Up2Us Newsletter – March 2013

Events celebrate living locally

Mansfield’s Sustainable Living Festival, sponsored by Mansfield Shire Council and Up2Us, features two events this year; a Sustainable Small Acreage Tour and a Good Living Picnic Festival. Both are on Saturday April 20.

Sustainable Small Acreage Tour

The morning tour includes three properties showcasing rotational grazing, caper farming and plantation farming for native timber. It will depart from the Information Centre at 10am, returning at 12.30pm.

Prior bookings are essential. Please contact Kerstie Lee on 0400 613 344 or email [email protected] by Friday, April 12.

Good Living Picnic Festival

‘Live local and love it!’ is the theme for the Good Living Picnic Festival to be held at the Mansfield Botanic Park in the afternoon from 2pm, on Saturday April 20.

Workshops, live music by local musicians, kids’ activities and an open-air cinema are scheduled, along with community art and a garden-produce cooking demonstration.

Music and food will be complemented by workshops on growing vegetables, pruning fruit trees, basic bike maintenance and healthy food.

“The Picnic Festival is about relaxing together while sharing skills and stories. We hope it helps people live better and enjoy the community we’re part of,” said one of the event organisers, Kerstie Lee.

So bring a picnic tea to share, while watching the open-air movie, which begins at 6pm.

For further information call Uschi on 0427 849 777, Kerstie on 0400 613 344, or check out Mansfield’s Sustainable Living Festival on facebook.

The Principle Paul Volkering became involved in floating blackwood seed boats down the river. Grade 6 and Grade 2’s were paired for the day to create an atmosphere of shared learning.

The Principle Paul Volkering became involved in floating blackwood seed boats down the river.
Grade 6 and Grade 2’s were paired for the day to create an atmosphere of shared learning.

Jill Breadon at the Mansfield Primary School Water Day at Jamieson.

Jill Breadon at the Mansfield Primary School
Water Day at Jamieson.

Delatite Landcare Group

WEEDS PROGRAM SUCCESS

Delatite Landcare Group has completed its 1012-2013 project aimed at control of Gorse, Blackberry and St John’s Wort on Southern Blue Range. Roadside infestations of these weeds on both Rifle Butts Road and Old Tonga Road were sprayed.

Many landholders took advantage of financial incentives to spray these weeds on their properties.

Funds left over from this project will be used by the Victorian Blackberry Task Force for control of blackberries in Mansfield Shire. To access support from this funding participants must be current financial members of a local landcare group. See article about Blackberry Co-ordinator.

Upper Broken River Landcare Group

RIVER GUARDIANS

According to Upper Broken Landcare Group’s mission statement, they aim to become ‘river guardians’.

For this purpose, the group has obtained a grant to manage and control Blackberries and Gorse along selected sections of the Broken River in 2013.

Members will work with Cameron Paterson, the newly appointed local blackberry co-ordinator, on this project.

Funding is on a 50/50 basis, where the landowner contributes 50% of the cost.

Upper Broken Landcare Group is also prioritising soil health for productive landscapes and pest plants and animals this year.

If you are interested in taking part in controlling Blackberries and Gorse on your property, please contact Rowan Swaney on 57791193.

Ancona Valley Landcare Group

‘Australia imports around 72% of the seafood it consumes. The imports mainly come from Asian countries with far less sustainable fisheries and with health concerns compared to Australia. (7 Network
TDT 18021)

Ancona Landcare Group recently obtained a grant to work on paddock tree connectivity and protection. The group is also focusing on pest weeds.

President: John Rogers [email protected]
Secretary: Paula Ingpen [email protected]
Please contact either John or Paula for further details.

Howqua Vally Landcare

‘The average Australian consumes about 45 tonnes of resources per year – including biomass, fossil fuel, metals, industrial and construction materials – compared with an average across Asia of only 8.6 tonnes.’ (SMH 120213)

Howqua Valley Landcare Group has obtained a grant to control blackberries along the Howqua River.. It is also working on compiling a project to control of carp in the Howqua River.

President: David Looker [email protected]
Secretary: Mike Wilkins [email protected]
For further information on HVLG contact David or Mike.

News in brief

IMPROVEMENT TAKES TIME

Ruffy Farmer Stan Artridge has improved his soil, pasture and animal health by observing his paddocks, seeking new ideas and trialling different practices. He advises farmers to have patience.

SAVING OUR SOILS

Kerri Goschnick is a long serving and highly respected soil conservation officer from DPI Alexandra. His reflections on how the catchment and its management has changed over the last 20-30 years make inspiring reading.

WILD DOG BAITING

Expressions of interest are being sought from primary producers who would like to participate in the Community Baiting for Wild Dog Control Program in the Mansfield area. The program will help primary producers undertake baiting programs. They will be trained in the use of 1080 by the Community Baiting Coordinator. To register your interest contact the AWI Community Coordinator , Wild Dog Baiting: Tim 0260 437 953 or email Tim on [email protected]

WEEDS COORDINATOR

‘In South Australia, wind energy has gone from 1% to 26% of the energy mix in just 7 years – nationally, solar panel installations are 13 years ahead of official projections – last year Australia led the world in terms of number of solar installations – since 2007, the Photo Voltaic module cost per kilowatt has dropped from $5,000 to $550.’ (The Conversation 110113)

Cameron Paterson was appointed in January to co-ordinate blackberry and gorse control in the local area.

He works with landholders to advise them not only on control and management of infestations, but also to develop management plans for the coming three years.

Cameron’s services to landholders are free throughout Mansfield Shire. He is employed by the Victorian Blackberry Taskforce. Funding for his appointment was sought and gained by Up2Us.

SCHOOL WATER DAY

Mansfield Primary School students from grades 2 and 6 took part in a full day of biodiversity education activities at Jamieson on February 22.

Eighty-two students took part in a range of cooperative group tasks where they learned about river health.

Local water expert Jill Breadon led the activities. Students took and analysed water samples, noting the
number and diversity of mini -beasts.

They dispersed blackwood seeds in floating egg cartons.

From this they learned about the different roles rivers play.

Students concluded that the diversity and quantity of life in rivers relates to not only water health, but also health of the land.

This day was funded from a Biodiversity Education grant

WHO IS Up2Us?

If you haven’t already:

  • Blackberry Control – Blackberries are still actively growing until the first frost so feel free to keep tackling them. Call Cam Paterson if you need some advice and assistance in this (See page 2 for his details)
  • Veggie Gardens – It is now time to get your garlic in and plan for your winter crops. It is possibly too late for seeds but feel free to keep putting in seedlings of Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Early varieties of Garlic etc.

Up2Us is the umbrella organization for Landcare and environmental groups in Mansfield Shire.

This includes the Victorian Farmers Federation, Ancona Landare Group, Delatite Landcare Group, Howqua Valley Landcare Group and Upper Broken River Landcare Group. The facilitator of Up2Us is Kerstie Lee.

Amongst other things, Kerstie facilitates activities for groups, and sources funding. She liaises and works collaboratively with a multiplicity of groups and organizations, including Mansfield Shire, to coordinate sustainable land management.