It has been another unusual month with Covid shutdowns and the huge storm that smashed though large parts of Victoria recently. Heathmont was badly affected with lots of mature trees bought down by the wind, power cuts to many houses, and damage to property. The unusual direction of the wind, coming as it did from the south-east, was also a contributing factor, but apparently something we can expect more of given climate change. It is now more important than ever that we get as many people as possible to help to care for our local environment.
Working Bee date: Our next working bee is scheduled for July 4th at Heathmont Park, off Waterloo Street (car park near pavilion).
Storm damage to Uambi: The storm did considerable damage to Uambi but not, thankfully, to people or property. Six large eucalypts were blown over, as well as innumerable smaller branches and debris. Considerable time and effort has been spent since then clearing the tracks and making Uambi safe. The result is that Uambi is now open again, but all visitors are encouraged to take great care as trees can fall at any time.
A First: Congratulations to all who contributed to the City Nature Challenge held between April 30th and May 3rd. Residents of Maroondah recorded 2653 observations of 571 species which placed us first out of the eight council areas participating in Victoria, and contributed to Eastern-Melbourne being placed 41st out of over 400 cities participating world wide. Congratulations to all participants!!
Tawny Frogmouths: Have you seen or know where Tawny Frogmouths have recently been observed nesting and/or hunting around street, sports or garden lights?
If so, the BBC want to hear from you! See the attached below.
At the Maroondah Environmental Volunteers Forum 24th April there was a proposal to create a community network/group of MCC Environment Volunteers/Friends Groups.
This proposal generated interest among most of those attending the forum. MCC offered to provide a venue for the inaugural, and subsequent, meeting(s). The inaugural meeting is booked at Federation Estate (same venue as the Forum) Thursday 20th May 7.00pm-9.00pm.
Adam Le Good who facilitated the Forum will lead the meeting until a chair is elected. MCC Council won’t be represented at the inaugural meeting and will attend any subsequent meetings via invitation from the community group.
Many thanks to everyone who volunteered and attended Heathmont Bushcare’s recent Open Day. The weather was beautiful, the guided walks were very informative, people took photos which were then uploaded to iNaturalist, and Uambi is now home to 200 little indigenous species plants. It was a lovely morning to be out enjoying nature!
Would you like meet Heathmont Bushcare’s hard working goats in person?? Well you can! Colin Arnold and several of his friendly goats will be putting in a special guest appearance at Heathmont Bushcare’s Open Day!!
Come along and say “hi” to Colin and the goats.
Place: Uambi (Allens Rd, opposite the northern end of ‘The Boulevard’)
Date: Sunday May 2nd.Time: 10.00am – 12.00pm.
Guided tours of Uambi depart at 10.15 and 11.00pm.
Don’t forget to bring your cameras so you can upload your pictures of local plants and animals (not the goats!!) to iNaturalist.
Please see the email below for details about the Maroondah CC Environmental Volunteers Forum. The registration invitation and registration form is also attached.
Good Morning All,
We would like you to join us at the Maroondah CC Environmental Volunteers Forum at Federation Estate, Ringwood on Saturday 24th April.
This will be an opportunity for Maroondah’s environmental volunteers to come together and meet each other, share and discuss each other’s work, ways to support each other and to care for Maroondah’s natural environment, and identify where Council can assist.
Guest speaker will be author and botanist Leon Costermans.
Please see the attached flyer, circulate with members of your Maroondah CC environmental volunteers group and register.
We hope you can attend, please contact me if there are any questions.
Welcome to April everyone, and what a glorious start to month it is!
The April working bee will now be held a week later than scheduled, on April 11th. We will meet on the bike path which runs between Heathmont Road and the railway line, at our usual spot opposite the Greenway.
Wishing you all a very happy, safe and relaxing Easter!
Help shine a spotlight on eastern Melbourne’s outstanding urban biodiversity.
Join Heathmont Bushcare as we help contribute to the 2021 City Nature Challenge – a 4 day global event in which the Maroondah community are encouraged to find, photograph and document the native fauna and flora that lives and grows in our neighbourhoods.
Download the iNaturalist app.
Take a guided tour led by an expert
Learn more about the nature that is all around us
Bring your camera or phone and take photos of your natural observations
Upload them to iNaturalist
Contribute to the snapshot of Maroondah’s natural diversity
Heathmont Bushcare’s goat project continues to be an enormous success. Anyone who has walked past the goat enclosure recently (and managed to push their way through the admiring throngs of passers-by to actually see the goats!), will have noticed a huge improvement to the area in only two weeks. The goats have done a wonderful job of chomping their way through kikuyu grass, non-indigenous wattle species, pittosporums, blackberries and English ivy. All this, whilst leaving the indigenous grasses and other indigenous vegetation alone! It won’t be long before the process of re-planting the area with indigenous species plants can begin.
The only minor downside was an incident which occurred last week when someone, or people, dismantled part of the fencing, opened up the goat enclosure, and then led the goats out on to the nearby ovals. However, thanks to help of some locals, they were quickly rounded up, they were shepherded safely back into the enclose, the fence panels were moved back into place and the fixings re-attached. Thanks to those who helped out.
The next phase of the plan is that the goats will be spend some time away from this enclosure which will give the weedy vegetation some time to re-grow, and then the goats will be brought back. In this way, the weeds will never get time to grow seed and, as any re-growth is chewed away, the plants will lose their vigour and die.
In the meantime, please feel free to drop by the goat enclosure and say a big hello to our hard working environmentalists!
The goats have caused quite a sensation in their new, temporary home, along the Belgrave railway line close to HE Parker. They are already making a difference to the environment by chomping their way through the weeds at a great rate. Thanks to Gwyn Davies for these photos.
Got any great goat photos, or photos of the local environment that would look good on our website? If so, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who turned out to help erect the fencing for the goats this morning. They are happily installed in their new environment, and already making their presence felt on the weeds. Apparently they love Cootamundra Wattle and pampas grass! If you weren’t able to make the working bee this morning, please do pop down and visit the goats which you will find enclosed along the Belgrave railway line at HE Parker Reserve. There are 7 of them, so it would be great if everyone could keep an eye on them and make sure they are OK.
If you see anything concerning, please contact Roger Lord (Maroondah City Council) on 0429 189 583, or Colin Arnold (GrazeAway) on 0448 222 248.
Finally, please mark the date of our next working bee: Sunday 7th March at Uambi.
Please see below for an email directed to Heathmont Bushcare. If anyone has an interest in the matter and would like to contact Alex, I have included his contact details below.
Hello, I am writing to gauge the opinion of Heathmont Bushcare of the proposed Heathmont multi-level car park. I have a number of concerns regarding the proposal, namely: – a multi-level carpark was never part of the Heathmont village master plan, which was approved with community consultation- a multi-level construction in such a prominent location would have significant visual impact, and detract from the village style character of Heathmont- the requirement for the removal of a number of established, native trees on the site which are an extension of the FC Rodgers reserve (the home of many rare native species of plants).- traffic flow at the Campbell street/Canterbury road intersection, which is problematic already.- the purchase of the land by council in early 2020 to facilitate the development, to the tune of >$4m, indicating that the development is a ‘done deal’ already. Another resident and I are putting together a campaign to request adequate community consultation. I have (just tonight) started an online petition. We are keen to hear your feedback and whether you’d be willing to support this campaign.
Hope everyone has had an enjoyable festive season and looking forward to a COVID restriction free 2021!
Following our pre Xmas gathering at Uambi and Colin Arnold’s (from GrazeAway) inspiring talk regarding how goats can help manage our bushland remnants, it is with great anticipation that we can commence this exciting project along the Heathmont Railway Line. The project will focus on the railway reserve land and non-fenced areas between The Greenway and Armstrong Road.
Our first working bee will be about setting the fence enclosure along the railway line between The Greenway and Armstrong Road; and releasing the goats (under Colin’s direction)!
Colin will be supplying the temporary fence panels (and goats).
As there is a bit of work here it would be much appreciated if some volunteers could turn-up earlier – say 9.00AM – to help deposit the fence panels along the railway line reserve so they can be easily setup after 10.00 – when hopefully we will have a few more to help. Also it would be very helpful if a few can bring a portable drill – so we quickly screw the panels together (screw bits will be supplied).
Dear friends of, and volunteers with, Heathmont Bushcare,
The year has been a very disrupted one and we haven’t been able to carry out many of the activities we usually would. However, we are hoping that usual working bees will resume on the 1st weekend in February. In the meantime, thank you to everyone who has continued to care for our local environment in 2020, and a very happy, safe and relaxing Christmas to you all.
Please take a moment to view the video celebrating environmental volunteering in 2020 – see below.