Friends of Mount Majura (FoMM) Newsletter March 2021

FoMM News

Apologies for the late edition of the newsletter this month – the FoMM Secretary has been away.

Third Sunday working bee – Sunday 21 March, 9am to noon
Our next working bee will be on this Sunday morning 21 March planting and weeding at the Drainage Ditch. Come anytime and give whatever time you can spare. We will plant local native seedlings of hardenbergia and lomandra in the area near the drainage line. The closest nature park entrance is the Rivett and French Street intersection. Sign on near the ParkCare notice board opposite the water reservoir; here is a map.
Bring sun protection, wear clothing suitable for gardening, sturdy shoes or gum boots. No experience necessary, instructions will be provided along with tools, disposable gloves and hand sanitiser.  There will be home-made cake for morning tea.
NB. as of today, showers are forecast for Sunday. If it rains on Sunday the working bee will be postponed to the following week, Sunday 28 March. We will publish a notice on the website to confirm the rescheduling if necessary.

We will be planting native False Sarsaparilla or Purple Coral-pea (Hardenbergia violacea) to replace scambling cleavers. (Photos W. Pix)

The Friends of Mt Majura have been working at the drainage line since 2004, removing honeysuckle, ivy, blackberry, privet, olive, cotoneaster, firethorn, a willow and many herbaceous weeds. The weeds have been replaced with Silver Wattle (Acacia dealbata), Early Wattle (Acacia genistifolia), Austral Indigo (Indigofera australis), False Sarsparilla (Hardenbergia violacea), Narrow-leaved Hob Bush (Dodonea viscosa subsp. angustissima), Australian Blackthorn (Bursaria spinosa subsp. lasiophylla), Rosemary Cassinia (Cassinia quinquefaria), Cauliflower Bush (Cassinia longifolia), Native Raspberry (Rubus parvifolius) and Long leaved Matrush (Lomandra longifolia).
Click here for more information.

Mondays at the Fair
Each week a group of committed volunteers meets at the Fair site, which has been transformed by dedicated work since 2012. Hundreds of local trees, shrubs and ground covers have been planted to replace the many weeds which have been painstakingly removed. We have recently removed the tree guards from plants, now they are well established. We have also direct-seeded several varieties of native grasses and planted fenced seed-node sites to create a future seed bank of native forbs, flowering herbaceous plants.
Join us anytime between 9.30 and 12 any Monday morning. We meet at the nature park entrance close to Tay and Ian Nicol Street, North Watson.
Left: Storm approaching The Fair with daisies and Spear Grass in the foreground. Right: stack of pink guards removed from older plantings, ready to be reused. (Photos W. Pix)

The Fair Grassy Woodland in March 2021
Watch this video swipe of Friends of Mt Majura Grassy Woodland improvement site in the nature reserve east of The Fair, North Watson. The video taken on 10th March 2021 shows fluffy seed heads of New Holland Daisy and Spear Grass that had been direct seeded to replace various herbaceous weeds that volunteers have been removing. Local shrubs and trees planted by volunteers to replace woody weeds are visible in the middle ground. The Fair project is about 5 ha in size and work started in Winter 2012 with a National Tree Day community planting.
Left: New Holland Daisy (Vittadinia gracilis) with fluffy seed heads; one of the direct seeding star performers at The Fair project that recolonises previously weed infested sites. Right: View of The Fair with New Holland Daisy in the front, and swathes of direct seeded Spear Grass and some of the planted trees and shrubs in the back. (Photos W. Pix)

And here’s a link to a photo from the Canberra Nature Map
of a rare summer/autumn flowering Rufous midge orchid (Genoplesium clivicola) at Mt MajuraGenoplesium clivicola was first formally described in 2007 from a specimen collected in the Black Mountain Reserve.

Other news and events:

Training opportunity: Grass and Weed Identification – Saturday 17 April 2021
Parks and Conservation Service run regular training sessions for Parkcare volunteers. The next session will be held at the Stromlo Depot in Coombs on Saturday 17 April. Numbers are filling fast, but if it is booked out names can be added to express interest for a future session. To register/express interest email the FoMM Convenor here. For those wishing to learn about the safe use of chemicals for weed control in nature parks, a ChemCert training session is also planned for April.

Australian Native Plants Society Canberra – Biannual Plant Sale
Next Plant Sale is on Saturday 27 March. Will require free ticket and no cash, card only purchases. Gates open at 8:30 AM and sale ends at 1:30 PM or until sold out. A ticket is not required for entry to the sale after 10:30 am. Wide range of plants suitable for Canberra’s climate. Register for FREE Ticket using this Eventbrite login. You must check in using the Check in CBR App using the ANBG QR code and not attend if feeling unwell.

ACT Environment Grants and Nature in the City Grants are now available.
ACT Environment Grants fund community-based projects that support on-ground implementation of the ACT Nature Conservation Strategy 2013-23. This year additional funding stream, Nature in the City Stream, has been created to specifically target planting trees and supporting vegetation in the urban environment. Nature in the City Grants fund community-based projects that support on-ground implementation of the ACT Planning Strategy 2018, Canberra’s Living Infrastructure Plan: Cooling the City, and ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25 for a sustainable and resilient city. Online applications close AEST at 11:59 pm on Wednesday 28 April 2021. Click here to find out more

News from the Australian Network for Plant Conservation (ANPC)
The most recent ANPC newsletter shared this lovely story from the Sydney Morning Herald on the pink flannel flower, which only germinates after fire and is now blooming in the Blue Mountains.
The newsletter also provided a link to a new video series from the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, What the Flora? on plants and flora conservation research.  You can watch the first two episodes here.
And finally, news of a forthcoming online orchid conservation symposium on 22-23 June.

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