Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter – August 2018

Working Party @ The Fair – Sunday 19 August 2018, 1pm – 4pm.
Join the Friends of Mt Majura working party and help cut and layer Cootamundra wattle debris around the National Tree Day plantings; use buckets to collect wood chip mulch and spread it over bare sites. Give as much time as you like. We have a large amount of woody debris deposited at The Fair from the removal of Cootamundra wattles at the northern end of Mt Majura nature reserve. The layering of debris reduces grazing pressure and helps plants to establish; wood chip mulch suppresses weeds, “conditions” the soil and retains moisture.
Cootamundra wattle, Acacia baileyana is a small tree indigenous to a small area between Cootamundra and Temora in southern NSW. It has been very widely planted in other Australian states and territories including the ACT because of its attractive foliage and is now naturalised in many parts of Australia. It hybridises with other wattles and invades drier woodlands and open forests where it can replace local native shrubs and shade out native grasses and wildflowers.
Where: Nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson; access and volunteer registration at park entrance Tay / Ian Nicol Streets.
Bring and wear: Garden gloves, sun protection, drinking water and wear sturdy shoes.
Enquiries: E-mail
Click here for more information.

Making good use of woody weeds: caches of Cootamundra wattle debris around young plants. Photo: Waltraud Pix

Successful National Tree Day held on Mt Majura!
What a wonderful National Tree Day we had on Sunday 29 July! View this photo gallery. A Big Thank You to over 100 enthusiastic volunteers for defying the cold and windy weather to plant, water and mulch 150 seedlings of local trees, shrubs and wildflowers in the nature reserve east of The Fair in North Watson. Many families, two Scout groups, students of the ANU Intrepid Landcare program and Landscape Architecture students from Taiwan worked hard and the planting spectacle was over in less than two hours. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea, cakes, Timtams, playing and chatting with old and new friends rounded up this 11th National Tree Day hosted by the Friends of Mt Majura ParkCare Group. Many people helped to make the event fun and a great success and I would like to give special thanks to:
Mick Gentleman, MLA and Minister for the Environment for delivering a fantastic demonstration of “how to plant”;
Shane Rattenbury, MLA and planting veteran with Friends of Mount Majura for reading out the instructions on “how to plant” to Mick;
The team of the Transitional Release program of the Alexander Maconochie Prison Centre (TRC) for digging the planting holes which were much appreciated by the very young, the elderly and the in-betweens;
ParkCare ranger Martin “Marty” Bajt who worked with the TRC team and provided crucial support prior and during the event and Parks Service ranger Liam Banyer who gave up his free Sunday to help – thanks heaps guys;
The Fire Unit for delivering wood chip mulch which they harvested during recent maintenance work in the reserve;
Planting buddies Jo Lynch, Jenni Marsh, Zan, Athena Rogers, Margaret Clough and Jeanette Ruxton, who were there when they were needed;
Jochen Zeil for documenting the spectacle by taking photographs;
Cindy Allen for catering and for a delicious cake, thanks also to Dorothy Mackenzie and Jenni Marsh for cakes which disappeared quickly together with all the Timtams;
Jenni Marsh for putting up posters;
Barbara Inglis for the help with volunteer registration;
Alison Inglis for coordinating the Majura Mountain Scouts;
And volunteers and staff of Greening Australia for raising and arranging the seedlings.
I thank Mick Gentleman, Shane Rattenbury and Sally Box, the Federal Threatened Species Commissioner for the opportunity to discuss the impact of encroaching residential development in North Watson on the management of endangered grassy woodlands, and for listening to ParkCare concerns about the severe overgrazing and the inappropriate use of the nature reserves that destroy conservation values and the work of volunteers.
And last, but not least I’d like to thank our guests from Taiwan for their ongoing interest in our work and Max Pouwer, who was spotted wandering with the group discussing and explaining hours after the event finished.
Waltraud Pix
Friends of Mt Majura, National Tree Day 2018 coordinator, 31 July 2018

Mick Gentleman, MLA and Minister for the Environment (centre), demonstrating how to plant with Shane Rattenbury, MLA (right) reading out the instructions on “how to plant” to Mick. Photo: Jochen Zeil

Other news and events:

What is happening to save and rebuild populations of threatened species in the ACT? Professor Arthur Georges explains – ABC Radio, 17 July 2018
The ACT is home to a number of threatened animals, insects and plants which could be facing extinction. Among those needing extra protection are the Grassland Earless Dragon, Northern Corroboree Frog and Button Wrinklewort. The Chair of the ACT Scientific Committee, Professor Arthur Georges has been appointed to another three year term. He spoke to ABC Radio Canberra’s Dan Bourchier about the progress on saving local threatened species. Listen here.

Indigenous Science Conversations in National Science Week – Canberra, 15 August 2018
This National Science Week please join Indigenous researchers and advisors of the National Environmental Science Program at Questacon for a conversation on Indigenous scientific knowledge and practice. Speakers will present approaches to incorporating Indigenous knowledge and values into climate science, biodiversity, threatened species recovery, urban planning, land use and freshwater and marine ecology. Find out more about this event and register here.

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