Ginninderra Creek Catchment – from Mulligans Flat & Gooromon Ponds to the Murrumbidgee
From the Convenor
We look forward to seeing many of you at the Strategic Planning workshop for the Catchment Groups’ future – Wednesday 5th July. Details are below, including how to RSVP for catering. Also, we still hope one of you will step forward to help GCG by becoming our volunteer Secretary. Not an onerous role, but very important.
In this issue
From the GCG Office: Strategic Planning workshop; Frogwatch news; CSIRO community planting report; Landcare awards reminder.
In the catchment as a whole: Mount Painter; Jaramlee Park; Aranda Bushland; Umbagong; North Belconnen; Mulligans Flat Sanctuary expansion news.
Around the region: Ginninderra Falls Association crowdfunding campaign; Upper Bidgee Bed & Banks workshop; Beetles in farming landscapes; Fish habitat protection award; School Garden Project grants; NSW Travelling Stock Reserve review; NSW LLS conference.
General news from the GCG office
Strategic Planning workshop 5th July. RSVP.
The joint member consultation Strategic Planning Workshop for the GCG and Southern ACT Catchment Groups will be on Wednesday 5 July 5 pm – 8 pm at the Frank Fenner Seminar Room, Australian National University (Building 141, Rm 1.01). Dinner will be provided.
This workshop will allow input from catchment group members and landholders early in the planning process. This strategic planning process is to ensure our organisations will be responding to and meeting member needs over the next 10 years. Ginninderra and SACTCG will now conduct the process in-house and are very grateful for the support of the ACT Government’s Environment and Sustainable Planning Directorate in this process. John Feint from the ACT Catchment Management and Water Policy Team will be facilitating the evening workshop.
RSVP by Friday 30 June is essential for catering purposes. For more information or to RSVP contact: Karissa at Ginninderra (email@example.com) or Martine at Southern ACT (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to seeing you there!
Spotted burrowing frogs heard (not spotted)!! - They are back. Thanks to more frequent monitoring throughout winter we are able to collect more information about the distribution of this cryptic and hidden species (Neobatrachus sudelli). They only come out after heavy rains, so breeding activities for this species are quite unpredictable!! Luckily I was out at the Strathnairn ponds for my weekly monitoring of the Ginninderry development site 2 weeks ago and heard them calling away in freezing temperatures!! So keep your ears ‘peeled’ after rain. You might be lucky to hear the ascending “pop-pop-pop-pop-pop” while looking at the waxing moon – simply a magical mix!!!
Vale Edric Slater. Three weeks ago, Edric Slater passed away at the age of 94. Edric was a strong supporter of the Frogwatch program from day 1. Our fantastic frog-call CD was made by using his frog call recordings, and the person you hear announcing the frogs and their calls is Edric himself. Anke Maria attended the funeral.
CSIRO community planting report
GCG partnered with CSIRO in organising community planting days on Sunday 21 May and Sunday 28 May. This revegetation work is helping to restore part of the CSIRO Ginninderra field station Box–Gum woodland areas, which provide habitat for woodland birds. Over 130 volunteers attended, planting approx. 1700 shrubs. The work of community volunteers has been complemented by the Green Army Teams, and there will be ongoing monitoring of woodland birds there. A short video about the project can be viewed at https://ginninderraproject.com.au/thank-you-one-and-all/. The Aboriginal Green Army team were working at CSIRO during National Reconciliation Week, and a blurb about that is shown at https://ginninderraproject.com.au/green-army-helps-restore-shrubs-woodlands/. This work has also been supported by the National Landcare Program and ACT Environment Grants. We are looking forward to continuing the partnership with CSIRO.
Landcare Awards reminder
Remember that the 2017 State & Territory Landcare Awards are open for nominations for achievers you would like to recognise who are involved in protecting or improving your local environment, farm, bushland, wetland, waterway, school, region, catchment or backyard. ACT nominations are due on 31 July. See https://e-award.com.au/2017/landcareawards/newentry/about.php for details. (See also new award for Fish Habitat care, in Around the Region, below.)
In the Ginninderra Catchment as a whole
Friends of Mount Painter ParkCare (3rd Sunday of the month)
Our next workparty is on Sunday 18 June, 9 am–12 noon. We shall be protecting planted Sheoak seedlings by installing large corflute guards at the Summit Sheoak Planting site.
To reach the location: Enter the Mount Painter reserve between 20 and 22 Booth Crescent, Cook, and follow the gravel road uphill to the gate above the water tanks. Wear: Sturdy footwear and clothes to protect you from the sun, cold and prickly weeds. Bring: Some drinking water, a mug and some food to share for morning tea. Other drinks are provided, as are all tools. No experience needed.
For more information: contact Sarah Hnatiuk, Convenor, on 6251 2228 or 0424 263 565 or at email@example.com.
Jaramlee Park Landcare (working bees 1st Saturday of the month)
Our group at Jarramlee Park is continuing to take out dead trees and bushes along the path by the floodway, between Ginninderra Drive and Jarramlee Pond. Nick Bakker (in TCCS) arranged for the wood from pulled out dead trees and bushes in the floodway to be removed, and this has been completed. We are holding another working bee in the floodway on 1st July at 10.30 am to continue this work. The missing padlock off the Cashion Court gate into the Jarramlee Pond area was also replaced, so we can get a vehicle with equipment in to where we work.
Our group is going to celebrate the 83rd birthday of a member, Dennis, who has been with the team since 2000, with a lunch and cake on 17th June.
Pamela Fawke, Convenor
Friends of Aranda Bushland (1st Sunday of the month)
Fence thinning. Our 600 m border fence has now been ‘thinned’. We have removed everything except the star pickets and the top two strands of wire, so that with a slight stooping movement we can get under it at any point (see left photo below), which is very convenient. Sometime in the future we hope to do away with this fence altogether.
Controlled burn. The scheduled fuel-reduction burn took place on 19 and 20 April in the Aranda Bushland, and we were very pleased with the care that was taken by the firemen to avoid the patches of orchids that we had marked. They also tried to protect habitat trees and made sure to leave a good amount of unburnt ground between the burnt parts. It was a great improvement on the previous two burns in our patch.
Kangaroo count. The Aranda kangaroo count took place on 18 May. We have done counts like this twice in the past few years and the result was a bit less than 200 each time, so we were horrified to discover that the number has now more than doubled, to 400. It is not possible to cull in our reserve because of the proximity of roads, so we are not sure what can be done to protect the overstressed grassland – perhaps fence off the standing water. Some of the roos are in the middle photo below.
Erosion control. We have made a start on the construction of leaky weirs in the Grand Canyon that goes through our Snowgums Reserve. At our work party on 4 June we made four dams, following the ‘Double – V’ method of Cam Wilson. This involves making a V-shaped line of star pickets in the base of the gully, stretching to the sides. The point of the V is on the upstream side, and the arms rise up to join the gully walls. This divides and dissipates the flow of flood water. Then we packed branches longitudinally in the floor of the gully behind the pickets. All we need now is a good fall of rain! See rightmost photo below.
Our work parties are on the first Sunday of the month, between 9 am and noon. See our website for details: http://www.friendsofarandabushland.org.au/.
Jenny Andrews, Convenor
Umbagong Landcare (1st Saturday of the month)
It was a lovely sunny morning, fresh but not freezing, on Saturday 3 June when four of us went and surveyed the extent of the ivy in the park. On the way to the top of the park, near the Ginninderra Drive end of Umbagong, we pulled a tyre out of the creek at the first bridge across the stream coming from Herron Drive. Then we worked on removing the ivy from around the poplar trees close to Ginninderra Drive. The patch of ivy is too big for us to remove it all, but we hope to prevent the ivy from climbing the trees and producing fruiting bodies – therefore preventing birds from scattering the ivy seeds elsewhere. Later, Eric and Caroline headed off to finish off the ivy removal from under the bridge at the rocky outcrop while Rick and I removed some privet and briar on the way back to the car park. We also found two other contained patches of ivy: one at the corner of Daley and Macrossan Crescents, and a smaller patch close to the stepping stones. We will try and work on these over the winter which is a good time to remove ivy while other weeds are dormant. Photos below are mainly thanks to Rick. I hope to see you next month for our working bee on Saturday 1 July from 9 am.
Celina Smith, Convenor
North Belconnen Landcare (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
The end of Autumn has seen a significant amount of growth in the North Belconnen Landcare patch, in more ways than one. We've planted much of our grassland species tubestock, weeded out African Lovegrass, and welcomed many new members. We have been providing frost protection to our establishing Hardenbergias and Austral Indigos (Indigofera australis) which the children have delighted in: it's like dressing the plants in their Winter coats. See our photos below.
We are enjoying the blue skies which our area is famous for but need help watering the newly planted species. Although cold, this time of year is relatively dry. Please join us on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 10 am, and see our Facebook page ‘North Belconnen Landcare’ and group with the same title for updates and events. All welcome!
Alana and Matthew, North Belconnen Landcare
Mulligans Flat Sanctuary expansion
A new 11.7 km of fencing at Mulligans Flat Sanctuary will nearly triple the protected area, adding another 768 hectares to the current 485 hectares. ACT Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Mick Gentleman, announced the expansion on 5 June (World Environment Day), as he placed the first fence post for the new fencing. The work is funded jointly by the Commonwealth Government, the ACT Government and the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust, and helps deliver the Australian Threatened Species Strategy and Action Plan. Dr Jason Cummings (General Manager of the Woodlands & Wetlands Trust) said the new area allows for more species introductions: “for example, Bandicoots on one side and then Bettongs on the other. The first priority will be removing the rabbits, then the foxes and cats. The Bush Stone-curlews and Eastern quolls will soon find their own way in, and the full suite of species reintroduced to the current Sanctuary will be available for reintroduction into the expansion areas.” Projects planned for the area by ACT Parks and Conservation Service in partnership with the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust include:
- Environmental Offset commitment projects – Golden Sun Moth habitat improvements and Box Gum Woodland restoration projects;
- New visitor infrastructure projects – tracks, trails, signage, an app for walkers;
- New research opportunities around restoring grassy woodland groundcover;
- Development of a learning centre with new opportunities for science communication and outreach;
- Feral animal control;
- Biomass management by grazing, fuel reduction burns, slashing and/or de-thatching.
Around the region
Ginninderra Falls Association crowdfunding campaign
Ginninderra Falls Association is calling for crowdfunding to supplement scientific information about the Ginninderra Falls area and to raise awareness after significant concerns expressed by the community and ecologists about the fire risk and risk to threatened species in the area. Ginninderra Catchment Group has been very involved in pushing for better environmental outcomes in the area. The decision to rezone a large area of E3 (Environmental Management) in the vicinity of Ginninderra Falls to R1 (General Residential) will likely go before the Yass Valley Council within the next couple of months so it is crunch time in terms of decisions made in relation to this important area. The link to the crowdfunding campaign can be found at: https://chuffed.org/project/ginninderra-falls
Upper Bidgee Bed and Banks workshop, Sunday 25 June
At this free event, you will hear how passionate locals working with the Rivers of Carbon team have improved river health and contributed to better habitat for native fish in this stretch of the Murrumbidgee River. Prue McGuffie will give a research update on the Macquarie Perch in this river in relation to habitat, and you will also hear from Antia Brademann (Waterwatch) and landholders
Kim Templeton and Helen Shimitras. We start at 10 am at Colinton (actual address provided when you register). After morning tea we shall go to the river until 1 pm. Bookings are essential, via the Rivers of Carbon website (riversofcarbon.org.au) which will take you to the Eventbrite page.
Beetles in farming landscapes, 6 July evening, Murrumbateman
Kat Ng, a former Convenor of GCG, will be speaking on her PhD research on ‘Beetles in farming landscapes’ at the Murrumbateman Landcare Group meeting on Thursday 6 July, 7.00 pm, Murrumbateman Recreation Ground Hall. Kat’s study was in a mixed-farming landscape in the Lachlan Catchment, and she will present some findings on the habitat preferences of beetles and the effects of seasonal change. Her talk will give an insight into the challenging world of entomology and the importance of conserving beetle biodiversity. RSVP (for catering and crowd management) by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Details at http://www.landcare.nsw.gov.au/groups/murrumbateman-landcare-group/events/mlg-monthly-meeting-topic-beetles-in-farming-landscapes-kat-ng-7-00pm-thursday-6-july.
New Landcare award for Fish Habitat protection (NSW)
A late addition to the 2017 NSW Landcare Awards is the inaugural NSW Fish Habitat Award, supported by the NSW Fish Habitat Partnership. Healthy fish habitats accessible by fish at all life stages, and access to clean and adequate water, are important factors supporting healthy native fish populations. The NSW Fish Habitat Award will consider people or groups ‘that implement exceptional on-ground works and/or those whose efforts to promote and enable others to contribute are achieving significant outcomes for fish habitat in NSW’. See https://landcareaustralia.org.au/landcare-awards/ and https://e-award.com.au/2017/landcareawards/newentry/about.php for details. Nominations close on 17 July.
School Garden projects – grants available from Yates
Yates Junior Landcare Grants for Gardens has 15 grants to give away ($1500 in funding, $500 in garden products, plus consultation with an expert). They are for schools, childcare centres and youth groups. Entries can be for a range of types of garden including ‘Bush-tucker’, ‘Sensory’, ‘Vegetable’, ‘Butterfly’ and more. Inspirational case studies are on the Junior Landcare website (where you can also answer a survey on the Junior Landcarer and thereby enter the draw for other grants). Applications are due on or before Thursday 29 June. Apply via https://landcareaustralia.org.au/junior-landcare/
NSW Travelling Stock Reserve review
The NSW Government is seeking the community’s input on the Travelling Stock Reserve (TSR) network in NSW to ensure it remains connected, viable and well maintained. There are more than 6500 TSRs on Crown land in NSW, covering approximately two million hectares. The Crown Lands Management Review in 2012 found that many TSRs are no longer used for their original purpose. A new comprehensive review of the network will examine the parcels of land required for the TSR network in the future.
The aim of the TSR review is to determine which TSRs are still used or required for the original purpose they were set aside for and to determine if they are important for other reasons. This information will feed future decisions about how this land can be best reserved, managed and owned, and will also be used to develop a comprehensive map of the TSR network in NSW — where they are, what they are now used for, who uses them and how often.
Information about this is at http://open.lls.nsw.gov.au/TSR-review/, where you can also submit your comments and feedback, by 5 pm on 22 June.
NSW Landcare and Local Land Services Conference
This conference will be held during 25–27 October, at the Albury Entertainment Centre, Albury, NSW, hosted by Landcare NSW and Murray Local Land Services, and is being coordinated in partnership with local Landcare and community groups. It is the premier event to showcase sustainability, Landcare and volunteering across NSW and includes the annual Landcare Muster and the NSW State Landcare Awards. The theme for the Conference is ‘Sharing our Stories’. Conference topics will focus on agriculture, biodiversity, water and Aboriginal Landcare. See http://nswlandcareconference.com.au/. Earlybird registration ends on 30 June; main registration ends on 25 September.
Ginninderra Catchment Group is grateful for support from