Landcare has been active in the Hoskinstown / Rossi district for since 1993. It has helped us progress from a community that had useful but fragmentary knowledge about the most effective local strategies for integrating pasture and tree/shrub management into day-to-day farm management.
Initially, Landcare concentrated on attempting to pool and validate local knowledge about the diverse and challenging environment of the Molonglo High Plains. The area spans a number of different rainfall, altitude and geological zones from higher and wetter Rossi in the east to colder but drier Hoskinstown in the west.
From 1993-5, Landcare researched existing revegetation efforts and undertook water quality, salinity and remnant vegetation studies. A wide cross-section of the community was involved in a range of projects that initially focussed on validation of species selection, but also addresses local concerns about local pests (both weeds and animals). The Landcare group became an Incorporated Association on the 14th September 1995.
To promote measures to and undertake works which enhance the quality of land, water and vegetation in the Hoskinstown-Rossi-Forbes Creek area. The Hoskinstown Community Landcare Group will achieve these objectives by promoting a landcare ethic in our local community, provide a forum where the community can provide input and develop programs with other organizations, promote co-operation and goodwill amongst landholders, establish an information service, and develop and promote appropriate methods of land management.
To support the work of Landcare in the region a number of resources have been created for local landholders. On the basis of experience, the community has been able to establish better methods of pasture and land management. Landcare has run a number if well-attended community meetings dealing with local issues, salinity and new agricultural opportunities. Landcare has produced a number of publications including a useful guide to planting trees in the Hoskinstown area. Landcare has arranged a number of site inspections for landholders interested in seeing how these changes can work for them. Landcare has helped foster a new spirit of co-operative involvement between all of us living in this area. Landcare has prospered with a diversity o interests and goodwill within the community
Current & Past Projects
Armed with the results of the initial testing period, and with strong community support, from 1996 Hoskinstown Landcare has progressively taken on more ambitious projects designed o bring about integrated changes within the high plains by introducing extensive plantings on the Hoskinstown Plain to lead to long term climatic and pasture changes. The first project was the Corridors of Green and followed by the Greening the Molonglo High Plains Project.
More than 16 distinct sites / properties have been involved over the last five years in these programs. Through Landcare, more than $100,000 of grant moneys has been directly invested within the local community to date (the sum would be more than double to $200,000 when the cost of local effort is taken into account).
Hoskinstown Landcare has recently completed its largest project. The aim of this project was to develop & implement a plan to reverse the long-term decline in native vegetation and encourage sustainable agriculture within the Bungendore/Hoskinstown/Rossi area. Degraded sites requiring action were identified and prioritised through the development of a Management Plan. A series of on ground works was carried out which focused on re-establishing vegetation whilst in other areas removing the threatening processes to encourage natural regeneration.
The major threatening process is the perennial weed Serrated Tussock, a weed of national significance. Hilly, non-arable, low fertility sites were being taken over by Serrated Tussock. This project encouraged landholders to recognize the importance of using a combination of tools, eg physical, chemical, fertilizer, grazing or revegetation for the long-term control of weeds, and not just one method, generally chemical, in isolation. Landholders were convinced that weed control was easier & more cost effective then expected, and that the essential follow-up is not as daunting or time consuming as they had thought. A booklet “Toolkit for Managing Serrated Tussock” was and will be made available to our local community.
Twenty landholders have been involved in this project. As a result over $120,000 in grant funds and $200,000 in landholder contributions has been invested in our local community.
Bungendore School Project
Hoskinstown Community Landcare Group has initiated a project in conjunction with Bungendore Primary School and Greening Australia. The Group is planning to infill some of the tree plantings it has undertaken in the last few years and establish new tree corridors. An approach was made to Bungendore Primary School to see whether the school would be interested in growing around 1000 trees for the Landcare Group. The school has agreed to participate and will use the project for fundraising and as an educational program with Years 5 & 6. Greening Australia has kindly supplied tubes, potting mix and seed and holds tree propagation workshops with the kids. Several batches of trees have been planted on local properties. Greening Australia demonstrate tree planting techniques and members from our Landcare Group assist.
Hoskinstown Landcare has one project running and has submitted an application for a second project under the Envirofund grants. Envirofund is part the Australian Federal Government’s National Heritage Trust funding, for small projects aimed at maintaining biodiversity and habitat preservation. The Landcare Group is fencing out existing remnant vegetation and link these with corridors of trees, or extend tree corridors from previous projects. Project funds supply fencing, trees & tree-guards as well as ripping and chemicals for site preparation.
Becoming a member
Membership of the Landcare group is open to all members of our community.
Annual donations are just $10 per household and may be forwarded to the Treasurer, Paula Edwards 471 Plains Rd Hoskinstown 2621.
Donors automatically become members and will receive a free copy of “Grassland Flora”, a very useful book on plant identification for this area.
For more information, come along to the next meeting (see the community notice board for details or fliers delivered to every letterbox) or contact Andrew Hedley on 6238 2890.
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