Saturday, May 12, 2012

friends of birdsland - its official!

I couldn't think of a better way to launch Friends of Birdsland than at the Mini Beasts festival held out at Birdsland this weekend.
Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery
President, Garrique Pergl and Cr Samantha
Dunn stake out the Sheoak Cr Dunn
planted to celebrate the day.

It was wonderful to see a diverse range of community members visit the Education Centre and Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery to be enlightened about our local Mini Beasts.
It was terrific to learn about the importance of wetlands
in maintaining healthy waterways. This region of
Birdsland has had extensive work to revegetate it
back to its natural state. It's a wonderful habitat for
mini beasts and their predators.
Children had a great day out as Junior Scientists exploring our waterways for mini beasts. It was a delight to see the joy as they discovered boatmen, baby dragonflies and other waterbugs. Beth Wallis, Yarra Ranges' Water Management Officer was on hand with our microscope monitor, so children could see an enlarged view of their mini beasts on the TV screen. 
There were playtpus talks with Glenn Brooks-MacMillan, the new Southern Ranges Environment Alliance facilitator. 

It was wonderful to be able to launch the Friends of
Birdsland at the Minibeast Festival. It's a
bushland reserve that's very dear to people
in the region.
I had the great pleasure of launching the new Friends of Birdsland group and talking about the upcoming masterplan consultations for the reserve. To celebrate the occasion I planted a Sheoak (Allocasuarina) amongst the Landcare for Singles plantings.

Birdsland was originally a farm (owned by the Bird family),
there are still many relics of the old farm, Garrique found
this old farm tool whilst we were wandering around
 the heritage orchard.

Garrique Pergl, President of the Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery, spoke about the history of the reserve and led participants on talk, walk and gawk down to the wetlands and around the historic farm house and orchard. 

This palm tree is part of the original
farm cottage garden. The cottage
is part of the heritage on the site
and is protected with a heritage
There were family plantings on the creekbank of Monbulk Creek, a waterway that is considered significant due to it's population of platypus and proximity to Melbourne. These plantings will assist in the health of the waterway to encourage 'mini beasts', food for platypus.

Kids had a ball playing games, being ably assisted by Southern Dandenongs Landcare President, Jackie Glen and the "Selby Fairy". Wonderful to see TVAG there, making sure there was food on hand with their sausage sizzle. 
Michelle Jones from the Community Food Harvest Group gave a talk on planting out a herb garden and growing your own garlic, whilst Tamara Griffiths with her assistant "Ducky"  talked about swales and heritage fruit trees. 
It was a wonderful day out, I commend the organisers for putting it together, it was lovely to see this part of Birdsland used as it was intended, for Environmental Education. 

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