World Environment Day 2006

World Environment Day 2006 was a celebration of the wonderful resources on our doorstep in the Mt Majura and Mt Ainslie Nature Reserves.

On Sunday June 4 about 200 people arrived to take part in the Aboriginal Walk and Talk on Mt Ainslie. This was too many for any one walk and so some put their name down for a similar event later on. We will keep you posted on future walks.

Canberra ornithologist Anthony
Overs addresses the crowd

“No Dragway” sign

Tea at the dam

About 45 people assembled at the lower Hackett reservoir for the Friends of Mt Majura walk, talk and refreshments. Of course we really had to earn the cup of tea and biscuits that was brought up to the dam to coincide with the end of the walk at 3.30 pm.

We started by inspecting the work at Jen’s plot, on the lower slopes. Most of the weeds are gone and the New Holland Daisy, a tough little coloniser is doing well despite the depredations of the grazing kangaroos, which prefer native plants to any weeds around.

The next stop was the Drainage Ditch at the lower Hackett reservoir where heavy work was done to remove Ivy, Honeysuckle, Privets, Firethorns and other woody weeds that had escaped from urban gardens. Volunteers have watched regrowth of the area and edges and gradually native plants including acacias are taking over. This was where the colourful and rare Swift Parrot was seen in the largest numbers yet, from March to the beginning of May 2005. They stayed for 6 weeks feeding on Bundy blossom and on lerp of the Yellow Box.

We were headed for the old Sheep Camp nearly on the summit, and once there we observed the ongoing project started in 2004 on a weed infested site of Horehound that had to be hand pulled, stacked in bags and recycled. Direct seeding of native plants has replaced them to keep future weeds in check. This is an area where sugar gliders float in the moonlight evenings.

Our last stop was down the mountain and over to the lower dam for the welcome tea and cake. Speakers gave further information on Project ‘Dragonfly’ with its aims to rehabilitate the two dams degraded over the years, on a number of environmental issues to raise awareness and advocate for legislative change, and on the Woodlands corridor from the Molonglo River to the Barton Highway to protect bird species. There was a very brief overview of the birds that frequent the open woodland and the slopes of the Nature Reserve including the spectacular Glossy Black Cockatoo and we were promised future bird walks.

As a fitting conclusion we were subjected to an orchestra of chainsaws and lawn mowers demonstrating the level of noise that we could expect to be hearing if the projected Dragway goes ahead on Block 51 on the other side of this beautiful urban bushland reserve.

Thanks to Friends of Mt Majura for their commitment, energy and passion for our Mt Majura Nature Reserve.

Dorothy Mackenzie

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