governments. FOLC enjoys a close working relationship with the TOC and the enhancement of Lake Claremont has broad community support.
FOLC are a very active group of local residents and volunteers. We have been highly successful in obtaining grant funding for a number of projects at the lake over several years. As well as actively participating in wetland restoration and native re-vegetation projects, FOLC are also active in promoting community involvement and public environmental awareness programs. FOLC runs a Community Service Program with Year 10 students from nearby Scotch College and Christ Church Grammar School, where students are actively involved in a wide variety of practical tasks and projects at the lake. We hope to expand this programme to other schools in the area.
Every winter FOLC conducts their Winter Planting Program which involves local schools, FOLC volunteers, corporate groups and the general public. In 2012 FOLC planted approximately 50,000 native plants. The FOLC are planting 83,000 native seedlings in 2013.
FOLC also conduct a number of annual public events including Clean Up Australia Day, National Tree Day and Celebrate Lake Claremont Day (community fair).
FOLC has won awards in recognition of their projects and volunteer efforts. These include a 2011 Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities Award (Community Action category) and our Co-ordinator, Heidi Hardisty, being awarded the Australian Government Individual Landcarer Award in 2011 for Western Australia.