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Queenscliffe Herald Article - September 2007

Protecting Our Patch

Sue Longmore, Coastal Officer, Swan Bay Integrated Catchment Management Committee

The community’s response to our call for help in caring for the Narrows dune system has been fantastic. During 2007 the Swan Bay Integrated Catchment Management Project (SBICMP) facilitated a range of opportunities for people of all ages to become involved. Here’s what we’ve achieved together this year.

SUMMER: Taking the first step, the Borough of Queenscliffe fenced, sign-posted and jute-matted the massive dune blow-out at Dog Beach, reducing risks to beach-users and reducing the inland spread of wind-blown sand and subsequent loss of vegetation.

AUTUMN: SBICMP prepared the ‘Terminal Scour Vegetation Rehabilitation Plan’ as a guide for the revegetation of the blow-out area. Volunteers at the Queenscliff Community Nursery propagated thousands of sand dune plants. The Borough of Queenscliff carried out weed removal near the Dog Beach car park.

WINTER: A total of 4517 indigenous plants were planted on the slope of the Dog Beach dune blow-out and in adjacent woodland. The local community planted 750 plants during our Winter Planting Day and a further 895 plants during the Saturday morning working bees. Green Corps and Corrective Services teams planted 2872 plants.

The Geelong Field Naturalists Club carried out a small mammal survey over 3 nights at the Narrows Woodland Community Involvement Site. This site is located in Coastal Moonah Woodland along Lovers Walk adjacent to Camp Wyuna. Two Black Rats (introduced species) were observed. Gordon TAFE Conservation & Land Management students mapped the Community Involvement Site for weeds and prepared a Weed Mapping Report and Manual. A copy of this manual will be available for perusal at the Queenscliff Library during October and November.

Local community learnt more about the environmental significance of the Narrows Coastal Moonah Woodland at a talk titled ‘Caring for the Big Nature Strip’ and through guided woodland walks. Queenscliff Primary School and St Aloysius Primary School students bred Bridal Creeper leafhoppers in their classrooms and released them in the woodland as a biological control for the serious weed Bridal Creeper.

SPRING: An enthusiastic response to the Coastal Moonah Woodland Revival Day saw volunteers of all ages remove over a truck-load of weeds from the Community Involvement Site. Eighty woodland plants were planted in the gaps to minimize weed invasion. Borough of Queenscliffe trucked the weeds away for safe disposal.

Cottage by the Sea has been replacing environmental weeds with appropriate indigenous plants in its grounds and recently removed a massive Italian Buckthorn and Mirror Bush hedge. They have volunteered to adopt a woodland area behind their premises and will incorporate care of this area into their programs. Camp Wyuna staff also intends to involve visiting students in woodland care activities next year. Residents in Fraser Street have expressed interest in caring for the woodland behind their houses. It is hoped that other residents will join them. SBICMP will facilitate awareness of appropriate rehabilitation techniques for these groups.

So congratulations to all involved. Rest up over summer and we look forward to seeing you at our Community Involvement Activities commencing again in autumn next year. Meanwhile if you feel like propagating bulk plants for our 2008 Narrows plantings, the Queenscliff Community Nursery in Nelson Road would love to see you. Working bees are held midweek on 11th, 16th, 24th 29th Oct, 16th, 22nd, 26th Nov, ALL: 9am - 12pm or whatever time you can spare; plus the regular 3rd Sunday each month from 10am - 12pm.

For further information about ‘Narrows’ activities or to add your name to the SBICMP email data base contact Sue Longmore, Coastal Coordinator, SBICMP,  5258 1836 BH.

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