While 2020 has presented challenges, the arrival of spring can be refreshing and reinvigorating, bringing with it a sense of renewed optimism for all of us.
The Victorian Government continues to fund and support vital bushfire recovery efforts for communities and the environment.
This edition of the magazine focuses on how our Landcare and environmental volunteering groups and networks are managing projects on roadsides, rail reserves and walking trails across Victoria. They have shown great tenacity and resilience in changing how they function to continue their important work, while keeping everyone safe and following public health measures.
Bass Coast Landcare Network share their weed management successes along rural roads in the hills and coastal flats of southern Gippsland. In partnership with Bass Coast Shire Council, they identified and mapped roadside weeds in 2014 and again in 2019. This targeted approach to weed control has worked very well.
Another dedicated roadside weed control group is the aptly named the weedies from Newham and District Landcare Group. For 15 years they have cut, painted and pulled out roadside weeds to improve landscape connectivity. They also do community education and advocacy.
Their vision is for locals to become biodiversity custodians for rural roadsides.
The Great Victorian Rail Trail is Australia’s longest and very popular with tourists. Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail and Up2Us Landcare Alliance collaborated to revegetate part of the trail near Mansfield. They’ve created an important corridor that links habitat for our precious native plants and wildlife.
A survey of mature, remnant eucalypts in the Victorian Goldfields has estimated that the trees – many of them on roadsides – could be between 170 and 545 years old. The Maldon Urban Landcare Group, which conducted the survey, is working to ensure the trees are protected.
We received a wealth of articles from our Landcare and environmental volunteering community for this issue. Although public health restrictions have put many activities on hold this year, I can see from the insightful stories in this issue that their dedication to improving Victoria’s environment is unwavering.
The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio
Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
Minister for Solar Homes