Innes herbarium donation a labour of love for Trudie

The donation of a herbarium of Innes National Park’s plants and weeds is the culmination of 10 years, 65 separate visits, and a labour of love for Adelaide woman Trudie Jaques.

Trudie handed over her collection of almost 1000 plant samples, painstakingly mounted by herself, along with photographs and notes, to establish Innes National Park’s first herbarium.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Innes National Park ranger in charge, Mark Davison says Trudie’s contribution to the park has provided invaluable information.

"It’s an outstanding contribution to the recording of all plants within Innes and each folder is in alphabetical order and contains dried and pressed specimens, full and half page colour photographs, as well as a full botanical description and location information," he says.

"It is now located at Innes National Park and is available for all staff to use as a comprehensive identification guide and information reference."

Along with fellow adventurer and now close family friend Tony Lewis, Trudie says the project grew out of a love for the national park and the feeling of doing something worthwhile.

"We started out by being involved in the reintroduction of the Tammar wallaby, helping a PhD student in looking at what the wallaby eats and by the end of that two-year project I’d fallen in love with Innes and started collecting the plants."

"We have the perfect partnership really - I’ve got the motivation, Tony has the 4WD to take me to the national park, and my husband has the support and money to back me," she says.

Despite receiving $4000 funding early on, Trudie says the money was "quickly swallowed up in travel costs", and the Friends had largely funded the project themselves.

A former nurse, Trudie says she has no formal background in the field but her passion for the park and its plants grew into a 10-year project of love, with her herbarium also keenly sought by the State Herbarium, becoming their only private collector.

Trudie’s work for Innes NP also includes a collection of 98 photographs of the birds of the park, as well as self-published books of its poisonous plants.

At almost 70-years-old, Trudie hopes her work will be a legacy for many years to come.

"It’s a great feeling to be able to teach myself about these plants and leave this collection with my name on it," she says.

"I truly want people to use this collection, it’s been a lot of hard work but I love the feeling of being appreciated for this work and my family are very proud of me which is just wonderful."

Trudie says her next challenge will be to make the collection available online.

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