Above: Don with destroyed bush
‘Hopping mad’ was Don Apps’ reaction to repeated destruction of carefully planted and nurtured native trees in 1998 on sand dunes near Lake Ainsworth, as reported in The Ballina Advocate.
Vandals uprooted vegetation which Don, with volunteer groups, had worked hard to establish in the harsh coastal environment in efforts to regenerate and protect the dunes. However, it may have been those senseless acts which made Don more determined to fulfil his vision of restorative work.
Between 1979 and 2007 Donald Thomas Apps dedicated his energies to propagating and planting thousands of native plants in and around Lennox Head. His death early in 2016 was a great loss to his family and the local community of coastal villages which drew on his knowledge and supply of personally cultivated native species to regenerate degraded beachfronts.
The community is invited to a pictorial tribute to Don, the ‘dune doctor’, presented by Lennox Head Heritage Committee in the foyer of Lennox Head Community Centre, until 2 November 2016. There is no charge for admission.