On Sunday 4th December Southern ACT Catchment Group in collaboration with Landcare ACT’s Wellbeing through Nature program wrapped up a series of dam restoration plantings spread across seven dams and five properties in total.
The focus of these events was to demonstrate the mutual benefits of caring for our environment, helping rural landholders to maintain hydrology and biodiversity on their properties whilst recognising the benefits of environmental volunteering on personal wellbeing.
Various volunteers were involved across generations and experience levels, introducing people to the benefits of dam restoration with a focus on personal wellbeing and building friendships guided by Sally Holliday of Landcare ACTs Wellbeing through Nature program.
The dam restoration project arose through the Australian Government’s future drought fund, which endeavours to provide funding to rural landholders as a means of improving drought resilience on their properties. Interested landholders applied for the funding and were responsible for fencing off their dams before Landcare ACT and Southern ACT Catchment group were contracted to provide on-ground support and project implementation.
SACTCG’s Bushfire Recovery Officer – Jeff Eichler provided the knowledge of agricultural practices and the benefits of biodiversity in agricultural properties. This afforded SACTCG the ability to expand and strengthen relationships with rural landholders.
Plants and knowledge of planting systems were provided by ecologist Martin Henery of ACT Natural Resource Management (NRM). By strategically planting carefully selected trees and shrubs around dams, erosion can be avoided and water retention can be maintained in the warmer months by preventing warm wind from carrying the moisture away.
Throughout the six days of dam plantings approximately 1000 trees, shrubs and wetland plants went into the ground. Southern ACT Catchment looks forward to future collaborations with Natural Resource Management, Landcare ACT and Rural landholders.