Landcare Coordinator – helping the community to help our environment- A year in review
Lithgow City Council has been fortunate to have the opportunity to host a fully funded Landcare Coordinator position to support the community in helping to look after and learn about their local environment.
The Local Landcare Coordinator Initiative is funded by the NSW Government as a component of their plan to renew the government-community relationship and unlock the full potential of the thousands of volunteers in the Landcare network.
Landcare is a community-based approach to managing and restoring Australia’s natural environment, improving the sustainability of agricultural activities, and building the resilience of communities. Landcare refers to any community-based groups operating in the sphere of natural resource management and sustainable agriculture in NSW and includes but is not limited to groups that describe themselves as Landcare, Bushcare, friends of groups, and producer groups.
It has been a very busy first year for Rechelle who, working with Council, LOLA and various project partners, has supported Community and Landcare Groups through coordinating 10 events with 235 community members attending. These include:
• 10 events with 235 community volunteers/members attending.
• 1500 native plants planted by volunteers.
• 4ha of degraded land revegetated.
• 2000ha of land with improved management practice.
• Support for threatened species and ecosystems through key partnerships.
• 15 Landcare groups supported.
Purple Copperwing Butterfly Habitat
To read more about this project, download Case Study - Green Army Purple Copperwing Butterfly project
Hassan’s Walls Environmental Works
Management of natural resources within Hassan’s Walls Reserve through the control of environmental and noxious weeds. This project has been achieved through successful grants from Public Reserve Management Fund Program.
This project has enhanced biodiversity, reduced erosion, improved habitat value and controlled noxious weeds within the reserve. All of these works improve recreational opportunities, visual amenity of the area and increase public perception and awareness of the environmental asset.
The project has treated a number of the high value areas within the reserve while also identifying other point source of weeds within the reserve, which requires additional works to contain and will be targeted in future works. This project compliments and builds on previous works currently active within the reserve by increasing community participation for lasting environmental outcomes.
Hillcrest Reserve Environmental Works
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity through consultation with the community and the development of partnerships with the Central Tablelands Local Land Service has achieved real environmental outcomes at Hillcrest reserve.
Hillcrest Reserve has potential to be a high quality bushland reserve although; weeds are currently threatening these natural values. The Reserve contains important remnant native vegetation consistent with the Lithgow Abercrombie Grassy Woodland presenting some unique challenges. Past land use has isolated the reserve from the boarder landscape, while future challenges include threats from environmental weeds and the impacts of urban development.
Council will continue to manage threats to the reserve through projects such as this, which has achieved significant reductions in noxious weeds such as Blackberry and Hawthorn as well as other environmental weeds. We also aim to undertake work to increase the linkages and condition of native vegetation within the reserve.
Protection and enhancement of biodiversity through weed control and supplementary planting will assist in enhancing biodiversity, reduce erosion and improve habitat value. It is hoped improved visual amenity of the area, together increasing public perception and awareness of this environmental asset will provide long-term environmental outcomes through community support and ownership.
Willow Removal Vale of Clwydd
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity through consultation with the community and the development of partnerships with the Central Tablelands Local Land Service (CTLLS) has achieved real environmental outcomes in the Vale of Clwydd.
This project will control woody weed infestations along at least 7Km of Vale of Clwydd Creek. Vale of Clwydd Creek is a suburban creek running through the township of Vale of Clwydd, part of the urban area of Lithgow. The creek flows into Lake Pillans Wetlands and into Farmers Creek. Farmers Creek is a significant stream, running through the urban area of Lithgow, and into the Coxs River, which flows, into Lake Burragorang.
This project will help to prevent the spread of Willows, a Weed of National Significance (WONS), and other noxious weeds into the Surrounding Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, and further into the catchment. It will also help to combat the increased erosion and flow modification that can be associated with Willow encroachment along waterways. Fallen Willow debris, and the dense mat of their roots can sometimes trap silt, build up the level of the stream bed and divert water flow into the banks, thereby increasing erosion.
Lithgow and Hartley Bushland Reserves Program
Protecting and enhancing biodiversity through consultation with the community and the development of partnerships with the Central Tablelands Local Land Service (CTLLS) and Lithgow Oberon Landcare Association (LOLA) has achieved real environmental outcomes in a range of Council reserves.
The project engaged bush regeneration professionals to target identified invasive woody and herbaceous weeds and undertake revegetation works in consultation with Lithgow Council. The project built capacity within the community to assist with delivery of bushland management priorities into the future.
The project provided environmental benefits in a large number of reserves in the Local Government Area including;
- Farmers Creek (Saywell and Montague St sections)
- Hartley Reserve
- Hassan’s Walls Reserve
- Hyde Park Reserve
- Lake Pillans Wetland Reserve
- Londonderry Reserve
Overall, the projects has been a great success evidenced by community participation in a number of planting days in Council reserves to enhance riparian habitat with native species following the removal of weeds.