FoMM Newsletter – April 2023

FoMM is offering special events for nature lovers in autumn as well as our regular working bees.

Third Sunday working bee 16 April, from 1pm

We will work near the twin dams close to the Blue Metal Road to tackle woody weeds and Fleabane This area is one of Mt Majura’s most rich and diverse sites with some of the least modified land in the nature reserve, including rare and endangered species.

We will work in in pairs to cut woody weeds such as Sweet Briar Rose (Rosa rubiginosa) and Nettle Tree (Celtus australis) before dabbing them with herbicide. If you don’t wish to use herbicide you could be the cutter or hand pull Fleabane (Erigeron sumatrensis) from the moist soil, bagging its flower heads so they don’t set seed.

Meet at the Mackenzie Street entrance to the nature park near Grayson Street, Hackett. This map shows the meeting point and the yellow outlined working area.

BYO sun protection, drinking water and garden gloves, if you have them, and wear clothes which cover your limbs. We provide tools, gloves, herbicide and a delicious home-made cake for afternoon tea. No experience necessary – FoMM volunteers will introduce you to the work.

The working bee will finish at 4pm. Give what time you can spare. More information here.

This part of the nature reserve with Scribbly gum (Eucalyptus rossii) and an understorey of Red-anthered Wallaby Grass (Rytidosperma pallidum) is probably the least modified area within the nature reserve. Photo Waltraud Pix.

Join a guided walk during Canberra Tree Week, Sunday 7 May, 2 – 4pm

Stroll among the grassy woodlands on the lower slopes with a climb (medium) to a grove of Snow Gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora). Ecologist Michael Doherty will lead this walk introducing the local trees and shrubs of Mt Majura’s woodlands.

Meet at the Mackenzie Street nature park entrance near Grayson Street, Hackett: this map shows the meeting point.

Bring sun protection and drinking water; wear sturdy shoes and appropriate clothing for the weather conditions. Species guides will be available for a gold coin donation.

FoMM’s tree gallery shows photographs of Mount Majura’s beautiful trees, including these Snow Gums.

Spotlight walk Friday 5 May, 5 – 7.30pm

Another Tree Week event, on the night before the full moon. Enjoy a guided walk along gravel trails on the lower slopes of Mt Majura to look for nocturnal animals in grassy woodlands. We might hear or spot birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates which could be sheltering, sleeping, hunting, foraging or guarding territory.

Bring a hand-held or head-torch which is fully charged. If you have a red filter, it will be kinder to the animals. Wear warm clothes and sturdy shoes.

Meet at the Mackenzie Street entrance near Grayson Street, Hackett: this map shows the meeting point.

Krefft’s sugar glider (Petaurus notatus) spotted at Hackett. Photo courtesy Canberra Nature Map.

Local Greens MLAs joined the March Third Sunday working bee

As we unpack our winter woollies now temperatures are dropping, it’s hard to believe that the temperature reached the mid 30°s for our March working bee. We worked at the watercourse near the Hackett water tank where it was cool in the shade of the trees. Rebecca Vassarotti and Shane Rattenbury, both Ministers and our members for the electorate of Kurrajong, took time out of their busy schedules to join a large group of volunteers, including Majura Mountain Scouts. Rebecca removed Ivy and Japanese Honeysuckle seedlings from the watercourse and Shane placed mulch around nearby trees and shrubs FoMM had planted earlier to suppress future weed growth.

Rebecca with Waltraud and Ranger Emma, who joined FoMM before heading to watch for bush fires. Photo Margy Burn.
Shane and Waltraud enjoyed a refreshing iced fruit skewer. Shane moved many buckets of mulch and had earlier run around Lake Burley Griffin as part of the Dementia Memory Walk and Jog event. Photo Margy Burn.

Mondays at the Fair

Every week a group of FoMM volunteers works at The Fair site in North Watson. Meet us any Monday at 9.30am at the nature park entrance near Tay & Ian Nicol Streets. No experience necessary – you will learn from others who will share their knowledge. We are currently handpulling Fleabane and cutting and dabbing woody weeds.

Monday volunteers enjoyed spotting this Chough nest at The Fair recently. Photo Max Pouwer.

2021-22 Parkcare Annual Report – FoMM leads the field!

ACT Parks and Conservation Service has recently published the Annual Report outlining activities undertaken by volunteers in its four streams of activity. FoMM falls within the ParkCare Patch stream, in which volunteers take stewardship over a ‘patch’ of land within the Canberra Nature Park working with PCS staff on conservation activities. The Report is available from the Parkcare hub.

There are 26 Patch groups across Canberra. In this reporting year, despite organised activities ceasing for three months due to Covid lockdowns, Parkcare volunteers undertook weed control on 542 hectares in ACT nature reserves and national parks. FoMM volunteers contributed the most hours of all the Patch groups – more than 3000 of the total 17,000 hours.

Although nearly half the Parkcare volunteer hours are contributed by retirees, the average age of volunteers is 42. Five per cent of Parkcare volunteers identify as LBTQI+, 2% record having a disability and 1% identify as First Nations people. Other cultural diversity was not reported.

FoMM is an inclusive and diverse group. Do join us – even a few hours at a working bee helps to improve the beautiful and significant environment of Mount Majura.

A glorious April twilight at The Fair site, on Mount Majura. Photo Waltraud Pix
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Comments are closed.