What is Landcare Fire Recovery?

Upper Goulburn Landcare Network
Since the devastating Black Saturday bushfires of Feb 2009, the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network has been working with landholders and local communities in the Murrindindi and Mitchell Shires to rebuild and rehabilitate the local environment on private property.
This blog presents some of the stories.
To find out more about our program or to volunteer with one of our projects contact Landcare Coordinator Chris Cobern on 5736 0104.
Or by email on ugrecovery@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Landcare Tree Transporting Vehicle Number 3

UGLN Bushfire Recovery Projects Number 3 "tree transporting " vehicle will soon transform back into Cathy Olives family station wagon . Goodbye to plants, foam boxes, water, gravel and potting mix filling the back of the car.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bridget Leaves Landcare for Health Reasons

Landcare coordinators from across the Goulburn Broken Catchment gathered in Ruffy today to farewell Bridget Clarke.

Bridget has worked for the Upper Goulburn Landcare Network , based in the Yea CMA office , for 7 years. Next week she will take up an appointment at Yea Hospital in the Health & Well being field. Bridget will be impossible to replace , she is such a character !
She will be remembered for her passionate approach to all things landcare: biological farming , soil health , dung beetles , fish circuses , 'big trees' , unnecessary vegetation clearing , bushfire recovery , calendars of events , Terry Hubbard , her landcare groups ,writing funding applications & final reports , passing on office gossip and speaking out for landcare in a loud clear voice.

"I will miss our 1 hour long phone chats" Tony Kubeil
"I will miss her pumpkin soup now that I am a gluten free vegetarian " Janet
"I will missed her wicked replies to my emails" Charlie
"It was truly a pleasure to work with someone so competent, attentive, effective, 'straight up & down', 'tell it like it is',  'get to the bottom of it and sort it out'...... and all round professional. You'll be missed." Bertram
" I will miss her crazy project titles" Karen
We will all miss Bridget , but she isn't moving far away and we will be invading her new office often.

I can even see combined morning teas to develop Community Health & Landcare projects for the Yea district (or are my glasses just dirty? it has been raining a bit.). Bridget might find that one has to do more than move offices, to escape from Landcare!

Monday, September 6, 2010

ANZ Risk Department MEGA WEEK Day 2

31st August 2010 .

The Banking world's financial year ends this week and all unused volunteers days cannot be carried into the next year. This has created our ANZ Risk Department Mega Week. We have committed to finding work for 40 volunteers for each day for a week. This also includes providing morning tea and lunch in the field (catering for a wide range of dietary needs), providing mobile toilet facilities and ensuring coach access to all sites.

Day 2 Report Treeplanting at Steve and Heather Joblin's in Strath Creek

32 ANZ volunteers plus 20 students from Mercellin College in Bulleen, with Sister Margret.

Cathy, Janet & Bridget from Landcare.

The speedy ANZ workers planted 660 trees.

Mercellin College boys planted 18 trees.

Wet Feet

Treeproject / Landcare Partnership Tree Planting Day.
17 ANZ volunteers
De driving the Treeproject bus .
Chris & Janet from Landcare.
Davis Property. Glenburn.
The project for the day was to plant and guard 300 understorey plants in the bare patches amongst the manna gums along the Yea River at the bottom of Gail's property. The ground was very muddy on the river flats . Luckily Gail had a good supply of spare gum boots and coats but there were some very wet feet at the end of the day . A BBQ lunch was enjoyed around the huge family table, it seated 20 people! The warm fire was also very appreciated by my cold feet.

Wood Fired Oven Pizzas for Lunch

August 26th 2010
Cathedral Lane
14 ANZ volunteers from the Properties Dept.
Chris & Janet from Landcare .
400 plants in garden restoration project .
Highlights of the day - John Brantons wood fired oven pizzas for lunch, spectatular views of the Catherdral Range, photos and stories of Black Saturday survival.

Drying Wet Work Gloves

During during past few months, having enough dry work gloves ready for the next group of volunteers has meant extra work for Landcare Fire Recovery coordinators Janet & Chris. Each night our families enjoy the company of many pairs of muddy and dripping wet leather gloves hanging around the fire place.

Managing Roadside Vegetation HOW???

I am always interested in seeing how the bush is regenerating after the fires.
The issues of how to manage this regrowth are complex.
The attached pictures are an example of how roadside vegetation needs to be considered carefully.
In photo one all the plants look nearly the same but if you look more closely you will note three dominant and similar species .
  • The Grey Parrot Pea, unusual for the area, has responded to the fire by germinating 100's of new healthy plants.
  • Common heath, a low growing plant that cannot be easily propagated in a nursery, has also produced many seedlings since the fire.
  • Bergan ( TeaTree) A very invasive native species has also been stimulated by the fire. It will grow into a tall thicket and smother all other species.

    How can this area be managed to protect the rarer plants and suppress the bergan growth ?

Two Hills Road - Glenburn

Treeproject / Landcare Partnership
8 ANZ Volunteers
De and Tim from Treeproject
Janet and Chris from Landcare.
300 plants for roadside screening and creek restoration at Hillary Craig's place in Glenburn.

SW Sydney Environment Group Day 3

Day 3
SW Sydney Environment Group
South Catheral Lane

The Team was well prepared for the chilly Victorian weather today They worked hard to plant 300 trees to replace burnt pine trees and create a windbreak and shade for stock.
Lunchtime was spent texting friends.
When the planting was completed the group headed off to Lake Mountain for some fun in the snow.

Thanks for your help and I hope to see some of you again next year. Jake and Frank made their second visit; last year they helped pull down burnt fences and control blackberry growth at Buxton.

Its a Wash Out !

18th August 2010

Day 2

The SW Sydney Schools Environment Group

Bushfire Seed Production Area planting at Tabilk Winery.

20 keen students plus 3 teachers.

2000 very special plants

Jim, Sandsie, Bobo and Janet .

The forecast was not good but the rain did not start falling until we arrived at the site. The volunteers were not expecting the cold conditions. Running shoes and plastic ponchos proved to be inadequate protection.

The kids were off to a good start with 600 plants in the ground before lunch but everyone was so wet and cold we abandoned the site at 1.30pm.

55mm of rain fell that day and the their tents back at Alexandra Canavan Park were full of water when they returned. Chris Coburn saved the day by offering them the use of the well-equipped Kinglake Scout Hall . So it was hot showers at the Kinglake Bushfire Village, the heaters on full at the scout hall to dry damp sleeping bags and a dry change of clothes and a warm meal before everyone felt happy again.

Janet, Jim and Sandsie enjoyed a private tour of the winery cellars before they packed up.

Wetland Restoration at Narbethong

August 9th 2010
ANZ / Treeproject / Landcare Partnership
17 volunteers plus Lyn who drove the bus from treeproject .
Janet and Cathy.
Beautiful weather.
Planted to restore a creek and dam below the newly rebuilt Saladin Lodge Conference Centre.
Enjoyed lunch in the sunshine and a tour of the building followed by a hike to the hilltop at the back of the property . Studied the incredible diversity of plants regenerating after the fire , a few of which we could not identify but will go back to collect seed .
Thanks to Ray the painter for letting us into the property and to Kim for racing back from Melbourne to thank the volunteers.

Small Block - Big Job

August 10th 2010

Kinglake West -Cold wet day.

A coach load of 35 NAB volunteers,

Janet & Cathy.

The challenge for the day was how to fit 300 plants into John & Holly's small block. Lots of natives grasses, lillies and creepers were planted. A real 'backyard blitz' makeover!

They lost their house and garden in the fire and are rebuilding themselves. They needed plants and mulch to fill in the muddy exposed areas and as well as screening from neighbours and the road. The rain didn't stop this team from finishing the job but we were happy to retreat to the Flying Tarts Bakery for a splendid lunch and an early trip home in a warm bus.

(Chris took the other half of this team pulling weeds in the StoneyCreek Reserve)

Cath Olive joins the landcare team- for a few months

Cath Olive has become a very valuable member of the Landcare Bushfire Recovery team during her short period of unemployment from DPI. For the past few months she has been visiting landholders and delivering plants in the Marysville, Buxton, Taggerty and Narbethong areas.
Her help at treeplanting days has been wonderful, selecting & laying out plants, cooking lunch, supervising volunteers and chatting with property owners.
Unfortunately for us the DPI have realized the mistake they made by not renewing her contract and she will be returning to her old job soon. We will miss her!
Cath has learnt a few things about being a Landcare coordinator that surprised her:
  • Using the family car to drive long distances crammed with loads of trees, stakes guards and tools.
  • Cooking morning tea and lunch for up to 40 people with a wide range of dietary requirements in a paddock while it is raining.
  • Not knowing quite what to expect at each site before we arrive with the volunteers. It could be fitting 300 ground cover plants into a small back yard or planting 1200 trees on a steep windy hill side. Every day presents a different challenge.
  • The fact that we do our office work at home in the evenings and early morning. Emails are sent and answered at 10.30pm or 7am!
  • Not having an office, computer or phone supplied.
  • Having our equipment & tools stored in Bridget's backyard.
  • The need to be resourceful, flexible and innovative. Like when you turn up to a property with a bus load of volunteers to find the gate locked and the landholder in Melbourne because they have forgotten the date.