Bredbo Community Landcare

Quite an active group with a strong membership of more than 20 members, the Group focuses on projects around the village and surrounding areas with community involvement and education as an emphasis. Currently, the Group is beautifying degraded areas around Bredbo, whilst improving ecological processes through the ecological restoration of the area.

The Group has won awards for the work it has done around the town e.g. Tidy Towns Award 2006 for work done at Jack’s Gully, and it has helped neighbouring landholders through educational workshops, the provision of resources and local NRM capacity building events. It is also able to bring in small amounts of income through fundraising events and the hiring out of equipment that the group has invented (the Native Grass Seed Harvester) and/ or purchased for the use of Landcare members and the general community, such as battery operated back sprayers and tree planting equipment and a water tanker trailer.

Activity:

Sustainable native grasslands program.

Bredbo Landcare is dedicated to working towards the restoration of its native grasslands, which make up the bulk of the surrounding landscape. Jack's Gully revegetation project which is well signposted on the southern side of the village, which is still ongoing. The Group is currently getting ahead of the weeds and, the seedlings from many planting events are doing well. More hands are always needed for the job though. Jack's Gully was recently showcased as part of the 2008 Landcare Muster, part of the Grassroots conference held in Queanbeyan in November.

Luke Pope (DPI) put on some demonstrations and education for the Group members, calibrating spray units and demonstrating the spraying techniques for different weeds. This is just one example of the numerous educational workshops the Landcare group has organised over the years.

Bredbo Landcare works in close partnership with Kosciuszko to Coast (K2C). The group collected gold coin donations in conjunction with Michelago Landcare at the K2C launch in April 2008 and the proceeds were shared between the two groups. This sort of fundraising is often accompanied by sandwiches and/or a BBQ which group members cater and are well known for.

Grasslands Extravaganza Day was held in November 2008, hosted by K2C and Bredbo Landcare at Thistlebrook Park, Bredbo. The group also collected donations and provided barbeque lunch. Thistlebrook Park is a property owned by a Bredbo Landcare Group member, who has transformed her horse stud into a property managed for conservation. Showcasing the possibility of native grassland management through restoration, weed control and sustainable agriculture made this event an incredibly valuable educational opportunity for local landholders. Just recently one of the founding members of Bredbo Landcare namely the well known Jean Wynes won a Highly Commended award for Individual Landcarer 2009.

Annual activities:

Clean up Australia Day event in March.

National Tree Day (July), which is always a real community event, including: plantings in the park. One year there were 800 trees planted around the Recreation Ground area. On a recent National Tree Day the mound in Centennial Park was planted out, along with surrounding trees in conjunction with Bredbo Progress Association. The mulch was kindly donated by Cooma Monaro Shire Council. The local rural fire brigade helps with the watering. A celebratory sausage sizzle is always held afterwards which the council donates to.

At the group AGMs there is a talk by prominent guest speakers, which are promoted locally to bring in more people. The AGM in 2008 included a presentation entitled 'Diamonds and Gold' (Diamond firetail and Monaro daisy) by Rainer Rehwinkel, Department of Environment and Climate Change. Rainer is a well known local grasslands expert.

Issues:

The Group is concerned that there is a reduced amount of money available to Landcare Groups with the CMA acting as a go-between with the Government.

Opportunities:

The Group has received two small equipment grants which they are using to buy more equipment. One of the items is another battery operated backpack which will be available for hire at a very reasonable rate to members.

Bredbo Landcare has recently signed off on their last Envirofund project – Sustainable Farming Native Pastures.

Bredbo Landcare is currently looking at ways to gain funding for chemicals for spraying Serrated Tussock, African Lovegrass and other weeds. They are hoping to get other Landcare groups interested so they can make a joint application.

Our Contacts and meeting times.

Chair Dennis Mason 02 6454 4037
Vice Chair Sue Connelly 02 6454 4400
Email: bredbolandcare@gmail.com.au
Open Meetings held every third Tuesday of the month 8pm at the Bredbo Community hall. The kettle is always on.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PROFILES
Chair Dennis Mason Having owned land in the Bredbo area since the early 80’s, we finally took up residence on our present property in 1993 and joined Landcare in the late 90’s. I took up a position with the committee seven years ago, chairman for the last four years. Through Landcare I have learned a great deal about the environment and how to look after it and have also been able to run a farming enterprise almost entirely on native pastures. Through my farm contracting work I have been able to assist many others in caring for the environment.

Vice Chair Sue Connelly.... I have to admit I am deeply into conservation I love the native grasses, Flora and Fauna, I luckily own 53 hectares of hilly country which is grazed moderately by about 6 horses. I enjoy growing my own native plants and grasses and have planted about 300 trees and shrubs plus grasses and I itch to plant more. I like volunteering for Bush Heritage and I like organizing things and people.

Ordinary Committee Member – Lauren Van Dyke – I have had a keen interest in the natural landscape and how we use it for decades. As the K2C Project Facilitator, I meet lots of landholders and have the great opportunity of passing onto them information about the 10 K2C partners. I try to succeed in linking a landholder to a partner’s incentive which really provides great satisfaction. K2C has a goal to identify, restore and extend our most vulnerable vegetation systems ie grasslands and woodlands.