For Hunter Wetlands Centre volunteer Barry Horvath, when someone walks past while he's weeding and comments on the beauty of the wetlands, it's all the motivation he needs to do the job.
The Wetlands Board secretary has been volunteering on environmental restoration projects for more than 20 years.
He became involved in Landcare about 20 years ago when he joined with some fellow Charlestown residents to clean up Flaggy Creek, which he said was "a bit of a mess".
His involvement in Landcare led to him venturing out to the Hunter Wetlands seven or so years ago, where he has remained as a volunteer ever since.
"I'd recently retired and wanted to do something with my time," he said.
"[The Wetlands] are out in the open, it's nice and relaxing."
In his position at the wetlands centre, Mr Horvath has been involved in many different project - perhaps the largest of which being the planting of 47,000 trees through Hexham, Ash Island and Tomago.
Mr Horvath was one of a group of about 12 people who completed the large-scale tree planting initiative, which was part of the Australian government's 20 Million Trees program, over the course of three months a few years ago.
He also oversees other environmental projects including improving the environment around ponds to help endangered birds survive and produce, upgrading boardwalks, and the building of an exhibition centre for animals including snakes, frogs.
Mr Horvath and other volunteers have also been working hard to help the site recover from a fire which swept through the wetlands in May.
"It's enough to keep me occupied," he said.
It's all vital work to improve the longevity of the wetlands, which operates without government funding.
"It takes over $100,000 a year just to maintain the place," he said. "We're all volunteers."
"We need to improve it, so we can get more visitors and hopefully put on some staff."
But while it's hard work, Mr Horvath said it was very enriching at the same time.
"It's quite fulfilling, you're achieving something," he said.
"The comments we get from people are rewarding.
"It's great to see the joy and smiles on people's faces when they come to visit.
"It gives you the incentive to keep going, especially on those really hot days in summer."
And Mr Horvath said the beautiful surroundings don't hurt either.
"I enjoy when it's late in the afternoon and I can sit on the deck and look at the birds on the pond with a cup of coffee," he said.