Wednesday, October 01, 2008

thank you southern dandenongs landcare

Last night in Belgrave South I had the very great pleasure of chairing the inaugural Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group AGM. The group have been going for around 18 months and have hit the ground running.

The group covers a massive area across the Southern Dandenongs region from Ferny Creek to Tecoma, across to Selby, through to Belgrave South & Heights and down to Lysterfield. Their membership is made up of Friends Groups, individuals and families.

I joined with local community members at the Colby Drive Field Day (Sep 2007) to watch Trish Grant get some water samples of Monbulk Creek so we could find out what's living in our local waterway. The results were surprising, the water was alive with all sorts of interesting creatures, great food for the local platypus.

They have already been successful in funding applications for on the ground works, promotion and advertising. In September, 2007 the group conducted a very successful field day in the Colby Drive reserve. It was a terrific opportunity to learn more about the health of the local environment including a very informative Waterwatch session conducted by Trish Grant.

Here Trish gets knee deep in the Monbulk Creek to show us the best techniques to get a really good water sample. Given the amount of weeds and environmental degradation along the creek bank I was surprised at the diversity of water bugs we found.

One of their key successes has been the group’s ability to network and encourage linkages between community groups. This active participation has resulted in the formation of the Southern Ranges Environment Alliance who were successful in securing funding to employ a facilitator to work along the Puffing Billy corridor.

My congratulations to the incoming committee:
Chairperson – Jackie Glen
Vice Chairperson – Stephen Piggot
Treasurer – Lyn Young
Secretary – Vicky Boyle
General Members:
- Father Frank
- Robyn Paull
- Gillian Derezyckyj
- Damien
- Darcy Duggan

I look forward to seeing even greater successes from the Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group in the future. Landcare groups play a very important role in the restoration of our environment and we are very fortunate to have these dedicated volunteers.



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