"> CATCHMENT WIDE PROJECTS - SACTCG

CATCHMENT WIDE PROJECTS

Southern ACT Catchment Group is currently managing several projects which span throughout the catchment and collaborate with multiple member groups. 

Landcare for our Future is a landcare program run for young people, by young people from 2020-2021.

We want to re-energise landcare in Canberra, make sure that this generation has the knowledge and connection to our local parks and reserves so we can continue landcare into the future- after all- it’s our future 🌱

The Landcare for our Future program is designed to get young people aged 18-35 involved in landcare activities such as planting, pest control, erosion control, track maintenance, litter removal and ecosystem monitoring. The program aims to link young people with existing groups and projects to build the Landcare movement into the future, develop skills and knowledge in environmental management and also facilitate devolving of knowledge and expertise held by local volunteers through mentoring activities.

If you’re a young person who’s keen to get involved, find out more, see events coming up and sign up here

 

SACTCG has established an innovative program to safely treat invading weeds in urban reserves and open space in the ACT. The Environmental Steam Weeding Program provides a solution to the risks and growing fears of chemical spraying impacts on the health of environmental volunteers, waterways and native environments, with the availability of a trailer mounted Satusteam™ machine. As this is the first of these machines to be available for community use in the region, community interest is extremely high. The program allows weeding to be extended to all year long compared to chemical treatments which occur only when plants are in full growth ie. mostly spring. SACTCG have extensive experience in delivering similar machinery lending programs for community weed control.

The new steam weeder was trialled at Cuppacumbalong Homestead near Tharwa on Saturday 26th October 2019 . A number of landholders and volunteers attended the trial event where they learnt how to operate the steam weeder and saw the impact it had on weeds in the area. Further trials are underway at several different sites.

If you are interested in the steamweeder, please contact Hannah at urbanwater@sactcg.org.au.

 

 

Southern ACT Catchment Group has partnered with ACT Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Department to develop a survey to record data on tree health, in response to community concern about the health of some of their local trees- particularly Yellow Box E. Melliodora and Blakely’s Red Gum E. Blakelyi. This monitoring follows on from a previous ACT Government survey of tree health across the ACT. The aim of this new citizen science monitoring program is to re-collect data on tree health to monitor for improvement or decline in the condition of these previously monitored trees. Ultimately this will contribute to an increased understanding of the patterns and causes of dieback in the ACT and inform future management actions in our parks and reserves.

Some amazing Landcare and Parkcare volunteers have been learning how to use the survey tool, and will be heading out in their local parks and reserves to collect data on tree health.

If you are interested in helping out with the tree health survey, please email Correa at communications@sactcg.org.au.

In response to a need for more data on bats in Canberra, Southern ACT Catchment Group will be launching a small commuity bat monitoring program this year. Stay tuned for more updates...

 

This project will deliver a citizen science program that monitors the health of restored patches of native woodlands and grasslands in nature reserves in Southern ACT.

Volunteers from local Landcare groups will take aerial images using a drone with centimeter-accurate GPS resolution in two valuable ecosystems.  These areas will be mapped and monitored for floral density and condition of box-gum trees, native grassland, ground cover, erosion, and weeds. On-site training in the use of equipment will take place during data collection on-site.

Project activities will provide valuable baseline ecological information whilst informing on the impacts of restoration works and engaging and educating volunteers in citizen science activities.

 

Project activities will be:

·       On- site aerial imaging of over 30 hectares of restored woodland and grassland ecosystems on Urambi Hills and Mt Taylor. This includes the collection visual data on native floral density and condition of box-gum trees, grassland and understory density, percent of ground cover, erosion hotspots and invasive plant distribution and density. Selected sites are areas where recent revegetation, weed and/or erosion control has been undertaken.

·       Facilitation of community monitoring activities.

·       Training for citizen scientists whilst aerial monitoring is being undertaken. This will include how to use equipment to collect accurate and useful data for ecological monitoring of health and threats to woodlands and grasslands.

·       Liaison with ACT Government and other non-government agencies to ensure broad use of collected data.

·       Project administration and coordination of the citizen science program.

 

Aerial monitoring by local volunteer citizen scientists will:

·       Provide vital spatial imagery and information on the condition of, and threats to, two valuable woodland and grassland ecosystems.

·       Increase citizen science activity and skills of community groups in monitoring and use of UAV (drone) for data gathering.

·       Educate the community on the state of local ecosystems to encourage their protection.

·       Inform volunteers on the effectiveness of their work and assist targeting of volunteer restoration works and prioritisation of activities.

·       Provide baseline data, particularly during drought conditions, to enable ecological monitoring over time.

·       Provide a monitoring method that can be replicated in other local reserves with volunteer interest.

 

Dr Adam Carroll, from ANU, will train volunteers during their first use of the drone, he will also assist with developing operating procedures, data analysis and the platform to house collected data.

 

Current progress

The project is currently at the stage of purchasing the drone and the computer which will have the processing capabilities to handle the images captured. Once the drone and computer have been purchased it would be great to meet again to determine our next steps and answer any questions from the volunteers now on board. We are also collating all licensing and permission information to ensure we are operating safely and correctly.