March 2007 newsletter

Good morning, Friends
I’m running late with this newsletter. I would like to give you a brief update on upcoming events followed by the rather longish minutes of our meeting held on the 11 March. The meeting was about FoMM’s 2007 plans and the minutes include a Draft Year 2007 Program. I would like to encourage you to get involved with your favourite event or to make suggestions.

Seeds and Seedlings – 25 March 2007
Learn how to identify, clean, store and document seeds collected on Mt Majura, how to plant grass seeds, and how to pot-up seedlings.
When: Sunday 25 March 10.00 – 11.30 am
Where: 9 Selwyn Street Hackett
Bring: dibble stick or chop sticks
Please consider whether you could take care of seedlings earmarked for revegetation projects on Mt Majura. I’m looking for people who could take care of Kangaroo grass and eucalyptus seedlings. The seedlings come in forestry tubes placed in styro-foam boxes. Pending on people’s time and interest we might head off to collect some eucalyptus seeds. Alternatively we’ll collect seeds later in the week or the following weekend.

Reminder: Walking With Ants – 25 March 2007
Join ANU myrmecologist Ajay Narendra for an ant discovery walk on Mount Majura.
When: Sunday 25 March, 4.30 to 6.30 pm
Where: meet at Helms Place park entrance off Rivett Street, Hackett
Bring: sun protection, sturdy boots and a magnifying glass if you have one.
Kids (with adults) are especially welcome.

Woody Weeds Working Bee – 15 April 2007
This will be our last woody weed working party for this season. This time we’ll start with morning tea before we get into business. Noel will bring his kettle and I hope for some muffin donations or that like. I also would like to take the opportunity for a photo for our annual report – there’s no need to dress up!
When: Sunday, 15 April, come for tea at 9.00am, weeding from 9.30am onwards
Where: meet at the fire trail behind Mackenzie Street opposite Hull Place
Bring: sun protection, sturdy boots and full body covering clothing; all equipment will be provided.

Rabbit Control on Mt Majura
Several people have approached me in regard to the increasing number of rabbits on Mt Majura. The good news is that government plans to start rabbit control soon targeting Majura horse paddocks and the eastern slopes of Mt Majura. Staff will use carrot bait with Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (formerly known as Calicivirus).
There are two ways volunteers might like to get involved to increase the effectiveness of control by helping to monitor rabbit numbers and by locating active rabbit warrens within the nature reserve.
Monitoring will be conducted by spotlight surveys along transects. Contact Nicloa Webb to get involved with monitoring: or ph 62072135.
People who possess a GPS device can record the coordinates of active warrens and send them to my e-mail address or to Nicola. Please contact me about the units beforehand. If you know about rabbit warrens but don’t have a GPS device you can contact me as well and I’ll try to find someone who could take GPS records.

That’s it for now. Warm regards

FoMM co-ordinator
ph 6247 7515 or

Visit to stay informed on latest FoMM news and events.

Minutes of FoMM Meeting, Sunday 11 March 2007

Present: Alison Inglis, Chris Paterson Dorothy Mackenzie, Helen Carse, Jenni Marsh, Jochen Zeil, Len Crossfield, Noel Birchall, Pamela Mathie, Waltraud Pix.


(1) Waltraud explained the workings of FoMM, with special emphasis on organization and planning. She explained, taking the monthly woody weeding activities as example (they happen every third Sunday in the month during the warmer part of the year), what needs to be done in order to make them happen:

(a) Identify target weeds and target sites.
(b) Liase with Rangers regarding the availability of the trailer and the time and location of the next weeding activity.
(c) Write announcement for Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter (deadline first weekend in the month) and for the FoMM website.
(d) Write and print posters to be distributed to various park entrances.
(e) Distribute posters to the park entrances and check repeatedly that they have not been taken down.
(f) Be there on the day to (i) check trailer; (ii) welcome participants and introduce safety measures and suggested activities; (iii) hand out tools and organize weeding parties; (iv) prepare activity sheet and make sure that everyone signs; (v) supervise work (novice weeders).
(g) Collect, photocopy and file activity sheets, report activity (in the 3monthly volunteer activity report to the government) and send report and sheets to the ACT Parkcare Coordinator.

(2) At the moment these and other responsibilities are shared among only four FoMM Members: Waltraud Pix (coordinator), Noel Birchall (weed officer), Susan Campbell (website-manager) and Andrew Blankensee (currently fugitive treasurer) and ways need to be found to involve more people for routine tasks.

(3) Other FoMM activities that involve small jobs, which people could do and for which contributions from FoMM members are invited

(a) The continuing development of the website (writing articles);
(b) The reporting to Government and to media outlets (like the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter);
(c) Planning and organization of events.


(1) Helen and Noel volunteered to distribute and check the posters at the park entrances.
(2) Len has agreed to help Waltraud with coordinating the Project Dragonfly Follow-up (see Draft 2007 Program below) conditional upon return help for his project of creating a floating island on one of the dams.
(3) Pamela has volunteered to help organize FoMM talks, starting with Beth Mitchell (ANU) on the Urban stewardship for the Environment; Jochen Zeil has agreed to help with venue hire and projection equipment.
(4) People asked to break up jobs into small tasks, which would make it easier for people to get involved in activities.

Alas, below is a list of tasks that would need to be done for some of the major activities planned for 2007. Please let me know if you are prepared to help with any of these and please keep in mind that I can provide support – there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

I will call for another meeting at the beginning of May to see how we are going.
Warm regards

Plans for this year (see Summary FoMM Draft 2007 Program below) and lists of tasks

(1) Project Dragonfly Follow-up: Erosion control at lower Majura dam.(
Work includes loosening of soil, placement of erosion matting, direct seeding of native plants.
(a) Agree on date (proposed weekend 20./21.05.07);
(b) Liaise with rangers about soil preparation (ie loosening of compacted soil). Rangers have been asked, confirmation pending;
(c) Write and distribute announcements for Website, Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter, Posters for park entrances;
(d) Co-ordinate erosion matting delivery (currently stored at the Ranger Headquarter in Mitchell) for on-ground work;
(e) List and arrange for required tools and seeds;
(f) Co-ordinate work on the day (placement of matting, fastening pegs, collect and place logs, direct seeding) including collect activity sheet;
(g) Create small display informing the public on “Environmental work in Progress”;
(h) Write report for Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

(2) World Environment Day Walk Talk and Tea: Sunday, 03. 06.07, afternoon.
As in the previous two years this will be a guided walk to showcase Mt Majura and FoMM activities, with tea & biscuits at the former Sheep Camp on the Ridge
(a) Liaise with Rangers; rangers already agreed to provide hot water, tea & coffee facilities at the sheep camp;
(b) Promotion (note, templates for posters and flyers from previous events are available): Write and coordinate adverts for FoMM website, Communities online / Chronicle, Canberra Times (find out whether CT runs a Special for WED), CT Fridge Door, Hackett Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter; Flyers for shops etc; Posters for park entrance and community board;
(c) Organize on-ground activity:

Ask for cake & muffins etc donations (Hackett IGA?)
Collect donations and transfer to rangers
Prepare materials that feature FoMM projects along the walk

(d) At the event:

Collect activity sheets
Collect voluntary gold coin donation (???)
Organise a walking team for elderly participants

(e) Write report and distribute.

(3) Tree Planting
Greening Australia (GA) currently raises 80 eucalyptus and 40 Hardenbergia and Lomandra seedlings for FoMM in exchange for seeds we’ve collected for GA’s ‘Seeds for survival’ Program. The euc seedlings are earmarked for replanting the vandalized sheep camp area and for supplementary planting opposite the Majura horse paddocks; the Hardenbergia and Lomandra are planned for the edge of the drain line at the lower Hackett reservoir.
The Australia wide celebration of ‘National Tree Day’ would be an opportunity to invite community for planting the seedlings. The dates are

Friday 27.07.07 Schools day.
Sunday 29.07.07 General day.

(a) Agree on dates;
(b) Liaise with rangers; rangers already agreed to drill planting holes at specified sites opposite the horse paddocks, to bring water and tools up to the sheep camp and provide wire mesh for tree guards for the sheep camp site (wire mesh guards are less obvious than the previously used plastic guards and hopefully this reduces the risk of vandalism);
(c) Liaise with schools for planting activity opposite Horse paddocks (Hackett Pre-School and Blue Gum Community schools, both have shown interest);
(d) Write and distribute announcements for Website, Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter, Posters for park entrances;
(e) Specify planting sites for drilling holes opposite horse paddocks;
(f) Arrange for required tools and materials (stakes, hammer, mattocks, weed control pads, water crystals, guards, tools for making wire mesh guards);
(g) Co-ordinate seedlings delivery from GA;
(h) Arrangement for initial watering (organize watering tank from rangers, FoMM’s water containers, buckets, hose);
(i) Co-ordinate work on the day including collect activity sheet;
(j) Demonstrate planting: someone with horticulture background or experience in planting tree seedlings;
(k) Write report for Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

(4) Talks and Walks
Tasks (depending on type of event):
(a) Ideas for interesting topics of FoMM Talks (Walks; see draft 2007 program);
(b) Decide on a series of dates and on venue;
(c) Contact potential speakers, agree on dates, identify required infrastructure (laptop, data projector, slides, overhead etc.);
(d) Organize venue and projection equipment (don’t forget extension leads);
(e) Write and distribute announcements;
(f) Organize venue access, seating arrangement, projection set-up, activity sheets;
(g) Give introduction, facilitate discussion, close the meeting;
(h) Write report for Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.

(5) Seed collection and raising seedlings
Please note that collecting seeds in the nature reserve requires permission from the government! FoMM has a permission to collect seeds in the Mt Majura nature reserve for our revegetation projects; Greening Australia holds a license to collect seeds in Canberra Nature Park for the ‘Seed for Survival’ program.
Tasks (seed collection):
(a) Identify purpose of seed collection eg revegetation of a certain area;
(b) Identify appropriate plant species;
(c) Identify collection site (eg stands of healthy tree specimens, access);
(d) Identify time to harvest seeds and monitor the ripening of seeds;
(e) Seed collection equipment: personal protection (sun protection, sturdy boots, leather gloves), bags, extension secateurs, secateurs, pen and paper, GPS to identify location and seed collection form (required if seeds collected for GA: Seed for Survival program);
(f) Seed drying, cleaning and storage: clean dry space, sheets of cloth, sieves of different mesh width, (ideally airtight) storage containers and paper bags; if seeds are dried and stored in garage etc check for mice / ants stealing grass / euc seeds.
Tasks (seedling raising):
(a) Pre-treatment of seeds (eg Acacia, Hardenbergia) if applicable;
(b) Material: seed raising or potting mix for natives, seed raising trays, pots or forestry tubes, dibble stick, watering can, trays or styrofoam box to hold pots;
(c) Space & timing (eg euc seedlings require about 4-6 months before planting out).

Friends of Mt Majura (FoMM) Draft Program 2007
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