The Molonglo Catchment Group is reviewing its strategy for maintaining and improving the health of the Molonglo Catchment.
Your contribution to this process is vital to ensure we are targeting the issues of concern to the community. We can’t be everywhere at once so we rely on your observations to inform us of what is happening and what needs to happen within the catchment.
Thank you to all those people who responded to the survey. We are about to start compiling the results with a view to organising some focussed workshops.
Lake Burley Griffin water quality results are available online. Visit www.nationalcapital.gov.au/waterquality for lake closures and warnings. This is also available on tablet or smart phone.
Water quality sampling and analysis has been assessed in accordance with the 'ACT Guidelines for Recreational Water Quality 2010'.
Queanbeyan Enviro Expo 2013
This biannual event will be held for the 3rd time this year and will take place on September 6 and 7, 2013 at the Queanbeyan Showground Pavilion.
Enviro Expo’s 2013 theme is ‘Sustainable Homes and Gardens’ and the event provides a great opportunity for Queanbeyan residents to enjoy picking up some new skills and knowledge of environmental issues and how to lead a more sustainable lifestyle as well as learning more about local environmental groups, products and services.
The Enviro Expo Coordinators are calling on all organisations or individuals with an environmental or sustainability focus to express their interest in contributing to this event. While the general theme of the event is ‘Sustainable Homes and Gardens’ a wide range of environmental and sustainable themes will be considered e.g. Local food, transport, cleaning products, volunteering groups, garden design, green building materials, renewable energy etc. You can download further information and an expression of interest form from the Queanbeyan City Council website. All expressions of interest forms need to be returned by Friday 28 June 2013.
If you are interested in sponsoring this year's expo you can download the Sponsorship proposal document and application form from the Queanbeyan City Council website. All applications for sponsorship need to be submitted to Council by close of business 21 June 2013.
If you would like to be involved in Enviro Expo 2013 or require further information please contact Queanbeyan City Council’s Sustainability Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Building More Productive and Profitable Soils – Good for You, Great for Australia
Seeking Expression from Farmers
Australian Soil Management (ASM) Pty Ltd is seeking expressions of interest from Farmers in Eastern Australia for participation in a project to evaluate a new structured soil management program called SoilSenseTM.
SoilSenseTM has been developed by ASM to enable farmers to manage soil organic matter and soil organic carbon to improve soil quality for economic and environmental benefits.
Note. Increasing soil carbon alone is not enough and should not be seen as a silver bullet solution to improve the viability of a farming enterprise. Rather it is one piece in a complex management and business solution addressing the individual and unique needs of each farm. SoilSenseTM has been developed to deal with the complexity and deliver measurable results.
We are seeking government funding to support the project. An important step in this process is the development of prior collaborative arrangements with farmers in key regions with representative soil types and commodity based enterprises.
The project will run for two and one half years. The start date is dependent upon grant approval and the contracting process. We expect work to commence in Spring 2013.
What ASM are seeking from farmers
Grant funding support will be used to set up and run 40 farm trials in Eastern Australia. The cost per trial and total number of trials will be determined by grant budget constraints.
The purpose of collaboration with farmers
The purpose of the project is to demonstrate to farmers that carbon capture in their soil will improve the profitability and productivity of the business. SoilSenseTM enables us to work with farmers to prepare a Structured Soil Management Plan to deliver the benefits of increased soil carbon at an affordable cost for their particular enterprise.
Proposed activities within the project
Tasks and activities will include:
Benefits to Farmers
Improvements in the financial and environmental viability of farming enterprises will come about through:
Participation costs and risks for farmers
There are no out-of-pocket expenses for farmers. ASM will provide staff time free-of-charge. Equipment and materials will be covered by grant funds. The small areas (say 5ha) required from each farmer will minimize enterprise risk.
The trials will be funded for two and one half years. It is expected that farmers will continue to monitor and manage the sites to realize a 1% increase in soil carbon over an expected total of five years. The 1% increase will deliver significant benefits, if well managed.
For further information contact Dr Greg Bender on 02 6198 3292 or 0410 480 165.
Experience Ngunnawal Country with an Aboriginal Ranger and gain an insight into the cultural landscape of the region. Discover why Ngunnawal people and neighbouring nations have gathered here for tens of thousands of years for ceremony, marriage, seasonal foods, trade and lore. Learn how that connection is still held strong by the Traditional Custodians today, and view Canberra’s significance as a nationally important meeting place from a different perspective. Tours to various sites are currently being developed.
Every month, and on demand throughout 2013, minimum numbers required for some tours.
Visit the Murumbung Yurung Murra Cultural Tours page on the TAMS website for more information.
Landcarers across the country are being encouraged to submit a nomination for the 2013 State & Territory Landcare Awards.
The renowned Awards, now in their 23rd year, honour the invaluable work that is being undertaken by the Landcare community, with the winners from the State & Territory Awards going forward as finalists to the prestigious National Landcare Awards in 2014.
There are nine categories, covering a range of environmental projects and themes, including sustainable agriculture, coastal rehabilitation and Indigenous land management. Individuals, schools, community groups and networks working to protect or restore local environments, farms, coastlines, native vegetation, bushlands, wetlands, waterways, and more, can be nominated.
Jane Stewart of Landcare Australia encourages people to get involved and nominate their local Landcarers today. “The Landcare Awards are a fantastic way of sharing the inspirational stories from the Landcare movement and celebrating the amazing work being done,” she said.
“As we encourage people across Australia to get involved with Landcare in their everyday lives, celebrating the extraordinary individuals and groups who make up this community is the perfect way of showcasing just how strong and vibrant Landcare is.”
To submit a nomination, or to read about the categories and criteria visit the Landcare Australia website
2013 ACT Landcare Award Categories
Nominations close Sunday 30 June 2013
2013 NSW Landcare Awards Categories
Nominations close Sunday 30 June 2013
Weed Swap 2013
Canberra Sand & Gravel at the end of Southern Cross Dr, Belconnen
We now know some plants widely used in Canberra gardens decades ago have a tendency to invade surrounding gardens and bushland. When birds eat the berries from some of these plants they spread the seed. These seedlings grow quickly and compete with native plants, threatening our Bush Capital and the garden city image for which the ACT is famous.
WEED SWAP 2013 is a joint initiative of the Australian Native Plants Society and the ACT Government's Department of Territory and Municipal Services (TAMS) to encourage ACT residents to remove these plants from their gardens, safely dispose of them and then select a free Australian native plant as an appropriate alternative.
Local Australian native plants have been selected as replacements as they grow and flower reliably in the ACT, withstanding the extremes of Canberra's winter frosts and hot, dry summers. Some of the shrubs provided will grow up to three metres tall, becoming useful screen plants that will attract native birds but will not invade the bushlands in and around Canberra. Once established, their water requirements are low. The target plants are the woody weeds cotoneaster, privet, firethorn and broom. Seedlings can often be found growing along garden fencelines, under powerlines and near other trees and shrubs. They grow vigorously and will spread their branches up and through existing plants, using precious water.
You can contribute to Weed Swap 2013 by removing any cotoneaster, privet, firethorn and broom plants from your garden. Bring the remains of your woody wees to the green waste recycling centre at either Canberra Sand & Gravel at the end of Southern Cross Drive, Belconnen or Corkhill Bros near the Mugga Land Tip on Saturday 2 November and Sunday 3 November between 8.30 am and 4.45pm, then visit the Weed Swap stall at these locations and select from a range of free local Australian native plants (complete with advice and instructions).
The results of a three year experiment by a local ParkCare group demonstrate that grazing pressure by kangaroos has serious consequences for the integrity of endangered grassy woodlands.
Since late 2009, with financial help from the ACT Government and the North Canberra Community Council, the Friends of Mt Majura conducted a simple public awareness project by recording vegetation change, and demonstrating the cause.
“We set up our Explaining Change project to gain a better understanding of the relative influence of kangaroos, rabbits, and season on the herbaceous ground layer in the reserve”, Ms Waltraud Pix, coordinator of the Friends of Mount Majura explains. “We fenced small grassland areas to exclude kangaroos and rabbits, kangaroos only, or none of the two herbivores and recorded the changes of the ground layer with repeat photography at fixed times of the year.”
“Our project began during a prolonged drought in 2009. We were astonished to observe how the lawn-like grass layer recovered as a response to removing grazing pressure. With three years of repeat photographic records of the seasonal changes, and the separate impacts of kangaroos and rabbits, the evidence is now conclusive. Our records demonstrate that kangaroo grazing is the problem. Even under the favourable rainfall conditions grazing induced changes of the ground layer persist,” says Ms Pix.
“Protecting Yellow Box - Red Gum Grassy Woodland” is the stated purpose in creating, and thus managing Mt Majura Nature Reserve (MMNR). But one factor, which strongly influences the protection of this grassy woodland – grazing by kangaroos, is not managed. This is to be regretted because the kangaroo species, the Eastern Grey, is abundant and is under no threat of extinction. In contrast, there are many small populations of plant and small animal species in MMNR that are locally rare, and whose habitat is repeatedly grazed bare.
Does it matter? Based on years of experience working within the Reserve, The Friends are convinced that it does matter. In particular, it is obvious that grazing by kangaroos is both heavy and unsustainable, because there are too many of them in the small remaining grassy woodlands. The herbaceous layer, the grasses and forbs, is repeatedly reduced to a lawn or a cover of unpalatable weeds. Consequently, a large unmanaged kangaroo population defeats the purpose of protecting the grassy woodland.
Ms Pix has grave concerns that overgrazing undermines volunteer and government efforts to restore degraded grassy woodland. “Ultimately large scale restoration projects are not sustainable when overgrazing hampers the natural regeneration and the reproductive cycle of plants. Overgrazed landscapes would require continuous planting or direct seeding, and expensive measures to protect the plantings. What is the use of investing into the protecting, improving and restoring endangered grassy woodlands if we ignore a key factor that causes the degradation?”
A time-lapse video of the 3 years repeat photography and explanatory background information is available at majura.org/explaining-change.
During the rain event over the long weekend of 26 to 28 January a temporary settling dam built at the Googong construction site breached, sending huge amounts of mud down Googong Creek and into the Queanbeyan River. The Queanbeyan River, which flows into Lake Burley Griffin, was still extremely muddy when the Molonglo Catchment Group visited its banks four days after the event.
“Turbidity at this level will smother aquatic plants and gilled aquatic animals including fish, tadpoles and many aquatic invertebrates that platypus feed on” said Waterwatch Coordinator for the Molonglo Catchment Group Inc., Dr Stephen Skinner. “The mud could also cause infilling of holes in pools and riffles that would otherwise provide egg-laying sites for native fish.”
The Queanbeyan River is also a noted Platypus habitat. Platypus Count, supported by Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch, occurs every winter and is collated by the Australian Platypus Conservancy. Their latest results revealed that Platypus numbers suffered a decline after the 2010 and 2012 floods.
“This latest event is a disappointing result for the Platypus following on from their apparent decline after the floods”, said Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch Facilitator, Woo O’Reilly. “Platypus prefer to feed in places where the bottom is mainly covered in gravel, cobbles and larger rocks as well as organic matter such as dead leaves and twigs. Clogging up the river bed with fine silt will adversely affect both their source of food as well as their ability to forage.”
Residents of Wickerslack Lane live along the Queanbeyan River and were devastated to wake up on the Sunday morning to the river looking like milky coffee when it is usually crystal clear.
“We are very concerned as this happened despite numerous references to water infrastructure and stormwater management which were made in submissions in the Development Control Plan for Googong Township.” said Wickerslack Lane resident, Mrs Gibson.
In the current (Summer 2013) issue:
Download the newsletter: ( 1.55MB)
We will be concentrating on erosion control in the Snow Gums Heritage Area, where deep gully erosion is still cutting back and needs extensive control. We have a grant from the ACT government for materials, and will be using logs, brushwood and rocks to create leaky weirs and stop advancing gully heads.
Next work parties will be on Sunday 21st July, jointly with Friends of Mt. Painter and Sunday 18th August, carrying out woody weed removal on the Rural Lease.
The Friends of the Aranda Bushland have now completed 20 years of active parkcare, and in that time achieved a great deal. We have successfully managed on-ground improvements in weed and erosion control, we have a website with substantial educational material, an interpretive walk and ‘Our Patch’, a published flora for the ACT photographed in the Aranda Bushland.
Now we have the opportunity to look forward, to envisage desirable futures, and look towards strategies to achieve them. We can propose and evaluate alternative routes to the desired futures, and clarify the actions needed to achieve them. Michael Mulvaney from Red Hill Regenerators will set the scene, and our Committee and others contribute ideas to the forum. All people interested in Aranda Bushland and the future of Canberra Nature Parks are invited.
Download flyer ( 57KB)
Friends of Jerrabomberra Wetlands (FJW) are starting a monthly organising meeting on the third weekend of the month, alternating between Saturday and Sunday. The schedule for the day will be a tree planting/weeding/clean-up type activity from 10-12, share lunch and meeting from 12.30 - 2pm, then a talk, walk or other enjoyable activity. People are welcome to come for any part of the day - or all of it of course.
Dates for your diary
Tuesday 18 June - weeding day 10am, at the car park.
Monday 15 July - bird survey - please RSVP and let Kathryn know if you're interested.
Sunday 21 July - monthly 10am weeding and probably laying of canola-laced cards to do a mice survey, to check out density of the population for raptors. Then 12.30 share lunch and meeting and 2pm talk at Wetlands office (topic to be confirmed).
Tuesday 23 July - weeding/ planting/cleanup - 10am at the car park.
In Spring, FJW are aiming to do a big planting effort at the southern end of the east basin, planting 10,000 reeds. This will be a fantastic improvement to this area.
So there are plenty of things happening at the Wetlands, other possible activities are a bat survey, spotlight survey, investigating whether fauna boxes would be useful in the wetlands and a willow species mapping, as well as Ranger- or volunteer-guided walks (many of you will have met the fantastic JW Ranger Michael Maconachie, who is extremely knowledgeable on many aspects of the flora and fauna of the wetlands). We are working on a website and other educational resources. A boardwalk is also on the drawing board and we hope that construction on that will start soon.
Love to see you at one of the activities soon!
For more information contact Kathryn Kelly, FJW coordinator 0417 269 984
Fernleigh Park will again kindly host Queanbeyan Landcare's National Tree Day event.
The NSW Environmental Trust invites grant applications
In April 2012, the Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment released the report of his inquiry into “the State of the Watercourses and Catchments for Lake Burley Griffin”. The Commissioner’s report can be found at www.envcomm.act.gov.au/investigations/lake_burley_griffin_investigation.
Following the tabling in the ACT Legislative Assembly of the Commissioner’s Report, in June 2012 the ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher MLA, met with senior representatives from the National Capital Authority, Queanbeyan City Council, Palerang Council and Cooma-Monaro Shire. Arising from that meeting the Chief Minister directed that the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate convene a Senior Officials Task Force with the aim of developing an Action Plan to improve water quality in Lake Burley Griffin, with this Report to be submitted by the end of August 2012.
The Action Plan, released on 11 September, proposes a coordinated program of short, medium and long term actions in and around the Lake itself as well as in the ACT and adjoining NSW catchments. These actions are designed to address the health of the Lake in the context of continuing urban growth and climate variability, with the aspiration of achieving progressive and measurable improvements. Short-term actions are proposed to have an impact in less than two years, medium-term actions to 5 years and long-term actions longer than 5 years. Annual reporting on implementation is envisaged.
The Task Force recommends a number of key actions that are intended to have a high impact on improving the health of the Lake and its management. While they are not in priority order, they are arranged in a logical structure to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive response.
It is important to note, that all Taskforce jurisdictions and stakeholder groups attached high importance to the creation of a single acknowledged coordinating body to ensure that the Actions outlined in this Plan are delivered and effectively reported upon.
Download the Action Plan from the ACT Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate website.
Atlas of Living Australia, ACT Government, Inspiring Australia and Molonglo Catchment Group have come together to organise the ACT Centenary Bioblitz !
Join us for Canberra’s first ever collaborative race to identify as many kinds of plants, animals, algae and fungi at Black Mountain between Friday 25th October morning and late Sunday 27th October afternoon. A bioblitz compromises scientists, naturalists, citizen scientists and members of the public working together to record a snapshot of the region’s biodiversity. Headquartered at the CSIRO Discovery Centre, all information collected will help assist the national ‘Atlas of Living Australia’ online portal to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy and benefit from Australia’s remarkable biodiversity.
How you can be involved:
For more information or to register for the event contact
Rachel at Molonglo Catchment Group.
Art Exhibition, 2 June - 28 June 2013
Queanbeyan Art Society Gallery
175 years strong and getting stronger
2013 is the Year of the Canberra Centenary and the 175th anniversary of Queanbeyan and thus a special year in the annals of the Art History of Canberra and Queanbeyan.
The Molonglo Catchment Group and the Queanbeyan Art Society are celebrating the 175th Anniversary in Queanbeyan in the June 2013 Art Exhibition and Competition.
To reflect the theme for the 2013 Molonglo Art Prize is:
“175 years strong and getting stronger”.
Artists were invited to portray their interpretation of the environment and sustainability in all the local catchment areas, and how these have changed over time.
Art works based on the theme should highlight the sustainability of the ACT Catchments and reflect, for example, the varying landscape, the people, and the flora and fauna of the area.
The Molonglo Catchment Group and QAS are pleased to again partner with our sponsors, Village Building Co., ACTEW Water and Holcim.
In opening the exhibition, Dr Ryan, Chair of the ACT NRM Council, said:
Read the entire talks from the opening on the Along the Molonglo 2o13 Queanbeyan page
The ACT Government today urged members of the public to be vigilant in reporting any acts of vandalism in our reserves and open spaces. This follows several incidences of trees being cut down in nature reserves as well as people painting trees and rocks.
"Our nature reserves are for people to enjoy so it is very disappointing when rangers find trees cut down, facilities damaged and paint on trees and rocks," said Shelley Swain, Acting Manager, North District, Parks and Conservation Service.
"Unfortunately several times this year our rangers have found trees cut down in our nature reserves, most recently in Gungahlin Hill Nature Reserve. It seems people are deciding to go and get their own firewood by cutting down trees which is very disappointing, not to mention potentially dangerous.
"I'd also remind Canberrans they cannot go into nature reserves and collect wood. This forms vital functions in the ecosystem, including animal habitat, returning nutrients to the soil and encouraging revegetation.
"Fines of up to $5500 apply under the Nature Conservation Act 1980 for cutting down trees or removing wood from reserves.
"We've also found a recent trend of people undertaking events in nature reserves and painting arrows and other marks on trees and rocks. Clearly this can spoil the amenity of the surrounding area. Canberrans are reminded that all events, no matter how small, held in our nature reserves must first be approved through the Parks and Conservation Service.
"Other problems we can unfortunately sometimes have are people ramming gates and cutting fences.
"While we have a number of remote surveillance cameras in operation at parks and reserves across the ACT and our rangers keep an eye out for illegal activity, we would really appreciate the public's vigilance in helping us prevent future incidents."
To report incidents of vandalism contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or to Canberra Connect on 13 22 81
Update 21 November 2012
Further river rehabilitation work Oaks Estate
The Restoration of Waterways Project continues at Oaks Estate. Further river rehabilitation work is soon to commence which will involve more exotic tree removal and revegetation with the objective of rehabilitating the river and its banks between River St and the low level crossing. To achieve this we need to open up the Molonglo river in a particularly choked section. NOTE: Not all the exotic trees will be removed. Some stands of trees will be left for heritage value and bank stability. This includes the stand of trees (mainly elms) near ‘the Oaks’ boundary at the end of Hill St.
The poisoning work of the larger trees will commence this week, with poisoning of other exotic weed species continuing for the next few weeks. This includes the highly invasive blackberry and the pyracantha higher up on the river banks. Tree removal is anticipated to commence in mid January and revegetation in Autumn.
It's pleasing to see the revegetation plantings upstream are doing really well. While ensuring follow up works to protect these plantings, the combined efforts of many people in the community are greatly appreciated. Thank you to those of you who have contributed to caring for these plants.
Update 23 September 2012
If you’ve been out on the river track recently you’ll have noticed that we’ve been lucky with the rain keeping the water up to the new plants. However, we will have to stay after the weeds when they show, if the seedlings are to have a good chance to strengthen and grow.
To help us establish our priorities and to provide a better idea of what to look out for, and when and how to best look after the plants, the Molonglo Catchment Group recently ran a weed identification workshop.
River rehabilitation project – the news on Stage 2.
The word from Rebecca Dawson, the Project Manager, is that Stage 2 should start this spring or early summer. The focus will mainly be on tree thinning and/or removal, on both sides of the river, from River Street and downstream (subject to cost constraints) to somewhere around Capital Flowers. The historic plantings bounding The Oaks will be protected. The large elms near The Oaks will remain, although, some suckers will be removed from under them, with care not to disturb significant cultural features and objects.
Queanbeyan Council has finished cleaning up dead willows and flood debris from the river corridor between Morisset Street bridge and the ACT border to complement the work being done at Oaks Estate. Some planting work is included in this project.
On the OEPA website: www.oaksestateact.org
News from the river: Platypus Sighting - another one!! We've now had two confirmed sightings of a platypus swimming on the surface: on 19 August, more or less below the cable for the old flying fox, and on 19 September in the Queanbeyan River, about 50 metres upstream from the junction. Early morning and late afternoons are apparently the best time to spot them, and both sightings were on cloudy or overcast days. Let us know (email oepa at hotmail.com.au) if you see a platypus in the rivers around Oaks Estate, and tell us where, when and how many. We'll pass the info along to the local platypus watch (Stephen Skinner, Molonglo Waterwatch Coordinator) or you can contact him yourself on 02 6299 2119, or via the contacts page .
Keep an eye out also for water rats swimming near the junction.
Update 22 May, 2012
From The Chronicle, 22 May 2012
River has great return
by Hannah Jonkers
New life has been breathed into a section of the Queanbeyan River after the ACT government removed weeds and debris along its banks earlier this year.
About 40 volunteers helped plant 300 trees, shrubs and grasses along the one kilometre stretch of the river at Oaks Estate on Sunday.
Oaks Estate Progress Association member Terry Williams said the day was a great success with help from both sides of the border assisting in the restoration.
The volunteers planted a diverse mix of local frost-hardy species including wattles, bottlebrushes and eucalypts, which will provide habitat and food for native birds and animals. They will help stabilise the riverbanks and provide competition for weedy regrowth.
"People coming past in the afternoon were really pleased to see it happening," Mr Williams said.
"It's a Queanbeyan walking track as much as an Oaks Estate walking track."
He said the difference to the river since the removal of the debris had been significant.
"The river is flowing clear now —it's actually getting back to what it was like in much earlier stages," Mr Williams said. "The river ran smaller and slower with cleared banks.
"At least the look of that is coming back."
A further 2000 plants will be established in the area by Greening Australia during the next six weeks.
Volunteers will be needed to help care for the new vegetation by removing weeds and watering, especially in the warmer months.
• Volunteers wishing to help can email Terry Williams at oepa at hotmail.com.au
Update 3 May, 2012
Join the Oaks Estate Progress Association (OEPA), the Molonglo Catchment Group and Queanbeyan Landcare in planting 300 trees, shrubs and grasses along the Molonglo River at Oaks Estate on 20 May.
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is rehabilitating large sections of the Molonglo River. Do your bit for your stretch of the river by planting trees, shrubs and grasses to help stabilise the river banks and provide habitat for native birds and animals.
Update 12 April, 2012
The tree removal along the banks of the Molonglo and Queanbeyan Rivers at Oaks Estate is complete. This material is yet to be processed:
The next stage of the river restoration project involves revegetation:
Any queries, please contact, Project Manager, Beck Dawson at Rebecca.Dawson at act.gov.au
17 January, 2012
This work will be undertaken: along the Queanbeyan River between the rail bridge and the confluence of the Molonglo River and; downstream on the Molonglo River to River Street.
Please be advised:
Remember, sustainable, environmental restoration takes time - the full benefits of the project will not be realised immediately.
For more information contact Canberra Connect on 132281
Read the May 2013 Platypus Views and News newsletter ( 276KB) including:
Find out more about the Platypus Conservancy and Platypus Count at www.platypus.asn.au
Check out the Greening Australia web page at www.greeningaustralia.org.au/community/capital-region The web page offers up-to-date details about volunteer events, information about other GA programs, and includes a number of pamphlets that can be downloaded.
The Friends of the Australian National Botanic Gardens organise lunchtime lectures on Thursdays between February and November usually at 12.30pm at the Theatrette at the ANBG Visitor Information Centre. Gold coin donation on entry is appreciated.
The Friends of the ANBG will mark Canberra's Centenary with the Thursday Talks program. Each month there will be a special talk reflecting the monthly theme(s) identified by the Centenary organisers. The theme for June, for example, is The Political City whereas August's theme is Science. Please note that in 2013 the Thursday Talks will resume on Thursday 31 January, with Ian Warden's Centenary Chat, speaking to the first theme of 'Family and Friends in the Capital'. Ian will tell you why Marion Mahony Griffin would have boycotted Floriade.
More information is available on the Friends’ website
All the family will enjoy ranger guided walks and activities.
All this and more at Namadgi National Park, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Canberra Nature Park—the Wild Side of Canberra.
See the Territory and Municipal Services website for the full calendar of ranger guided activities each month.
African Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum) Family Poaceae
The invasive weed, African Fountain Grass, has been discovered in the ACT. It is often mistaken for similar ornamental grasses such as Foxtail Grasses and other Fountain Grasses. It has the potential to spread into natural areas and agricultural land causing considerable damage and control costs. African Fountain Grass is prohibited for sale in the ACT. It is also a noxious weed in NSW.
African Fountain Grass is a large tussock grass. It has numerous plume like seed heads which are between 10cm and 25cm long. They are mauve in colour.
Contact: If you think you have spotted this weed, please contact:
Further Information: www.weeds.org.au
Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima) Family Poaceae
It has recently come to notice that over 300 plants of Mexican Feather Grass (MFG) have been sold through Canberra nursery outlets, probably labelled as Stipa. If you have bought Stipa plants from any nursery outlets in the ACT or region within the last 12 months please have the plant checked, or check it yourself. There are many good illustrated website descriptions available.
This species has the potential to invade pastures and native grasslands in the ACT as an agricultural and environmental weed as bad as Serrated Tussock . It is not yet established in the ACT, and we really don’t want it here either!
The invasive weed, MFG was first discovered in the ACT in February 2008. If uncontrolled, it could spread to other states of Australia. Overseas, it is highly invasive and has formed monocultures, smothering desirable species. Importation into Australia is prohibited.
Description: MFG is a densely tufted perennial grass, almost identical to serrated tussock. MFG produces more seed than the related invasive weed, serrated tussock and is a slightly taller plant (leaves to about 60 cm long and flower spikes to 70 cm). The leaves are very similar to serrated tussock. The seed is similar to the seed of native Stipa grasses (speargrasses). The awn or bristle-like attachment to the seed is 4.5-9 cm long. The seed itself is 2-3 mm long. MFG flowers from mid spring to summer.
Contact: If you think you have spotted this weed, please contact:
Further Information: www.weeds.org.au
Download flyer ( 1.65MB)
Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) Family Asteraceae
from TAMS media release dated 7 September, 2012
Canberrans are urged to be on the lookout for infestations of Madagascan Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) which were recently discovered in Crace, Forde, Franklin and Bruce.
"While the weed is commonly found in the surrounding NSW region, the first serious incursion of Madagascan Fireweed in the ACT only occurred in 2011, when a member of the public spotted the plant along the Monaro Highway," said Steve Taylor, Senior Invasive Weeds Officer, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
"Since then, small infestations have also been spotted and brought under control along the Kings Highway, Tuggeranong Parkway, Gundaroo Drive and Horse Park Drive.
"Unfortunately large infestations were recently discovered in the new suburbs of Crace, Forde and Franklin. These infestations are under control and rangers are proactively monitoring areas where the plants have been found.
"Madagascan Fireweed is a small multi-stemmed and vigorous flowering daisy-like plant with numerous bright yellow daisy flowers. Like other daisies, the weed produces fluffy wind borne seeds. Some plants can produce tens of thousands of viable seeds making it highly invasive.
"A major concern is the toxicity of Madagascan Fireweed to horses and grazing livestock which can cause liver damage similar to toxins found in Paterson's Curse. Madagascan Fireweed is considered one of the most damaging weeds to grazing land. This weed initially invades land along roadsides and once established, quickly spreads into neighbouring pastures and reserves."
Mr Taylor said a rapid response to locate and eradicate the weed will save the ACT significant expenditure in future weed control and will ensure continued protection of our valued native plant communities and grazing lands.
"I urge the ACT community to be alert to Madagascan Fireweed and help us be proactive in managing this invasion of our natural habitat.
"Due to its bright yellow flowers Madagascan Fireweed is likely to be noticed by passing motorists.
"If you suspect you have seen Madagascan Fireweed please take note of the location and call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81. Taking a photo of the suspected plant may also help save time in confirming reports."
For more information about weeds visit the Weeds of National Significance website at www.weeds.org.au/WoNS/fireweed/
(from TAMS media release dated 14 October 2011 322KB)
Canberrans are being urged to be on the lookout for a new incursion of weed species that has recently been identified in the ACT – Madagascan Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis).
“While the weed is commonly found in the surrounding NSW region, this is the first serious incursion of Madagascan Fireweed in the ACT,” said Steve Taylor, Senior Invasive Weeds Officer, ACT Parks and Conservation Service.
“The first plant was spotted by a member of the public on the Monaro Highway just outside the ACT border and since then plants have been spotted at two other locations in the ACT. These plants have been destroyed.
“Rangers will proactively monitor the areas in which the plants were found.
“Madagascan Fireweed is a small multi-stemmed and vigorous flowering daisy-like plant with numerous bright yellow daisy flowers. Like other daisies, the weed produces fluffy wind borne seeds. Some plants can produce tens of thousands of seeds.”
Mr Taylor said a rapid response to uncover and control the weed will save the ACT significant expenditure in future weed control.
“Eradicating Madagascan Fireweed swiftly will ensure continued protection of our valued native plant communities and grazing lands.
“Another major concern is the toxicity of Madagascan Fireweed to horses and livestock which can cause liver damage similar to toxins found in Paterson’s Curse. Madagascan Fireweed is considered one of the most damaging weeds to grazing land. It often first invades land along roadsides and once established, quickly spreads into neighbouring pastures and reserves.
“I urge the ACT community to be alert to Madagascan Fireweed and help us be proactive in managing this invasion of our natural habitat.
“Due to its bright yellow flowers Madagascan Fireweed is likely to be noticed by passing motorists.
“If you suspect you have seen Madagascan Fireweed please take note of the location and call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81 [if in the ACT]. Taking a photo of the suspected plant may also help save time in confirming reports.”
Fireweed was found in the ACT in September 2007 and had been found beside the Captains Flat Road in Carwoola in NSW in 2008. Previously, it was believed that winter frosts would limit its spread on the tablelands, but experiences in Snowy and Cooma-Monaro Shires indicate that this is not the case. Fireweed normally occurs along the South Coast and north of Goulburn. It is highly invasive and toxic to horses.
Description: Fireweed is a low branching annual herb with leaves 2-6 cm long, occasionally 8-10 cm on older, vigorous plants. Bright green, thin, slightly fleshy, toothed or smooth- edged, hairless, alternate on stem. Seeds are very fine, ‘dandelion’-like seed heads. Usually seeds during spring. The flowers are 13-petalled yellow daisy flowers held on slender stems in branched terminal open clusters from April to September. Before opening, the flowers are enclosed by a single row of about 21 green bracts (a ring or crowd of modified leaves, usually smaller than a true leaf) which have a darkened tip; the number of bracts distinguish it from native Senecio species. The bracts are easiest to count just before the flower opens out to reveal the ‘petals’, when the bract tips are all clustered at the top of the ‘bud’, or after the seed has been shed when the bracts remain behind.
Contact: If you think you have spotted this weed, please contact:
Further Information: www.weeds.org.au
Download Fireweed Factsheet from the Molonglo Catchment Weed Information Pack ( 364KB).
A purpose-built display trailer is available for use by Landcare and Parkcare groups in the ACT Region to highlight their good works and bring information to the community and their members. The trailer was purchased with assistance from Landcare Australia Limited; contributions from the Upper Murrumbidgee Catchment Coordinating Committee, Southern ACT Catchment Group and ACT Rural Landholders helped to fit it out.
The trailer comes with fold-out whiteboard/display panels, tables, chairs, brochure holders, a display toolkit and a range of generic landcare posters.
See the PlaceStory about the Trailer for the background story and more images.
Contact us at trailer at molonglocatchment.com.au for additional information or to arrange to borrow the trailer.
To help understand the health of the catchment, the Molonglo Catchment Group (MCG) collects water quality data to find what sediment and salts are being transported down the Molonglo River.
To do this the MCG needs help with two things to determine just how wet and dirty the catchment is:
Please contact the Molonglo Waterwatch Coordinator if you can assist.
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