MT ROGERS IN OCTOBER 2017: gathering news together

Money for nature
You all know that preserving natural areas costs more from your taxes than governments are prepared to prioritise.
You all know how much time our volunteers have given to weed management, species monitoring, rubbish collection and community-building on and around Mt Rogers.
You all know we’ve asked for the path near the Flynn playground to be repaired…
Here’s a chance to ram your messages home AGAIN:
The ACT Government has established a consultation survey on the ACT Budget that is now open till the 24th October. https://www.yoursay.act.gov.au/2018-19-budget-consultation. This is a very brief survey on what priorities the Canberra Community want in the next budget. At the end of the survey there’s a box for your specific comments. Tell Government why our reserves are special!

PLEASE take time to fill out this survey and put ENVIRONMENT at or near the top.
If our open spaces are healthy and cared for, everyone benefits and for the long-term. 
Others will prioritise the obvious health, education, policing but YOU HAVE THE WISDOM & COMMITMENT TO KNOW WHAT CARING, STEWARDSHIP & CUSTODIANSHIP MEANS. Let’s show the government we’re serious about our habitat.
..........
 
Tree of Heaven
This Sunday, 22.10.17., we’ll meet at Wickens Place at 09.00 hrs and move to the Tree of Heaven patch.  We’ll be continuing the treatment we began in autumn.
Please avoid walking through the rarely-walked area because there will be many stumps waiting to trip up the unwary. Jenny Conolly the Urban Pests and Weeds Officer has lamented several times “We don’t have the resources to treat this infestation…” Yet she’s been instrumental in setting up management programs for African Love Grass, Serrated Tussock and Chilean Needle Grass for Mt Rogers over many years. There is a great deal of work being done by the rangers in all reserves but those who hold the ‘purse-strings’ have no idea of what’s needed if the bush capital is to remain unique.

Our volunteers have:
  • Repaired the Notice Box again. Colin’s going to add a hook soon so ribbon can ‘flag’ that some new message is inside.
  • Reported on the Frogmouths’ progress and on other species they’ve seen.
  • I heard of a troop of forty kangaroos making their way up to Mt Rogers from the Fraser-Spence easement last week….extraordinary. Are they still there?
  • Reported sightings of Superb Parrots feeding on the seeds of weeds amongst the grasses.
  • Reported someone having taken felled shrubs and tree branches from their property to be dumped into the reserve. *
  • Gathered even more reports  “This is such a special place; we come here as often as we can.” “We’ve been walking here for years.” “We came here as children.”


* Dumping is not O.K.
Dumping of household items in Wickens Place is disgraceful, lazy and unnecessary. Worse, for Mt Rogers wildlife, is the dumping of garden waste in the reserve or ‘over the back fence’. Usually weed species are included on the na├»ve basis “They’ll all rot down eventually” or “it’s only the bush.”
Weed & garden waste can go to Canberra Sand & Gravel at Parkwood & it’s a FREE drop-off.
One nearly-all-native part of the reserve is being invaded by gardens’ grassy weeds dumped by those who live nearby. 
Monday 6 November’s working bee will be in that area. Meet at Wickens Pl. at 09.00 hrs.
We know that ACTEW have recently been through the reserve clearing vegetation that dares to grow under the power-lines.  Whilst some of this eucalypt debris has been taken away most has been left in the reserve to rot down. Hopefully this returning of nutrients to the soil will happen before attention-seekers set fire to the leafy branches.
You’ll have heard that tree trunks and thick branches are returned to some reserves to restore habitat when invertebrates and fungi break down the woody cells.  Birds and other animals then feed on these recyclers as well as returning to do their pest-control foraging in the living trees’ and shrubs’ branches. These reserves have much more ranger-attention and professional management than Mt Rogers is afforded.

It’s already so DRY.
We’ve all noticed in our gardens that the soil moisture is very low.  If you’re near neighbours who are new to gardening and watering encourage them to water close to or below the soil level so evaporation is minimal and their money’s not wasted.
Mulching with coarse material is great as it allows the air & good amounts of rain moisture to reach down to the plants’ root zone. 
For the birds we’d encourage the placing of a shallow dish of water near shrubs that allow perching & their checks for danger.  We had a Grey Fan-tail bathing in our birdbath twice yesterday. The bath is just a terracotta saucer that should be under a pot. In it there’s a flat pebble or two for smaller birds to reach into the water safely.

Ginninderra Falls.
You’ve probably seen TV adverts for the Ginninderry development in west Belconnen that begins with the suburb of Strathnairn to the north & NE of the Strathnairn Arts Centre off Stockdill Drive, Holt.  Eventually the development will stretch over quintessential views to the border beyond Parkwood road.. You may have visited Ginninderra Falls before they were closed in 2004. If you’d like a brochure about how the development could affect the Falls I’ll send you a copy.

Remember, this blog is sequential, and you can scroll down or cherrrypick from the menu at the righthand side to catch up on older newsletters!

Rosemary, Convenor Mt Rogers Landcare Group.  6258 4724.

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