Southern ACT Catchment Group is currently managing several projects which span throughout the catchment and collaborate with multiple member groups. Below are some examples of recent and ongoing catchment-wide projects.
- Landcarer Pest and Plant Training 2022-2023
- Riparian Rescue with Outward Bound 2021-2023
- Community Led Bushfire Recovery 2022-2023
- Steamweeder 2020-current
- Naas Valley Riparian Plantings 2022
- Namadgi Bushfire Recovery 2020-2022
- Aerial Ecological Mapping 2020-2021
- Wildlife Monitoring 2020-2021
- Tree Health Monitoring 2020-2021
- Landcare for our Future 2020-2021
This project will provide practical training for local environmental volunteers on identifying local invasive plants and a variety of treatment methods applicable to their work sites. Workshops will be delivered by a professional pest plant operator and provide on-ground hands-on training using a variety of methodologies relevant to local ecosystems. Training will supplement basic current chemical qualification training and broaden the approach for tackling significant threats to native ecosystems. A weed treatment guide will also be produced to encourage information sharing and ongoing learning.
This project will be delivered with assistance from the ACT Government under the 2022-2023 ACT Environmental Grants Program. For more information on upcoming workshops please contact Zohara Lucas at email@example.com.
In this project SACTCG will work with Outward Bound to continue long standing revegetation activities along the Murrumbidgee and Gudgenby rivers in Tharwa and create a link to plantings undertaken under the Million Trees Program. The project area covers 37.5ha in the Murrumbidgee River Reserve and is a recognised buffer zone for the Gigerline Nature Reserve. The primary project objective is to improve riparian zone habitat, biodiversity and riverbank stability. Secondary objectives include increased education on the importance of riparian health and habitat to a wide-ranging audience. The key project activity is the planting of 3000 understory shrub and tree tube stock. This will be undertaken by approximately 3000 participants of Outward Bound’s leadership and personal development programs as part of the environmental awareness component of their course who come from diverse backgrounds. Maintenance of the 27 years of previous plantings will also be undertaken by participants as part of this project as recommended by ACT Parks and Conservation.
This project is delivered with assistance from the ACT Government under the 2021-2022 ACT Environment Grant Program.
This project will undertake important bushfire recovery activities to speed the restoration and regeneration of native ecosystems in areas burnt the Orroral Valley Fire in 2020. SACTCG will engage both community volunteers to manage pest plant infestations in recovering bog and forest communities and contractor services for the Gudgenby Valley. It will build on the work undertaken by SACTCG through previous projects and the work of ACT Government in burnt areas and continue the volunteer efforts and community engagement. It will also engage volunteer groups to assist mapping monitoring of weeds, rabbits, bogs, native vertebrate animals, and rare species such as orchids in the recovering ecosystems. Community information sessions will also be delivered to build a broader community understanding of bushfire impacts and recovery. The two areas of work in the project are the Sphagnum bogs in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Namadgi National Park (either side of Corin Road) and the Gudgenby Valley. The work will support and complement the work undertaken by the Gudgenby Bush Regenerators in Gudgenby Valley and the Parks and Conservation Service.
This project will be delivered with assistance from the ACT Government under the 2022-2023 ACT Environmental Grants Program.
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 Satusteam machine uses super saturated steam to effectively kill weeds by destroying plant cell walls. The steam weeder is trailer mounted and features a 1000L tank, petrol pump, and diesel burner to heat the water. Steam is applied to weeds via the mop head in a sweeping motion or via spikes for targeted weeding.
The Steamweeder provides a solution to the risk and growing fears of chemical spraying impacts on the health of volunteers, waterways and native environments. Up until now, weed control by volunteers has been limited to intensive labour (hand pulling) or chemical use. Steamweeding also means there is no need to adjust for growing phases of plants, unlike chemical weeding.
SACTCG have extensive experience in delivering similar machinery lending programs for community weed control.
The new steam weeder was trialled at several different sites across the ACT on several different weeds including Serrated tussock, Patterson's Curse, Vasbascum, Horehound, Blackberry Nightshade, Sticky weed, Chilean Needle Grass and Couch Grass- all successful. Like any weeding, depending on the species the plants may need to be treated multiple times.
The steamweeder is available for hire, please contact Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
This project was delivered in partnership with Rivers of Carbon, and the ACT Government’s NRM team with Funding from the Federal Governments Future Drought Fund. The project engaged landholders along the length of the Naas River in the Southern ACT Catchment, to implement erosion control, fencing, dam restoration, and vegetation planting. The aim was to improve the overall water quality of the Naas River flowing into the Murrumbidgee and increase drought resilience in the farming community. Over nine planting days were completed with hundreds of volunteers contributing their time to support local landholders to increase riparian vegetation cover around both farm dams and the Naas River itself. Thousands of trees, shrubs and grasses, all endemic to the area were planted with major erosion control works happening to reduce the sediment load flowing into the river. Landholders were supported to establish fencing around the plantings and the river to decrease the impact of stock. Overall, this project was a fantastic example of multiple parts of the community and government working together to create positive social and environmental outcomes.
Approximately 80 percent of Namadgi National Park burnt in the devastating fires of 2019/2020 which significantly affected local plants and wildlife. SACTCG has been working with Landcare ACT (LACT) and the ACT Parks and Conservation Service to host a series of events for members of the community to get involved in the bushfire and wildlife recovery effort. This program has helped volunteers address high level risks to biodiversity in Namadgi National Park. Volunteers worked with SACTCG and Park Rangers to weed and replant areas subject to significant weed infestation and reduced habitat for native animal’s post bushfires. There has been a total of 9 events run by SACTCG and LACT, across 2 grant programs funded by the Landcare Australia Bushfire Recovery Grant Program and WIRES – Landcare Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grant Program, in partnership with the ACT Government. Extra funding has come from the Walk for Namadgi Fundraiser held earlier last year.
Volunteers who have taken part described the emotional effect of seeing the park in its current state. This opportunity to work closely with ACT Parks has given volunteers a sense of ownership and agency and the program is important for both environmental and human wellbeing outcomes.
Outcomes achieved across 9 events at Namadgi VIC and Glendale Picnic Area:
- No. volunteers: 94
- Total volunteer Hours: 400+ hrs
- Area weeded: 25+ hectares
- Plantings: over 350 native habitat trees, shrubs and groundcovers planted.
Southern ACT Catchment Group is also the recipient of funding for bushfire recovery through a Landcare Australia grant, as well as a grant from the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. SACTCG is working in Namadgi National Park alongside ACT Parks and Conservation to continue supporting bushfire recovery in our catchment region. This work includes community working days, funding for weeding and fencing contractors, as well as citizen science monitoring and mapping and more.
For more information about Bushfire Recovery Programs in Namadgi, contact Jeff Eichler at email@example.com.
Thanks to a Commonwealth Environment Program Grant, SACTCG launched a project to deliver a citizen science program which monitors the health of restored patches of native woodlands and grasslands in nature reserves in Southern ACT.
Volunteers from local Landcare groups have taken aerial images using a drone with centimeter-accurate GPS resolution in 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.
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.
SACTTCG and researchers from ANU have trialled drone image mapping at sites including Urambi Hills. Initial assessment of the posssibility of the drone being used for species identification and weeding priorities for parkcare groups is underway.
If you are interested in using the drone, please contact Fiona at firstname.lastname@example.org
--This grant project was completed in 2021, however, equiptment is still available to loan for future projects- If your member group is interested please contact email@example.com-
Through the Australian Government’s Communities Environment Program, we’ve purchased equipment for wildlife monitoring, and tested a woodland wildlife citizen science program with volunteers. We have successfully recorded some micro-bats with volunteers from Red Hill, and have also managed to get some wildlife monitoring cameras out on Tuggeranong Hill and Cooleman Ridge with the Parkcare groups. Through this process we hope that we can contribute some data to the local wildlife database (Canberra Nature Map) and train volunteers on how to use the equipment. Next, we can lend out the equipment to any groups or individuals who are keen on getting involved in wildlife monitoring. We have 8 wildlife cameras and 8 bat detectors available. If your group (must be a member of SACTCG) is interested in seeing what’s around your reserve, get in touch. The best time of year for bat monitoring is spring/summer. The wildlife cameras need approval from the land manager, which is easiest done through SACTCG – and approvals can take a few weeks.
--This grant project was completed in 2020, however the technology is still open and available to continue use for future monitoring--
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
--This grant project was completed in 2021, however, we are continuously looking for ways to improve participation of the younger cohort in Landcare. If you are a young person, check out the facebook group here for new updates and connections --
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.
To find out more about the program, see our summary here.
If you're a young person keen to stay connected to others in the landcare space, check out the facebook group.