Christmas Hills Landcare email news - 19th May 2010

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Latest email newsletter from the Christmas Hills Landcare Group

Greetings Christmas Hills Landcarers

This newsletter is to update you with news and events related to Christmas Hills Landcare.

Included in this newsletter:
   1. Bait station construction working bee – Sunday 23rd May
   2. Watsons Creek Biolink Project – planting day Sunday 6th June
   3. Tool trailer - people to make it happen
   4. ‘Secrets to Successful Groups’ training – Saturday 5th June
   5. Skyline Road to be sealed

1. Bait station construction working bee – Sunday 23rd May
As part of the rabbit control program we have purchased 40 sheets of galvanized steel mesh from which we need to construct 80 rabbit bait stations (to minimise the chances of animals such as kangaroos, wallabies and wombats from taking the baits). Construction is comprised of cutting up the sheets into several pieces according to a design template from Parks Victoria, and then using plastic cable ties to join the pieces to form each bait station. Peter Russ and Gad Gardner have made a start, but there is still more cutting and assembling to do.  

A working bee has been organised for all those that can attend for this Sunday, 23rd May, from 2:00pm to no later than 5:00pm at Peter and Jane’s place (1597 Eltham-Yarra Glen Road). Come along for all or part of this time if you can.

Experience shows that the best way of cutting the mesh is with bolt cutters, so please bring a pair if you can (also bring appropriate safety gear such as gloves and glasses as you see fit)

2. Watsons Creek Biolink Project – planting day Sunday 6th June
The Christmas Hills Landcare Group has booked a day for members to contribute to the planting of native seedlings as part of the the Watsons Creek Biolink Project to reinforce a section of vital habitat link for wildlife between the Kinglake and Warrandyte Parks.
Where: you can enter the project site at the end of Marshalls Road where it meets the Kinglake National Park (enter through the gate on the right)
When: between 9:30am and 2:30pm
What you need to know:
The area is sloped and an average fitness level is required. The site has limited facilities, although a portable toilet will be available onsite for use by participants.

It is expected that all participants will supply their own food and water requirements for the time that they are on site.

Appropriate clothing, including sturdy boots are required, and it is recommended that you bring a sun hat and sunscreen in case it is sunny, and warm clothing and a raincoat in case it is not. As the site has a lot of grass on it, waterproof pants or gaiters may be beneficial to bring as well. You may even wish to consider bringing a change of clothes.

All tools will be provided, but please bring a pair of gardening gloves or similar.

For more information please contact :
Tara Sanders, Fire Recovery Project Officer, Parks Victoria - 5772 0290 or 0437 705 432

3. Tool trailer - people to make it happen
As reported in the last email news, we will be receiving funds that will enable us to purchase a lockable covered trailer, and equip it with backpack sprayers, bush regenerator kits, weed flamers, weed wands, loppers, mattocks, shovels, tree planters, gloves, knee pads, etc. The trailer will then be used for community projects, Landcare events, and also be made available for Christmas Hills landholders to help them with environmental works on their own properties.

We now need one or more people to take on the task of making it happen. I envisage that this will involve things like:

  • finding a supplier of a suitable lockable covered trailer, or someone who can make something to suit our needs and budget
  • arranging purchase and delivery of the trailer
  • finalising the range of tools and equipment to be purchased, and from where
  • arranging purchase and delivery of tools
  • determining the storage arrangement of the tools within the trailer, and possibly arranging for some internal fitout to help secure the tools
  • arranging Landcare group signage on the trailer
  • finding a suitable storage location for the trailer and its contents

Some of this has already been done for the funding application.

Please let me know if you are willing and able to take on this task on behalf of the Landcare group.

4. ‘Secrets to Successful Groups’ training – Saturday 5th June
To date the Christmas Hills Landcare Group has operated largely with an informal leadership committee, but with me still making many of the decisions to do with the group and Rob taking care of the finances. I am keen to ensure that the Christmas Hills Landcare Group continues to grow, stay relevant and serve the people in Christmas Hills who care for our place, Christmas Hills. To do this I believe that we need to broaden and formalise the group's leadership by establishing a committee/executive/board of members to be the decision-making body that determines and refines the group's priorities and strategic directions.

I am proposing that in December this year we can formalise the Landcare group's leadership committee through an AGM with an election of committee members that will lead the group through 2011 and then hold the next AGM at the end the year.

I urge each of you to consider putting your hand up for the committee later this year, and I bring to your attention some free training available that may help.

With funding from DSE's Landcare Volunteer Recruitment Initiative, the VFF Farm Tree & Landcare Association is running "Secrets to Successful Groups" training in Yarra Junction, to assist members in, or considering, leadership roles to improve the health of their group.

The training is suitable for new, potential and experienced office bearers, and the program will cover:

  •     Introduction to Governance
  •     Office Bearer Training (President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer)
  •     Volunteer Recruitment
  •     Succession Planning
  •     Strategic Planning

Where: Caulfield Grammar School Camp, 240 Tarrango Road, Yarra Junction
When: 10:30am — 3:30pm, Saturday 5th June
Cost: Free to all Landcare members with lunch and refreshments included
Please RSVP no later than 29th May to:
Phone: 9207 5527

5. Skyline Road to be sealed
Nillumbik and Yarra Ranges Council plan to seal Skyline Rd between Mt Wise and Wallace Roads early next summer. The proposed works will include minor widening on the Nillumbik side of Skyline Rd to ensure safe width for two way traffic. Safe passing areas will also be created further along the road, generally at existing driveways, where widening is not taking place.