Norma Hawkins (centre)  who proposed Jan's Commendation presented her with a bunch of flowers at the AGM. President John Gray (left) holds a copy of the Commendation.
Norma Hawkins (centre) who proposed Jan’s
Commendation presented her with a bunch of flowers
at the AGM. President John Gray (left) holds a copy of
the Commendation.

Jan Craney was awarded a Glebe Society Commendation at the 2013 annual general meeting.  Her citation appears below.

In 2006 the backyards of St James Ave and John St Reserve were identified as a blue wren “hot spot”. Bul buls, willy wagtails, silver eyes and other small birds were also commonly sighted. In the following year, Jan wrote an article for the Bulletin entitled “Un-sizzle summer for our local Superb Fairy-wrens” and she had joined a Group of local residents that gave a presentation to the Society regarding the concept of a project to preserve biodiversity and in particular to retain and establish habitats for blue wrens. Their plans were endorsed by the Society, the Blue Wren Subcommittee was established and it made a successful application to the City of Sydney for an environmental grant of $10,000.

About half the grant was used to employ a consultant ecologist, Sue Stevens, who wrote a landmark report entitled Superb Fairy-Wren Habitat in Glebe & Forest Lodge: a community based conservation project (2008). The remaining funds were used to purchase over 500 wren-friendly plants for a community planting day in Paddy Gray Reserve in Hereford Street on National Tree Day (27 July 2008). Jan had a major role in the organisation of the planting day which was attended by more than 250 people! Since then she has taken a special and continuing interest in the Reserve and has taken responsibility for the further community planting days and working bees that have been held annually since 2010. These ongoing events have proved to be some of the most popular and best-attended community events held by the Society, especially as they involve lots of children. More recently, Jan lent her expertise to her local community as they convinced the City to establish a biodiversity demonstration garden in John Street Reserve, which will re-establish a habitat for blue wrens and other small birds. She has also taken on the difficult task of ensuring that the City’s original plans for a wren-friendly garden around the Glebe Town Hall are implemented. In all of these occasions Jan’s know-how and capability has fostered good relations with the staff of the City of Sydney, who have the responsibility of managing our parks and their biodiversity.

Jan has been an enthusiastic and knowledgeable member or convenor of the Blue Wren Subcommittee since its inception. Her leadership skills have enabled her to make numerous oral presentations to meetings of the City of Sydney, including its Environment Subcommittee, as well as to staff from Parks and Gardens. She has also helped write the Society’s responses to many reports published by the City (including Open Spaces and Parks, Street Tree Master Plan and Greening Sydney Plan).

We believe that Jan Craney will be a most worthy recipient of the Society’s Commendation.