Katunga Landcare gorup is a very active group, involved in many local projects including:
- Public Pump, Katunga / Picola
- Bore test Site
- Flora Reserve
- "The Common"
- Demonstration sitesPublic Pump, Katunga / Picola
In 1994 this Public Pump was put in by Goulburn Murray Water after landholders in the area realized the need for ground water control.
The salinity level of ground water was too high to be used for irrigation purposes, requiring other means of disposal to be found.
Watertables on the area were high and there were indications that the soil was beginning to be damaged by salt.
The pump is run for 60 days in the winter and 60 days in the summer at a flow of 1.5 Ml per day the pump protects an area of 118Ha and gives a benefit to a larger area.
The pump will give long term viability to the protected ground. It will permit an increase on the productive capabilities of the soil.
Flora Reserve
The site handed over to the Landcare group from the Numurkah Shire. It was previously a road making material dump site for the Country Roads Board and since then had been burnt off yearly by VicRail.
Existing vegetation consisted of mature Grey Box, Golden Wattle and Creeping Saltbush. Site preparation consisted of sing furrow, deep ripped, as the natural ground is heavy clay.
Planted out in 1996 was:
Gold Dust Wattle
Western Black Wattle
Mallee Wattle
Butter Bush
Hooked Needlewood
Emu Bush
Wedge Heal Hopbush
Murray Cypress Pine
Yellow Box
Native Blackthorn
And Bull Oak
Planting and management of the still continues with numerous other species planted.
The aim is to restore the site to its pre settlement condition as seeds or plants become available.
?The Common?
The site was excavated to fill the site of the Katunga Railway station in 1888. Condition of the site lease was that the land was to be fenced and never grazed.
The site had a good collection of plants growing on it when the group took it over. We fenced the site with a grant from the Department of Natural Resources and Energy.
Existing vegetation included:
Bull Oak
Mallee Wattle
Grey Box
Golden Wattle
And Butter Bush
We have planted similar flora as in Flora Reserve 1.
The site is gravelly beneath a shallow top soil and was ripped with a single tyne ripper. The ground becomes particularly hard in summer making growth slow. It need frequent watering until roots get hold.
Demonstration Sites
Demonstration site 1 was planted in June 1994. The site is situated on the corner of the GV Highway and the Katunga / Picola Road.
The aim of the site was to:
· To demonstrate species of trees suitable for this area
· To demonstrate various windbreak designs
· To demonstrate various tree gardens
Trees planter were:
Ø Flinders Rangers Wattle
Ø Pink Flowering Yellow Gum
Ø Crimson Bottle Brush
Ø River She Oak
Ø Lake Albaclya
Ø Lake Audmash
Ø Obtusa silverton
Ø Clone Alba
Ø Lemon scented Gum
Ø Flooded Gum
Ø Spotted Gum
Ø Yellow Box
Ø Sydney Blue Gum
Ø Red Iron Bark
Ø Grey Box
Ø Flax Leaf Paper Bark
Ø Prickly Paper Bark
Demonstration Site 2
Situated on the old Goulburn Valley Highway, 1 km south of Katunga
Planted out is May 1995 the site was deep ripped and had good soil.
Tree species were the same as Demonstration Site 1 with the inclusion of Moona.
This site was planted out in blocks of the same species for added effect.
Drovers Rest Reserve
In 1999 Parks Victoria Leon Atkinson approached the Katunga Landcare group about taking over the management of crown land off the Numurkah Road now known as the Drovers Rest Reserve. The Landcare group named the area from historical records. The area was once used as a resting place for people droving their stock. There was a dam for watering stock and shelter, created by large Grey-box trees, some which still remain today.
In 2000 the group started work on the reserve, east of the 10-acre block was burnt, sprayed for weeds and a levy bank was formed around the area to reduce irrigation run off. The west end was full of 4 foot high Ruby Dock and the area was wet under foot from irrigation run off. The Katunga South Primary School helped plant 300 plants.
In 2001 the Shepparton Green Corps team went out and erected the boundary fences and the remaining 2,200 plants were put into the ground with assistance from the Landcare group and community.
A bird survey was conducted in 2001 with 21 species of birds found in the area.
Don Harrison the main instigator of the reserve now believes ?there is many more species in the reserve with the smaller birds now moving into the area like pardalotes, finches and wrens?.
The future plans for the reserve involve picnic tables, a walking track from Katunga and a display board of plants and animals you can see in the reserve. Don Harrison and Dennis Learmonth are the two main people responsible for the development of the Reserve along with funding from Parks Victoria to help the works go ahead, well-done guys.