Latest News from the Landcare Groups
Recent rainfall has triggered the return of wildflowers and other weeds. At a recent bush regeneration session at Maynard Park we welcomed the return of many native species including Lepidium, Erodium, Euchiton, Calocephalus, and Rhodanthe. Weeds have also returned including Milk Thistle, Smooth Mustard, and Ruby Dock. We got the chance to remove the dozen or so Ruby Dock seedlings before they produced any seeds giving me the confidence to say that we have now removed this weed from the site. Perseverance does pay-off when it comes to weed control. The next bush regeneration session will be on Sunday the 18th August, 8:30-10:30am.
The rain has returned and its time to dust off the mattocks and spray gear.
This sunday (Nov11th) from 8-10am at Maynard Park Northside (Head St) I’ll be doing some Buffel busting by mattock etc to prepare the site for foliar spraying next week.
Hand weeding was done in treated areas, and around some small Corkwood plants. Noted more regeneration has occurred in 2012 including Acacia kempeanna (2), Ptilotus obovatus, and Indigofera leucotricha. Followup foliar spraying was done on wednesday and sunday.
Clean Up Australia Day and Buffel Bust
Alice Springs Landcare held a Clean Up Australia Day and Buffel Bust at Dixon Park, on Sunday 4th March, 2012.
It was a lovely morning, after the rain the ground was soft and weeding was made easy. We had a good turnout. Buffel grass was removed from the base of trees and shrubs to assist their growth and to protect them from fire. Bags of rubbish were also removed from the area, it was a productive day.
We would like to thank all those who joined in, your contribution is always valued.
The 2nd Annual Buffel Bust was held at the Town Todd on Sunday September 11 as part of National Landcare Week.
Volunteers did their bit to protect the native vegetation and established trees from wildfire by creating a buffer zone around them
Peter Latz gave a talk on buffel control, and if you missed out you can learn more at: http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201109/s3315579.htm
Following the buffel bust the Alice Springs Landcare AGM was held. It was agreat day and a good turn out, hope to see you all again for the next field day.
Stay tuned for further field days, updates and information!
Recently Landcare recorded the first incidence of the regeneration of tree and shrub species from seed over the last 8 years of Landcare activity. At Maynard Park a number of Whitewood (Atalaya hemiglauca) germinants have been found, as well as an unknown Acacia, likely to be Witchetty Bush (Acacia kempeana). Several Desert Cassia (Senna artemisiodes subsp artemisioides) have also regenerated from seed over recent months.
Meanwhile at Dixon Rd Community Park six Corkwood (Hakea divaricata) seedlings have recently emerged. It is difficult to determine if they are growing from seed or from the roots of existing trees, but nevertheless it indicates that this is indeed an exceptional season. The last season that brought about the regeneration of tree species reputably occurred in the 1970’s. If regeneration events occur so rarely then it reinforces the value of looking after the existing trees in the landscape.
Alice Springs Landcare hosts bush regeneration days at Maynard Park every 2nd Saturday of the month, from 8:30 -10am. Upcoming field days are on April 9th and May 14th.
On Clean Up Australia Day volunteers noted a new species of grass not recorded in Maynard Park before – Queensland Blue Grass (Dichanthium sericeum subsp. sericeum). Although a relatively common grass species, the find is significant because it shows how native plants are returning after the Buffel Grass is steadily being treated in the park.
The addition of this plant brings the total number of native species recorded in the park to 103. Of these there are 19 tree and shrub species, and 84 herbs, wildflowers or grasses. An original survey of the park undertaken in late 2009 before the onset of rain recorded only 29 species. The remaining 74 species have responded to rainfall and the removal of competition from Buffel Grass.
This concentration of biodiversity represented by annual and bi-annual species (1-2 year species) reflects the nature of arid-zone ecology that is driven by boom and bust cycles. The important lesson for Landcare at Maynard Park is that we are giving these species a chance to set seed, which is the only way they will survive here over the long term. Acting now, whilst these plants are active, is critical to the success of this strategy.
Weeds are also able to take advantage of the rain. To date 15 weed species have been recorded in the park. Following treatment of the Buffel Grass a number of weeds are able to move-in, including Pitted Lovegrass (Eragrostis barrellei), Prickly Lettuce (Latuca seriola), Ruby Dock (Acetosa vesicaria) and Fleabane (Conyza bonariensis). Treatment of these is ongoing at bush regeneration field days held every 2nd Saturday of the month.
A total of 40 volunteers came to clean-up Maynard Park on Clean Up Australia Day last Sunday. Volunteers removed 15 bags of rubbish and assorted waste, and 1.5 cubic metre the weed Buffel Grass, totalling 300kg of waste removed to the ASTC waste facility. Approximately 450 sq m of the site was weeded (15mx30m). It was a great day, and Site coordinator Andy Vinter was literally “speechless” over how well it went – having earlier lost his voice.
Thanks to the Jnr Rangers and coordinator Jacelyn Anderson for lending a hand, and we wish them well for their ranger time to come. Thanks to Tanya Howard of the NT NRM board for her help, and ABC local radio and talkback gardener Geoff Miers. Don’t forget field days at Maynard Park are held every 2nd Saturday of the month, with days planned for April and May.
Come along and join in for Alice Springs Landcare’s clean up Australia day event.
6th March, 8.30am-10.30am, Maynard Park, Northside.
Clean up activity, morning tea and a guided walk of the regenerating landscape.
Meeting Point: Meet at 8:30 am at the Braitling Primary School/Rhonda Dianno Oval carpark, on Head St Northside (opposite Maynard park). Please wear covered footwear. For information ring Andy on 0429 977 436
Details can be found at: http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/Maynard+Park+Northside
You are invited to attend our bush regeneration field days for season one 2011 at Maynard Park, Head St Braitling, 8:30am till 10am. Dates are February 12th, March 6 th, April 9th, and May 14th, usually every 2nd Saturday of the month (except March).
Volunteers are using mattocks to remove Buffel grass around regenerating native plants. Buffel clumps and seedheads are bagged and taken to the tip. Other weeds are collected too. By removing the weeds the native plants get a chance to grow and produce seeds, ensuring their survival in the park. The strategy is to work systematically to maintain Buffel-free areas, gradually expanding the area treated over time.
Our approach is to work gently on the site, taking great care to protect the native plants in the park. Volunteers learn to recognise the different plants and weeds. New volunteers are encouraged to come and learn about bush regeneration, with tools and tuition provided. Qualified volunteers are needed for weed spraying at here and at other Alice Springs Landcare sites.
On Sunday March 6th Alice Springs Landcare will host a cleanup day at Maynard Park. This will involve both litter removal and Buffel grass removal activities.
For more information about Landcare in Northside contact firstname.lastname@example.org