Enviro Ag ServicesSmall Grants Program 2017

Molonglo Catchment Group and Enviro Ag Services of Bungendore teamed up to fund the 2017 Molonglo Catchment Small Grants Program.

We had some very innovative grant applications this year as well as regular land care and park care applications. We were glad to be able to fund most of these applications.

Friends of Aranda Bushland Recycling mattresses for erosion control $429.60
Friends of Mt Majura National Tree Day 2017: Restoring Grassy Woodland @ The Fair $500.00
Friends of Mt Jerrabomberra Purchase heavy duty brush cutter to destroy rabbit harbors that herbicide spraying alone wouldn’t accomplish $500.00
Grevilliea Park Care Extension of the Environment Meditation and Healing Garden $500.00
Oaks Estate Progress Association Stormwater Drain Art for Healthy Waterways $500.00
Oaks Estate Progress Association Molongo River track remediation and fire mitigation $500.00
Royalla Landcare Sugar Glider Monitoring Program - Purchase of night camera to loan to landholders $500.00
Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park Improved hand held tools for the STEP regional botanic garden at the National Arboretum $500.00
Wandiyali Restoration Trust ‘Environa’ connectivity by paddock tree preservation and biodiversity enhancement $500.00
  TOTAL $4,429.60

Recycling mattresses for erosion control

ACT Parks and Conservation ServiceMolonglo Catchment Group is supporting Friends of Aranda Bushland in trialling the recycling of coconut matting used in mattresses into coir logs for erosion control in ACT parks. They are being assisted by ACT Parks & Conservation Service.

Coconut matting used in mattress making can be converted to coir logs, creating a local manufacturing opportunity for the mattress recycling facility at Hume and saving that material from being sent to ACT landfill.

Potentially all park care groups in the ACT will benefit if the trial is successful. The coir logs will be used for erosion control. In addition the project supports the rehabilitation of long term unemployed in Canberra now working at the Mattress Recycling Facility.

Recycled mattressesRecycled mattressesRecycled mattresses

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National Tree Day 2017: Restoring Grassy Woodland @ The Fair

Molonglo Catchment Group provided funding for tube stock and equipment for planting on National Tree Day at The Fair in North Watson.

This was the Friends of Mount Majura's 5th National Tree Day community planting in the nature park behind (east of) “The Fair” in Watson, and the 10th consecutive mass planting of trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the Mount Majura nature reserve on a National Tree Day. View the photos from the day on Flickr.

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Purchase heavy duty brush cutter

Queanbeyan LandcareMolonglo Catchment Group provided funding to assist in purchasing a brush cutter for use by Friends of Mt Jerrabomberra and Stringybark Ridge Bushcare Group and other members of Queanbeyan Landcare.

FOMJASR is a sub-group of Queanbeyan Landcare and is a new community group formed to help the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) control woody weeds in these and other nearby reserves. Formed in response to the amount of woody weeds slowly taking over areas within the urban bush areas and with the encouragement of Queanbeyan Landcare, an equipment grant was applied for through the QPRC ‘Building better communities’ fund. Since March 2017, using equipment purchased through the grant, a small group of community volunteers have been ‘cutting and dabbing’ woody weeds within the Mt Jerrabomberra, Stringy Bark Ridge and the QPRC ‘Old Cooma Road Offset block’ urban bush reserves.

FOMJASR has a number of large blackberry bushes (approximately 6m plus in diameter) within the series of reserves that we work in. FOMJASR proposes to purchase a heavy duty brush cutter to destroy rabbit harbors that herbicide spraying alone wouldn’t accomplish. Queanbeyan Landcare would also utilize this piece of equipment in other areas around Queanbeyan (the Poplars/Bicentennial Park/Fernleigh Park etc) to control weeds and grasses around revegetation plantings in these areas.

Volunteer hours have been invested into these worthwhile community bushland reserves and visible weed control outcomes can already be seen. As well as the satisfaction of removing woody weeds from the areas, the group has been enjoying glorious sunny mornings in the bushland reserves with magnificent views over Jerrabomberra and Canberra, across to the Brindabella ranges as well as the lovely Eucalypt woodland closer at hand while enjoying morning tea on our monthly meetings.

FOMJASR is looking for more people to get involved. Not only does FOMJASR hold activities overlooking Jerrabomberra in Stringybark Ridge and the Old Cooma Road Offset Block, they also hold activities on Mt Jerrabomberra. Activity is on the first Sunday of each month, March to December, from 9-12pm. Community members are welcome, staying the entire time or working for only an hour or two, coming along each month or only as often as they can. There are also other sub-groups in Queanbeyan Landcare, so there is bound to be something for everyone to get involved with in the environment.

For anyone interested in finding out more or getting involved, please contact Queanbeyan Landcare on chairperson@queanbeyanlandcare.org.au or jerrabushlandgroup@queanbeyanlandcare.org.au.

F

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Extension of the Environment Meditation and Healing Garden

Molonglo Catchment Group is providing funding for tube stock and equipment for extending the Environment Meditation and Healing Garden at Grevillea Park on Lake Burley Griffin. The Canberra Interfaith Forum, which represents 12 different spiritual faith traditions, established the spiritual garden in May 2011 on a one hectare site just east of the ACT Hospice at 5 Menindee Drive Barton. The actual garden area is about 0.25 hectares, planted with mainly Grevilleas, also Bursaria, Correa and ground covers.

It is proposed to extend the garden area by about 0.25 ha each year for 3 years. This year, the work proposed to be undertaken in spring includes:

  • spraying the current thick grasses with glyphosate, and adjacent Chilean needle grass
  • spreading woodchip on each area to depth of 20 cm
  • planting 7 tubestock of various native tree species not yet included in our garden
  • planting 40 groundcover native species
  • purchasing new garden mattocks

Environment Meditation and Healing Garden

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Stormwater Drain Art for Healthy Waterways

H20K Drain ArtMolonglo Catchment Group is supporting Oaks Estate Progress Association's project for storm water drain artwork and messages to increase community awareness of the importance of keeping gutters and waterways clean.

This supports the ACT Healthy Waterways and H2OK initiatives of the Australian and ACT Governments. ACT Waterwatch provides an online resource for drain stencilling for students to paint drains across the ACT, and that many municipal governments across the OECD use this innovative approach of painted drains to 'get the message out'.

The project involves three stages:

  • paint five local drains at key transit points for maximum impact
  • mailbox a leaflet with information materials about river health, and the relationship to residents and verge management
  • host a 15-minute information workshop discussion during OEPA meetings about how Oaks Estate residents can help support this important government initiative
Melbourne Drain Art
Melbourne drain art by Tiffany Bishop Collective - source: Melbourne Water
Philadelphia Water Department
DrainART example from Philadelphia Water Department, USA

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Molongo River track remediation and fire mitigation

Molonglo Catchment Group is providing assistance to Oaks Estate Progress Association to continue works started by ACT Government in the riparian zone area between the river track and the back of the Community Hall where there has been a number of fires in recent years.

The local community is keen to strengthening its stewardship capabilities for the area surrounding the Community Hall, which was gifted to Oaks Estate in the 1950s by the Federal Capital Territory Administration. This is especially acute given the recent spate of arson at that site in the last 5 years.

OEPA proposes plantings to improve the ground cover of the area for weed control and fire mitigation. The 30 metre inner asset protection zone was cleared in early 2016, when some Cootamundra wattles and blackberry was cut out from under the gum trees. However, more work is required. There is a need for follow-up on regrowth in later seasons.

The OEPA will hold three workshops to improve the capability of the Oaks Estate community in support of the ACT government’s management for fire mitigation in that area. The workshops will help OEPA develop:

  • a small management plan that focuses on weed control
  • increase the diversity of native fire-resistant species
  • support management for fire mitigation
  • enhance the aesthetic appearance of the river corridor area

These will strengthen community stewardship and help discourage vandalism including deliberate starting of fires. The 3 workshops would consist of planning (winter 2017), weeding (spring 2017) and planting (autumn 2018) days and would be an OEPA, MCG and ACT Government collaboration, with advice from appropriate officers of ACT TCCS, Parks & Conservation, and ACT Fire Management. Greening Australia can provide advice on plants and grasses.

Workshops will be drafted and evaluated to support creating a pilot program leveraging local interest and skills to support broader community based disaster management and environmental management activities. The workshops will lead to working bees, where participants will use the cut-and-daub method to apply herbicide, and excavate and plant holes for replacement planting. Plant stock will be selected for fire mitigation effects.

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Sugar Glider Monitoring Program - Purchase of night camera

Royalla Landcare received some funding from Landcare Australia to make 52 Sugar Glider nestboxes. As part of their monioring program, funding from Molonglo Catchment Group will assist in purchasing a night camera to loan out to landholders participating in project. It will also assist them to undertake monitoring in Swainsona Reserve and in other public trails, or to monitor for feral animals.

Trail camera

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Improved hand held tools for the STEP regional botanic garden at the National Arboretum

Molonglo Catchment Group is providing funds for the purchase of a range of new hand held tools to improve the efficiency of site and soil preparation for new plantings and ongoing maintenance.

Before planting out of new seedlings, weeds must be removed, soil cultivated and mulch applied. New hand held tool such as post hole diggers, long handled post shovels, mulch and hay forks will assist the efficiency of current garden bed management and site preparation. This action will improve the plant survival through the establishment phase.

In addition to new planting, plant growth thus far and expected future growth rate necessitate additional fit for purpose equipment beyond existing basic tools, such as stronger cutting and lopping gear.

Southern Tablelands Ecosystems Park

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‘Environa’ connectivity by paddock tree preservation and biodiversity enhancement

Wandiyali TrustMolonglo Catchment Group and EnviroAg Services of Bungendore have helped fund the ‘Environa’ Connectivity Project of Wandiyali Restoration Trust, with $500 towards fencing for paddock tree preservation and biodiversity enhancement. This area is a weathered Box Gum Grassy Woodland gully opening onto a small Carex wetland. Planting with local species will help stabilise the area, augmenting the mature E.blakelyi and E.melliodora with midstory and ground story species.

This restoration of landscape connections by ‘stepping stones’ helps provide protection for, and facilitates movement of, wildlife, especially small woodland birds, living in and travelling through the country.

WandiyaliWandiyaliWandiyaliWandiyali

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