Landcare hosted Costa Georgiadis in Forbes on Friday and Saturday, and what a big two days it was.
The television personality, landscape architect and environmental educator brought seemingly boundless energy and passion everywhere he went.
He had a busy schedule with the primary school Eco Day followed by the formal Landcare dinner, and Saturday's open day at the Forbes Riverside Community Gardens.
Central West Lachlan Landcare coordinator Marg Applebee said the events, a long time in the planning, had been brilliant, and it was wonderful to see the enthusiastic response from the community.
Costa headlined the formal Landcare dinner on Friday night, with guests from around the district filling Town Hall.
He shared some of his many experiences from around the country on his travels filming for ABC's Gardening Australia and more, but he also drew the spotlight back onto what's happening in our own shire and the wonderful work of the local presenters who had gone before him.
The night opened with a welcome to country from elder Aileen Allen, Yarrangirri Holmes and the River Spirit Dancers.
The River Spirit Dancers not only prepared a smoking ceremony and performed a welcome dance, they explained the significance and tradition of each as they welcomed people to Wiradjuri land and invited them in.
Landcare NSW CEO Adrian Zammit shared some of the journey of the organisation, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, to its current position with 60,000 Landcarers and more than 80 employees.
Dr Karen Ritchie, Forbes Arts Society chair, gave an insight into the Sculpture Down the Lachlan trail highlighting its benefits to the region as a tourist drawcard.
It's now 10 months since Veranus, the goanna sculpture, was installed in the Gum Swamp area just south of Forbes and there have been 32,000 people past the counter at the site.
New sculptures have been installed along the stock route towards Condobolin, from "Road Kill" at the Forbes end to the Indigenous warrior towards the Condobolin end as well as Tower and Bird in Hand along the way.
Work to redevelop the fire-damaged former Ambulance Station in the centre of town into an arts centre is also progressing.
It's all "good news for Forbes and wonderful for the arts", Dr Ritchie said.
"The whole idea is that people can come here and stay for a week, and we will give them at least six other places within a day's journey that they can go and have a wonderful experience," she said.
Guy Webb, co-founder and managing director of Soil C Quest, gave an update on that organisation's work to develop a fungal inoculum that can be applied to seed to increase soil carbon - by capturing it out of the earth's atmosphere.
It's a process that happens naturally, and the team now working on the not-for-profit research organisation as well as corporate Soil Carbon Co, believes it can be applied to broadacre farming across the world to benefit everyone.
With a $10 million investment last year, they're moving beyond glasshouse trials to putting it into the paddock.
"We've got it into an air seeder," Guy shared on Friday night. "It felt like the pinnacle of my career to get that out into the paddock."
Costa was full of praise for everything he'd heard and seen, particularly highlighting the depth of the welcome to country capping National Reconciliation Week.
"I've sensed a fair bit of ticker in my short time here," he said.
"I met quite a few people today, I had unsolicited mid-conversation statements like "I just love living here, this is the best place in the world" - and I've not even been here 10 hours," he added.
He highlighted the importance of science and data, and the role of the arts in the now critical task of communicating what we know and learn about our environment and world around us.
"It's a busy world out there and we need to get this message out there," he said. "Not as a sales pitch, we need to develop it as an embedded, connected to country, understanding of your country, your local area and what your local area means to the big picture."
He outlined some of the exciting opportunities science is now presenting, but also the importance of walking together and in community as we care for the country.
Sometimes we might need a change of perspective, he added, sharing a story of learning how to seek out native orchids in the Blue Mountains from a child.
"Congratulations again to everyone for holding that Landcare flame alive," he said.