Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter April 2022

Hackett working party Sunday 24 April

Come along between 1-4 pm to help remove weeds and plant local native ground-dwelling plants along the drainage line close to the Hackett water tank. Meet at the drainage line near the nature park entrance off Rivett and French Streets, Click here for a map.

No experience is needed: we provide instructions, tools, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser as well as a delicious cake for afternoon tea. Give as much time as you like. Bring sun protection, drinking water and gloves if you have them. Wear clothes which cover your limbs and sturdy shoes or gumboots.

Volunteers removing weeds from the drainage line: photo Waltraud Pix.

Swift Parrot sightings

There have been recent sightings of one of Australia’s most critically endangered bird species near the Hackett drainage line. Swift Parrots breed in Tasmania and migrate to mainland Australia in autumn. Here they feed on the nectar of flowering eucalypts and lerp – the sugary protection cover on sap-sucking insects – including the Bundy (Eucalyptus gonyocalyx) and Yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora) found on Mount Majura. More information:

Swift parrot at the drainage ditch in 2008. Photo Geoffrey Dabb

See more birds on a guided walk on 15 May

Join bird enthusiast Peter Miller on Sunday 15 May, 8-10am, for an early morning stroll on tracks through woodland to spot, listen to and learn about Mt Majura’s birds in autumn. Meet at 8am sharp at the nature park nature entrance off Mackenzie Street, near Grayson Street, Hackett.

Bring binoculars, bird ID book or app if you have them. We will provide a bird species list for a gold coin donation.

Gang Gang Cockatoos photographed on Mount Majura in April 2022: Canberra Nature Map

Mondays at The Fair

Every Monday morning a small group of friendly volunteers meets at this site in North Watson. Join us at the entrance to the nature park nearest to Tay and Ian Nicol Streets at 9.30am. At present we’re removing fruiting weeds before they spread their seeds. Over summer we filled very many bags with St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and are now concentrating on Fleabane (Erigeron sumatrensis). Volunteer Barbara Read took this photo on a recent Monday session.

Last week we were joined by Joey cub scouts Sahandi and Maya with their parents. As well as removing St John’s Wort, Sahandi and Maya re-visited the trees they had planted with the Majura Mountain scouts last year.

FoMM on YouTube

Taiwanese university students of landscape design once again participated in FoMM events during a recent visit to Canberra facilitated by Janelee Li. The students filmed the activities, including the presentation to FoMM of the ACT Landcare Award for a community organisation.

Watch ‘We are Friends of Mount Majura”
FoMM’s receiving the landcare award was also reported by Region Media and you can see this by clicking here.

Want to learn more about native grasses?

FoMM volunteers can register on the ParkCare Hub for a free workshop on Grass Identification. Trainer Alison Elvin has a passion for native grasses and grassland ecosystems. Book for sessions in Dickson on 28 April and 23 May from 9.30am-1pm. More sessions will be held later in the year.

Many grass varieties can be observed on Mount Majura, including Kangaroo, Wallaby, Red-leg and Spear grasses. Native grasses play an important role in ecosystem health, with their root systems holding the soil, reducing erosion and increasing soil moisture. FoMM volunteers have direct-seeded several varieties of native grasses in the nature park, most recently at The Fair site in North Watson, including native lovegrass species Eragrostis trachycarpa collected from the fence line at the EPIC carpark.

Rough-grain Lovegrass Eragrostis trachycarpa: photo Waltraud Pix

ACT Legislative Assembly Inquiry into Environmental volunteering

It’s not too late to make a submission to the current inquiry – the closing date is 6 May.

FoMM’s submission by Convenor Jochen Zeil addresses issues associated with on-ground staffing resources for Parks & Conservation Service and the impact on FoMM volunteering. Other Parkcare groups, conservation organisations and individuals have made submissions which can be read on the Inquiry website.

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