"> Community Stewardship Projects - SACTCG

Community Stewardship Projects

Southern ACT Catchment Group works with our member groups on landcare and parkcare projects which promote community stewardship and improve our environment- often with the support of government grants.

 

SACTCG is current supporting these community stewardship projects. Expand the menu below to read more about each one:

As part of a Transport and City Services Adopt-a-Park grant, Southern ACT Catchment Group has organised three Grass Identification Workshops to help urban landcare volunteers understand and identify grass species in their local patch. The first workshop was open to SACTCG members of urban landcare groups and took place at the Bonython Community Hub on Sunday the 18th October.

Alison Elvin from Natural Capital Pty Ltd ran the workshop and shared her deep and wide knowledge of grasses and grassland ecosystems with us. It was a wonderful day of learning and cramming our brains with fascinating grass-related information from Alison.

There were about 20 attendees from urban landcare groups (groups on TCCS Land) including Holder Wetlands, Hughes Grassy Woodland, Griffith Woodlands Volunteer Group, Minders about Simpsons Hill, Tuggeranong Lake Carers and the Croton Park Carers. Together, Alison took us through the value and function of native grasslands, the impacts of disturbance, integrated weed management and grass species identification information.

We will be hosting two more workshops which are field based. The first will take place on the 8th November to look at C4 (warm season) grasses and the second to take place on the 7th March to look at C3 (cool season) grasses. If you’re a member of an urban landcare group in Southern ACT, stay tuned or get in touch for more information about future workshops.

Thank you to Alison Elvin for sharing with us her time and endless expertise.

 

The Hughes Garran woodland group has been working to control African Lovegrass, St John’s Wort, and other woody weeds, but have not yet been able to take on Skeleton weed. Skeleton weed is particularly concerning threat to Hughes Garran Woodland due to its increasingly rapid spread throughout the park- and when fully grown it is impossible to walk through. Taking on Skeleton weed is difficult: establish plants cannot be dug out due to their deep root system, and hand pulling just breaks the plant at ground level, allowing for more seed spread. Glyphosate based herbicides have little impact on Skeleton weed. SACTCG has received a grant from the 2019-2020 ACT Environment Grant Program. These funds will employ an approved contractor to spot spray skeleton weed with effective herbicide during the most effective stages of growth; allow the purchase of native grass seed to reseed sprayed areas, and support volunteer working bees to continue removing other invasive plants by hand.

As part of the 2014-2015 ACT Environment Grants, this project utilised erosion reduction methods such as using local rocks, and coir logs to impede erosion on the creek banks. Works were completed for three creeks using appropriate methods for each site. This required large machinery and a labour force to execute the work well, with preparations made to ensure minimal impact to the soil and wider environment. Monitoring of the site is ongoing, and so far the works have proven to be very effective in erosion management.

A revegetation project for the frontage of a degraded river adjacent to Castle Hill Homestead in Tharwa. The aim of this project was to improve the complexity of the vegetation, improve the soil quality and reduce the amount of sediment entering the river during heavy rain events. A contractor was engaged to dig holes, and Conservation Volunteers Australia teams worked to plant approximately 2000 native seedlings: nine hectares were planted over 3km river frontage. Trees were planted in an identified riparian zone as well as into the property to adjoin to a large area of EPBC listed Red Gum Yellow Box woodland on the property. Trees were planted in clumps with spaces between to allow for movement of wildlife and vehicle access if required. The planned planting at Castle Hill was completed on time with some funding left over, which was re-allocated to planting on Pine Island to increase native understory.  SACTCG received an ACT Environment Grant 2015-2016 for continued planting at the Castle Hill property to provide connectivity between all the existing patches along the river and with the surrounding EPBC listed woodland. 

 

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SACTCG worked with two landholders on contiguous land on Spring Station Creek to reduce Blackberry infestations in the riparian zone and significant patches of EPBC listed Yellow Box - Red Gum Woodland in the catchment. With 7.18 ha treated over the project, activities complimented efforts undertaken to control Blackberry by these landholders and by neighbouring properties and reduced seed load in the catchment and potential down steam contamination into the Murrumbidgee River.

The project also provided an opportunity to assess the effectiveness and affordability of unmanned aerial spraying for chemical weed treatments and compared this to a traditional treatment technique using a twin real manually operated QuickSpray trailer. The trial of the drone provided local farmers with access to new technology and informed potential future use of aerial treatment methods on typical terrain in the region. See the full report of the trial here.

This project was funded by 2018-2019 ACT ENVIRONMENT GRANTS

 

This project undertook a targeted approach by Gudgenby rural lessees in partnership with the SACTCG and the Namadgi depot of Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) working together to attack the most severe infestations of woody weeds in the Gudgenby River Catchment.

Large groves of exotic fruit trees were removed using a forest mulching machine (a ‘slashbuster’). This was combined with foliar spraying to successfully clear the riparian zone, permitting future access for weed control maintenance.

Follow up regrowth treatments and plantings is planned to ensure site stabilisation and reduce reinvasion of exotics.

Key achievements of the project were:

  • Limiting the spread of the weeds into the adjacent Namadgi National Park (NNP) and addressing infestations at the top of the catchment to reduce weed dispersal via the Murrumbidgee River Corridor.
  • achieving fast and efficient results with treatment methods catered for different infestation densities and terrain.
  • the successful partnership and engagement between SACTCG, rural Landholders, NNP staff, and ACT Government.

See our other projects at the pages below:

Rural Landcare

Urban Waterways

Catchment-Wide Projects