Community and Volunteer Action Grants

team work is needed to get a lot of plants into the ground

Applications are now open for the 2017 round of Community and Volunteer Action Grants.

Community volunteer groups and environmental organisations can apply for grants between $5,000 and $50,000 for activities to protect and conserve Victoria’s native plants and animals, habitats and threatened species.

The grants will support a wide range of projects and activities that help to protect, improve and expand habitats for our native plants and animals. Support will also be available for activities that address threats to local biodiversity values and help communities better understand and manage local native species and natural environments.

Applications for the 2017 grant program close on Wednesday 10 May 2017.

For further information, please visit delwp.vic.gov.au/grants

Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037

Tawny Frogmouths

Victoria has a new 20-year plan to stop the decline of our native plants and animals.

The Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change announced the new plan at the 15th World Congress on Public Health, acknowledging the intrinsic link between a healthy natural environment and healthy communities.

Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 aims to encourage more Victorians to value and protect nature and help them to connect with and enjoy their natural environment. It will also help drive action from local businesses, government and people to help to stop the decline of our biodiversity through investment, improved decision making and planning, and through volunteer action.

Many of you may have participated in the consultations leading up to the plan and it is exciting to have it released this week. It sets a new direction for how Victorians ensure our natural environment is cared for.

To find out more about Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 visit this link

A stroll in the park

This week I had a walk in the Canadian Regional Park and after the rain everything was looking fresh. The park is on the edge of Ballarat and has some lovely patches of grass trees. In the spring there are masses of wildflowers. It is a favourite place for those who ride mountain bikes and many people use it for walking and exercising their dogs. If you visit you will probably see a Parks Victoria Ranger, as the park is under new management.

 

 

 

Making Sense of Sustainability this Sunday

The Ecolinc Sustainability Expo on Sunday 26th March 2017 is a fun-filled community learning event. Highlights include: workshops, demonstrations, market, talk to the techsperts, food, music, competitions and much, much more. It is a free family event.

There is so much happening that you need to go to this link to see what is on offer. Learn how to make a nest box or watch the bird of prey demonstration.

Ecolinc is at  17-23 Labilliere Street, Bacchus Marsh Bacchus Marsh and just a stroll through Maddingley Park from the railway station.

 

Habitat for echidnas

echidna habitat

echidna habitat

When you clear up around your property for fire prevention, do you ever think about echidnas? Heaps of bark and leaves raked up from around the house make an ideal place for short-beaked echidnas to hide their young.

If you want to make some echidna habitat then make sure the heaps are well away from your house. Echidnas also hide their young in heaps of branches that you may have put aside for a fire heap. They also take advantage of a pile of mulch. Continue reading

Weed out Bluebell Creeper

Bluebell Creeper

Bluebell Creeper

Billardiera fusiformis, Bluebell Creeper, is a vigorous twining shrub grows naturally in WA, but in Victoria is an environmental weed in bushland. The flowers are blue followed by purplish/green cylindrical berries.

The shrubs are flowering now, so are easy to spot to remove. Birds eat the berries and spread the plants. The plant then smothers other plants. They are easy to pull out when small. Recently I have seen it flowering on roadsides in Gordon, Mt Doran, Mt Egerton and Scarsdale. It used to  be called Sollya heterophylla.

Sweet Bursaria is Seeding

Bursaria spinulosa Sweet Bursaria

Bursaria spinulosa Sweet Bursaria

You may have noticed this large native shrub that has white flowers. It attracts a wide range of insects and lots of butterflies and has a sweet fragrance. Most shrubs are now developing seed. If you grow your own plants then sweet bursaria seed is best collected as the pods dry and open.  You will have more success if you use fresh seed to grow your own plants. They are a good habitat plant for small birds.