Exciting things in store for the Watershed Community

Published 27th August 2021. Written by Maddison O’Brien

The last 18 months have been a whirlwind. Although recent events pose many challenges for everyone, they have opened up opportunities to create positive change in the community. Watershed Landcare has been fortunate to secure funding for several exciting projects that will help the community and the environment and heal from the effects of bushfires and drought.

The Olinda area, near Rylstone, was impacted heavily by the Black Summer Bushfires, and we have a few projects centred around the area. With this funding, we will be partnering with local community members and The Yawarra Ngurambanggu (Caring for Country) Land Works Crew to remediate sites that have been severely affected by fire and drought. The project will involve cleaning up, weed control, mulching, seed collection and direct seeding. Within this Bushfire recovery project, we will also be actively restoring habitat by re-planting native vegetation and installing cutting edge 3D Printed nesting hollows.

One of the questions we have after the bushfire is; what has survived, and where? Surveying the impact of the fires on our native flora and fauna is crucial if we want to start to rehabilitate it. We’ve secured funding to do just that! One of our new projects will allow us to go out and find suitable patches of native bush for seed collection and identify species that have not recovered well after the severe fires. We can then target our regeneration efforts in future projects towards these endangered areas.

In addition to this hands-on approach to recovery, there are also plans to improve social resilience within the Olinda and Running Stream/Ilford areas. Guided by leaders within the community, the projects will provide upskilling, social cohesion activities and grant infrastructure and resources to allow residents to hold events and provide for their own needs. These projects will create positive change, empowering the community and supporting connectedness.

Landcarers and Olinda Community members come together to learn about revegetation planning and best-practice methods for successful plantings.

The Landcare Nursery has got the green light to propagate 10,000 native plants to be planted within the Watershed district to improve native vegetation and habitat! These plants, grown with love, will be made available to Landcare members and bushfire affected landholders. There will also be a workshop series educating locals on planting planning and seed collection to ensure this fantastic opportunity is rolled out with best-practice methods and provide a long-lasting impact for future generations.

Looking ahead, we’re excited to see these projects roll out and create positivity and growth within the Watershed area. Stay tuned for updates, and if you want to know more or want to get involved with Landcare, get in touch with us!

A huge thank you and congratulations to Claudia Wythes for all her hard work applying for these opportunities on behalf of Watershed Landcare. If it weren’t for Claudia, these projects would not have come about! Awesome work!

The Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.