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Updates from the Landcare Groups

Landcare Week at Maynard Park

Thanks to all who came to Landcare Week at Maynard Park recently. All up we treated about 1400m2 getting out the ‘harder to get to’ Buffel Grass amongst the rocks and native plants. Jude brushcuttered away and found some Corkwoods, and since Ive cut around the other side in case the very dry Buffel lights up. Allan and Bruce lent a hand and took away our Buffel for composting at the community garden. Jimmy and Carmel brought refreshments and an equal dose of vigour to the Buffel work. As did Rosalie, Liz, Louise, Suni, Chris, Dave, Sue, Nicolas, Susan, Sophie, Jed, Scott, Jodie, and Jacob. Great work all. Andy.

Landcare Week this Sunday

Im looking forward to getting back into the Buffel grass at Maynard park this sunday. The native plant regeneration in parts has been fantastic and really shows what the place would look like without this weedy grass. I hope to see you there.

Activities start at 8:30 till 10:30am on Sunday August 31st, meeting at the Rhonda Dianno Oval car park, on Head St next to Braitling Primary School. Some tools will be provided, please wear covered shoes.

The field day will start with a plant identification walk with author* Andy Vinter, followed by Buffel Grass and litter removal.

*The Alice Springs Bush Regeneration Handbook


Making Cactus Cactus! Cactus control in Eastside.

Alice Springs Landcare volunteers have been tackling weed cacti that are invading bushland areas around Eastside. On Sunday the 25th of August Landcare volunteers completed the 3rd cactus control field day of the year.

These weed cacti are colonising the rocky hills by shedding small branchlets, or segments, which take root and form new plants. Hooked or barbed spines enable the segments to attach to animal fur increasing its ability to spread. With gloves, buckets and tongs volunteers scour the hills collecting all cacti parts that are taken directly to landfill for burial. So far approximately 560 kg of cactus has been removed after 66 volunteers hours.

All the Coral cactus has now been removed from Spencer Valley, and the groups efforts are heading east towards Cavenagh Cres, Burke St and Kurrajong Drive.

A survey conducted by Conservation and land management students with Batchelor Institute confirmed the location of 3 species of Cylindropuntia cacti in this area. These are Coral Cactus (Cylindropuntia fulgida var. mamillata), Devils Rope (Cylindropuntia imbricata), and Jumping Cholla (Cylindropuntia prolifera).

Stay tuned for the next cactus control field day and come lend a hand.

Winter rains trigger regeneration

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.

Landcare alert after rains

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

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.

2nd Annual Buffel Bust!!

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:

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!


Bumper season sparks tree seed germination

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.

Species count cracks the 100 mark.

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.