Raising the awareness with our future Landcarers and forging stronger linkages with our local schools was the focus of a recent community event held by the Mitta Valley Landcare Group. Students from the Eskdale and Mitta Primary Schools were treated to a “Discovery Walk” along the River Walk and part of the Pioneer Mine Walk in Mitta on 21 May 2012.
Landcare Members, our Forest Officer from DSE, teachers, parents and community members successfully identified native trees and natural vegetation from pest plants and introduced species along each of the walking tracks. Felicity McDonald gave the students some interesting tips on some of the medicinal uses for plants found along the way while Greg Allaway showed the students how the bush had revegetated and was thriving since mining ceased 100 years ago. Thank you to Felicity and Greg and also to Judy Cardwell for her assistance in the preparation for this event.
The lush ferns, stately old peppermint gums, blackwoods, wattles and the papery bark of a beautiful stand of tea trees were great examples of native species. Pest weeds such as blackberry and spear thistle were found along with several exotics that have made their way from local gardens. Desiree spoke about the importance of controlling pest plants to ensure that we preserve the natural environment for everyone to enjoy and to protect our important farming land. Desiree also emphasised the important role that the community played in maintaining the health of our rivers, the natural habitat for wildlife and conserving scarce resources such as water. Environmental programs such as sustainable organic vegetable gardens, water watch and recycling that were firmly established in both our schools were acknowledged and discussed.
The enhancement of the River Walk was made possible through funding of $5,000 from the Victorian Government’s 25 Years of Landcare grants. Our local DSE Office carried out the on-ground works on behalf of the Mitta Valley Landcare Group. Thank you to Owen Lord and his small team at Mitta.