IPSWICH will bid farewell this week to two of its greatest environmentalists.
Bundamba botanist Lloyd Bird, 79, died on Saturday night at St Andrew's Hospital, just two days after wildlife guru Ric Nattrass, of Bellbird Park, died in his sleep.
Their names will live on - in environmental reserves, plants, streets, books, research - and through the activities of the environmental groups they founded.
Two strong voices for the preservation of the natural environment have been silenced.
Members of the Society for Growing Australian Plants, set up by Mr Bird and other native plant-lovers 35 years ago, will pay tribute at his funeral this Thursday from 2pm at St Paul's Anglican Church.
Mr Bird's family has asked that donations be made towards the upkeep of his beloved Opossum Creek Revegetation Project, through the Society for Growing Australian Plants, and the National Heart Foundation.
Society member Arnold Rieck said Mr Bird enthused so many people about the bush.
“Lloyd started revegetation projects at the coalmine where he worked.
“He would get so cross when a bulldozer destroyed his plants,” Mr Rieck said.
“Ipswich City Council would have the richest list of plants on properties that Lloyd compiled.
“I doubt that he ever got paid for that.
“I was amazed at his knowledge.
“He was the sort of person who was prepared to talk to anyone about the environment - and get a donation out of them.”
Last year Mr Bird gained a new title awarded by the council - the Environmental Champion of the West.
“I think you need to get out in the bush somewhere,” he said in response.
“We've got diverse vegetation in Ipswich and we need to preserve it.”
Springfield-based councillor David Morrison said Mr Bird would be greatly missed.
“His local historical knowledge was informative and always interesting,” he said.
“His local botanical knowledge was second to none. He loved Ipswich and loved spending time with people.
“Our local environment is in better shape because of Lloyd.”
Cr Paul Tully said Mr Bird was a great and honourable man.
Mr Bird is survived by his wife Dulcie.