Newsletter JULY 2017 | www.BellarineLandcare.org.au
Bellarine Landcare Group Newsletter
The Bellarine Landcare Group (BLG) aims to preserve, protect and enhance the natural environment of the Bellarine Peninsula.
Already the shortest day is behind us, the days are getting longer and Spring’s Bloom is around the corner. Already the Masked Lapwings on our property have fledged their first chicks for the year. BLG has been busy fledging various projects too, though some are having short flights and are not yet fully airworthy, many are soaring.
During the month, Sophie returned from leave just in time to attend and witness the excellent BLUE Carbon presentation by Quinn Olivier she had organised. And what a timely reminder that not too many decades ago draining swamps was considered good development. Nowadays a swamp is a wetland. Not only is a wetland an important link in the food chain, but it is a very high quality Carbon Store. If you are a science follower, then of course draining swamps is Passé.
We also attended a CCMA 30-year celebration at Barwon Park, Winchelsea where representatives of all Corangamite Landcare, Coastcare and related groups gathered. Here we also recognised key movers and shakers – those recognised as having made valuable enduring contributions to the environment. So we were very pleased and proud that Beth Ross from the Bellarine (accompanied by her “equally significant" other half – Craig Blackman) was recognised as not only having contributed to Landcare, but to many other groups and organisations within Bellarine Catchment Network, and to the Horticulture industry itself. Congratulations Beth and Blacky!
We have also received significant support ($8,000) from CoGG Memorials and Arts department. This wonderful support has really assisted us immensely. The Mannerim Memorial Project was in dire need of this funding and so we are no longer “in the red” for materials' costs. We have had support from many groups, especially Bellarine Police, BLG volunteers, WM Buckle and Sons, Avery Earthmoving and many others. Without this “In Kind" assistance we would have got nowhere.
We have been attending public meetings regarding the Drysdale Landfill site and we are making constructive and informed progress here. Similarly, Sophie has been working with VicRoads and has given them guidance on the proposed indigenous vegetation which should be in place for the Bypass. She also has been consulting with First Nation Representatives, including Uncle Bryan.
A lot more work has been done on the Rail Trail and the BCH signage project, but that report awaits another day.
Meanwhile we look forward to our next Monthly Information Meeting where we plan to hear from Committee Member Louise Beames on her "Experiences in Natural and Cultural Resource Management in Western Autralia and Victoria. I do hope you will be able to attend (Wed 09 Aug 7:30 pm at Marcus Hill Hall).
This project is developing week by week towards a wonderful space for visiting and reflection. There is an interesting story on our website about the Hall, its history and purpose all the way to its demise and where this area is at today.
BLG held a Garden Planting day on the 16th July as a pre cursor to National Tree Day on Sunday 30th July.
Many people have come forward and generously offered their time, expertise and resources and we acknowledge their contribution thus far (see the website) and there will undoubtedly be many more as the project comes to its full realisation.
The Department of Veterans Affairs contributed the funds for a start-up grant to put in a storyboard sign, a plaque, and seating.
Since then we have been working with the community to undertake landscaping and planting, and historical research of the site.
We are pleased to report that stone masons from WM Buckle & Sons (seen here with Jim & Lynne Mason) installed the granite plaque with 57 gold embossed names last week. It looks quite grand. Correspondingly through our volunteer groups, mulch and matting is almost complete while about half of the area has been planted out.
We are calling for locals who remember the hall to send us some anecdotes about the Hall in its heyday. We want to compile this history and perhaps add it to our Story Board which will be mounted at the front.
Consistent with our Community Theme we are also asking for your ideas related to a chain saw carving of the cypress tree adjoining the site.
We also need more funds to complete the project and are consistently thinking of ways to raise money to help with the costs of creating the garden and surrounds.
Thank you to all for an ever-increasing network of Community support and interest in this project.
To keep up to date with events at the Memorial Garden, or to send us your ideas for the Cypress Tree carving or your memories of the Hall, please contact the Bellarine Landcare Facilitator Sophie Small email@example.com
Please join us for some fun Community Planting Days on Sunday 6 and Friday 11 August – see the Calendar entries.
Calling for Help
BLG would like to know if you can help with propagating plants in our nursery, walking and weeding along the Rail trail, planting Indigenous plants on properties where the BLG is providing plants. Please don't hesitate to contact our facilitator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
BLG collaborates with the Bellarine Secondary College to run the nursery and the Landcare production component has continued to be successful.
The nursery will open on the last Sunday of each month for sales of plants to BLG members.
If you're lucky enough to have beautiful little wrens flying around your property you might spare a thought for their true colour as described by the Section Editor of "The Conversation" newsletter.
Every year, male superb fairy wrens shed their dull brown feathers and grow spectacular bright blue, black and indigo plumage. The dominant male in a group stays blue the longest, and is so attractive to females that they sneak out to find him for conjugal visits under the cover of darkness.
But this beauty comes at a cost. Alexandra McQueen explains her new research showing that male fairy wrens become more cautious while brightly coloured. Wary of predation from other species, blue wrens flee more often, stay in hiding, spend more time scanning their surroundings and less time foraging for food than brown wrens. It’s not easy being blue. Click here to view it online
Jarrod Boord (formally BCN Caring for our Bays) has put together a Youtube clip which contains a very valuable message. Read below a few words from Jarrod before clicking on the link.
"Our new Marine Debris Video is on YouTube!"
"I am really excited today to send you our latest short film about marine debris. I’m hoping it will change the way you look at marine debris and help spark conversation about how plastics have become part of our environment. It's a completely new way of looking at marine debris.
When I was first dreaming up this script I was thinking along the lines of a short documentary on how marine debris affects our local environment and it dawned on me that this video needs to have a global context. I had to rethink the approach and write a script that would appeal to all audiences. Rusty Swordfish, played by the amazingly talented Lyall Brookes channelled a perfect cross between David Attenborough and Russell Coight during filming. Rusty takes us on a not-so-normal beach comb and finds ‘creatures’ that not many know about.
As part of plastic free July please do the environment a huge favour and send this out to all of your networks and ask them to send it on to their networks and so on. Hopefully this video will help start new conversations about marine debris and its affect on our environment.
I’d love your support to really push this and make it a huge success by sharing this."
Forkfish - The Adventures of Rusty Swordfish
Please click subscribe to Rusty’s Youtube Channel to see more of his videos in the future.
Web site for recycling soft plastics
An energetic group joined Lynne & Jim Mason to help out with tree guards and planting on their wonderful property on Bellarine Highway.
Lunch was well worth the effort thanks to both for their warm hospitality.
July was another busy month
August and Beyond
More can be seen on the BLG Website Calendar