What's New in January/February 2019

BCLN E-news

Welcome to all of our Landcare members, partners, sponsors and friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network to another year of Landcare!

2019 is already shaping up to be a great year, we have a lot of new things in store for you, new experiences, new volunteer opportunities, new Master Class series and new projects to roll out over the year. 

This month's Enews features some great events coming up including the launch of our River Garden Volunteer program and Master Class days this March. There are stories and updates from our group areas and training days, new resources and climate change grants open now too. 

Scan below to read our snapshot stories then click on the links at the end if you want to read the full story. 

For all the latest updates follow us on Facebook by clicking here and if you haven't already, give us a like and follow our page!




Mid-rotation Agroforestry Harvest Day

Gippsland Agroforestry Network invites you to a field day at Jon and Marg Hauser's property in Glen Alvie on Saturday 23rd of February. This day will involve a farm walk including: Explanation of farm plan, Commercial harvest site inspection, and Small tractor demonstrations, followed by a lunchtime workshop. Lunch will be provided as part of the day and RSVP’s are essential.

Click here for further booking details.

Apples on the menu for the BCLN Diversification and Innovation Discussion Group Day - all welcome!

Strzelecki Heritage Apples are a family run niche nursery business in the Strzelecki hills that grows over 400 varieties of apples including cider apples as well as numerous varieties of pears and plums. One of the largest collections in Australia, owners Mark and Margaret Brammar specialise in the propagation of heritage apple varieties. They also sell in season fruit locally and by appointment at farm gate. Join the Diversification and Innovation Discussion group on Friday 8th of March and learn about this multi-faceted agricultural business including production of nursery stock and how this integrates with other aspects of their business.

Click here for more information and to RSVP your place.


River Garden Passata Starter! Volunteer days begin on Saturday March 9th!

We are so excited to get you involved in our new River Garden Volunteer program which will run alongside the River Garden Master Class Days, starting this March! Second Saturday of each month will be a volunteer session at the River Garden starting on March 9th with our Community tomato harvest and passata making demonstration day. This day will take our new volunteers through a simple induction and tour of the site, discuss our program for the year, harvest tomatoes and participate in a simple passata making demonstration. Meet like minded people, learn from each other by doing and contribute to a great community project!

Our ongoing monthly River Garden Volunteer sessions will run from 9.30am-12.30pm where participants will learn about different methods of growing food by participating in hands on projects to develop different growing areas of the River Garden site. ​

Click here for more information, to register as a volunteer and book your place for this first volunteer session - flyer available next week at this link.


First Master class for 2019 at the River Garden - Creating a herb spiral with Jarrod Ruch March 23rd

The fourth Saturday of each month will be the River Garden Master Classes starting on 23rd of March, day 1: Creating a Herb spiral with Jarrod Ruch
Our Master Class days will bring in the best experts to focus on topics that relate back to the growing spaces being developed by our volunteers. There will be a cost for these days which will include yummy food, expert speaker, access to resources and an in-depth look at principles and techniques associated with each topic. Adult tickets, concession tickets and a limited number of volunteer labor swap tickets will be available for each of these sessions with numbers capped to ensure thorough immersion in the topic for all participants. ​

Click here for more information on the Master Class Series including flyers for each session coming soon with all booking and event details.


Gippsland Intrepid Landcare AGM

Celebrate, eat, drink and plan with Gippsland Intrepid Landcare at their AGM on the 24th of March at Gurney’s Cider to organise their calendar of events for the upcoming year. Who can come: Anyone interested in being part of Gippy Intrepid (even if you just want to check them out, get a free lunch and not commit to anything.) RSVP is essential by clicking the link below to the Facebook event, so they can get indication of numbers.

Gippsland Intrepid Landcare is a volunteer group for passionate, creative and energetic 18-35 year olds, Connecting young people to their region through environmental projects and epic adventures, new members always, always welcome.

Click here to take you to the event page to get involved.

More master tree growers in the making

Expression of interest are sought from Gippsland farmers to become participants in the 2019 Gippsland Master Tree Growers Course running between May and June.  This is an amazing opportunity to increase your knowledge and apply it to your farm.  The 8 day course will be delivered by local and national leaders in tree growing on farms and involves visits to many outstanding Gippsland farms and forests.  

Click here to find out how to submit your expression of interest by 31st of March



Landcare caravan brings much needed rain to Korumburra

Well we didn't really bring the rain, but despite the weather bringing 30mm of rain over the morning, there was a great turn out of people to the Korumburra Show on Saturday 9th of February. BCLN took along the Landcare trailer where we talked to lots of potential new members. Volunteers from Korumburra Landcare group were there to lend a hand to man the stall over the day. Pictured are Libby Anthony, Chair of South Gippsland Landcare Network and Brian Enbom, Korumburra landcare group and BCLN board member with staff member Dave Bateman.

Click here to find out more about the Korumburra Landcare group activities.


Busy Bees at Bass - Beekeeping Master Class update

We have had some interesting milestones with our bees over the last few months, including extracting two lots of honey from one hive, and requeening the other hive which had very low production rates. Our Beekeeping Master Class attendees have learnt a lot of new skills, including how to locate and mark the queen, assessing brood/honey quantities, making decisions about when/if to harvest honey, recognizing small hive beetles, and many more things. We have two more sessions to go before we pack the hives down for the cooler weather. Pictured are Rob Fransen and Anna Brayley with our first honey harvest.

Click here to check our Training page for any upcoming Master Classes announcements. 


Victorian Landcare Magazine features Bass Coast Leader

Our very own Kellie Nichols, Executive Officer of the Bass Coast Landcare Network, has been featured in the latest issue of the Victorian Landcare Magazine. We really are very proud of all we have been able to achieve together in Bass Coast Landcare Network with this amazing lady at the helm!

Check out the story in the Victorian Landcare Magazine by clicking here.


Benefits of Swales in Bass Coast

While digging some post holes in one of the swales at the River Garden this month, BCLN Education officer, Peter Baird made these great observations about water retention.
"The ground above the swale where we’d had a trench dug for an irrigation pipe was powder dry. I dug 300mm holes into the center of the swale and the ground was beautifully moist from top to bottom and seething with earth worms. The contour swales catch the water flowing down-slope and hold it till it percolates beneath the deep mulched growing beds. Once the water is there it seeps deep into the ground and the mulch prevents it from evaporating. The only way the water can find its way back into the atmosphere is to transpire through a plant, so the store is used very slowly and with maximum efficiency as it is virtually all directed to plant growth."
Pictured are BCLN staff, Peter Baird, Education Officer, Kellie Nichols, Executive Officer and Geoff Trease, Project Officer, comparing soil from the swale and those from other parts of the site.

For our fact sheet on the benefits of swales in Bass Coast, click here.

Learning about the Atlas of Living Australia

In early February we hosted an event run by Peter Brenton of the CSIRO, who delivered an in-depth presentation about using the Atlas of Living Australia. The Atlas of Living Australia is a collaborative, national project that brings together biodiversity data from multiple sources and makes it freely available and usable online. We learnt how to put together projects, log flora and fauna sightings, and everyone attending got something great out of it. We would like to thank the Victorian Gorse Taskforce for funding this event.

To access the Atlas of Living Australia, click here.

MP Visits successful planting project at South Gippsland Water

Melina Bath, Nationals upper house MP recently met with BCLN and South Gippsland Water representatives to look at a site planted with 15,000 plants as part of the Powlett project in 2015. Melina is pictured with Ric Oldham, Network Chair and Geoff Trease, Project Officer, both of Bass Coast Landcare Network and South Gippsland Water’s Managing Director, Philippe du Plessis and Environment Officer Martin Chatfield who took her on a tour through the planted area at the South Gippsland water treatment plant in Korumburra. Melina was excited by the outstanding growth of the plants in such a short space of time.

For more information on our partnership model in Bass Coast click here.

New trailer, brochure and home for Phillip Island Landcare Group!

The Phillip Island Landcare Group recently received a new trailer from the Rotary Club of Central Melbourne – Sunrise Inc, which is much more than just a trailer, it’s a – a trailer-caravan that will be used for group tree planting days and as a promotional caravan on other community days.  The first outing for the new trailer is the Phillip Island Nature Parks community day on March 3rd, where it will be on display from 2-4pm at the Koala Conservation Centre. This is also going to be the site of the new home for the caravan, which the Nature Park’s have generously approved a new shed to be built for storage for the group. There will also be a guided tour of the upgraded Barb Martin Bushbank Nursery from 1.30 on the same day, for those of you keen to see the changes to this loved community site. PILG have also updated their brochure and are in the process of revamping their web page so we think it’s safe to say that this group is having a great ‘new’ year for 2019!

Click here to see the latest newsletter with all the activities of the Phillip Island Landcare Group.


The best of before and after’s on ‘Throwback Thursdays’

A feature on our Facebook page, ‘Throwback Thursdays’ has been getting a great following but we are still looking for more great stories and pics from you! Send in your before and after shots from your Landcare projects and inspire others into action. Be a part of our great Landcare community, learning from and sharing with each other. 

Click here to see the ‘After’ photo of the Bass River today, showing indigenous plants growing well after pine tree removal and replanting back in the year 2000.

What’s your story? We’d love to hear it send your pics and info to [email protected]



Community Climate Change Adaption Grants open

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is delivering a small grants program to build resilience to climate change impacts through community-driven adaptation activities that address identified gaps and priorities in Victoria’s regions. Grants between $25,000 to $75,000 are available to:

  • identify and support practical projects focused on adaptation activities with clear community benefit;
  • foster partnerships between communities, local governments and regional stakeholders on adaptation; and
  • generate and share lessons on good practice approaches to community adaptation.

The 3CA Grants program is part of the Victorian Government’s Supporting our Regions to Adapt initiative, a three-year program providing practical support for communities to prepare for the challenges of a changing climate. Applications close at 11:59pm, Sunday 31 March 2019.

For grant guidelines and how to apply click here

Training needs survey - Winner drawn this Friday!

Late last year we sent out a 10-minute survey to gather information on the types of field days, training courses and discussion groups that are interesting and relevant to you and your farming practice.  We had a fantastic response of over 250 landholders from across the Westernport Catchment Landcare Network, Bass Coast Landcare Network, South Gippsland Landcare Network and Mornington Peninsula Shire Council areas.

This Friday at the Steering committee meeting for the Demonstrating Sustainable Farm practices project we will be drawing the winner! Stay tuned for this announcement to see if you will be the lucky winner of the
$200 voucher to a local farm supplies store of your choice!!

This valuable data will be used to assist in planning activities over the next few years with funding from the Australian Government National Landcare Program throughout the four network areas. Thank you for your participation!

Click here to take you to the Training page on our website.


Controlling your weeds with BCLN

Check out a new page on our website, Controlling your weeds with Bass Coast Landcare Network! Many of you may already have a copy of the 'Common Weeds of Gippsland' brochure, if not this excellent resource is now available for download on this page. 
The Bass Coast Landcare Network Works Crew are also available to assist with your weed control needs, from time to time funding is available in connection with revegetation or remnant protection projects as well.

Click here to download your copy and find out more about possible assistance with weed control.



New Volunteer and Master Class programs starting March 2019 at the River Garden!

As you already may have read above in the Upcoming events section, we are so excited to get you involved in our new River Garden Volunteer program which will run alongside the River Garden Master Class Days, starting this March!

Monthly River Garden Volunteer sessions will run from 9.30am-12.30pm on the second Saturday of each month, where participants will learn about different methods of growing food by participating in hands on projects to develop different growing areas of the River Garden site. ​

The fourth Saturday of each month will be the River Garden Master Classes bringing in the best experts to focus on topics that relate back to the growing spaces being developed by our volunteers. There will be a cost for these days which will include a great lunch, expert speaker, take home notes and an in-depth look at principles and techniques associated with each topic. Adult tickets, concession tickets and a limited number of volunteer labor swap tickets will be available for each of these sessions with numbers capped to ensure thorough immersion in the topic for all participants. ​

Click here for more information on the Volunteer sessions and Master Class Series.  Flyers outlining the details for each will be ready next week on our River Garden webpage at this link. 


Offset your car emissions in local planting projects!

If you feel passionate about the environment and want to do your bit for our beautiful native flora and fauna, why not consider offsetting your car emissions with Bass Coast Landcare Network?
Just click on your car's size to make a donation, which will cover the planting of enough indigenous plants to offset your car’s emissions for a year.  You will also receive a great sticker for your car to show your commitment to the environment. 

To offset your car emissions with BCLN click here.​


Bass Coast Arc – Landcare Public Fund making projects a reality - Donate today to make a difference

The Bass Landcare Public Fund is a regional non-profit organisation focusing on conserving biodiversity throughout Bass Coast.​ The Bass Coast Arc – “Community Access to Public Space” concept supports community groups to work with public land managers to improve the environment of our public spaces and create appropriate access to these unique areas.

Your contribution no matter how small, helps to protect native plants and animals in Bass Coast’s most ecologically important landscapes.

Click here to find out more about how you can assist this important work. ​​



Jason Good returns to BCLN

One of our trainees from the third intake in 2010, Jason Good, has recently been re-employed by BCLN. Having finished his traineeship Jason spent several years working with the Phillip Island Nature Parks, with a year in between living in the USA. Towards the end of his time at PINP, Jason worked on a RAMSAR project focusing on feral animal control. With BCLN he will continue to focus on feral animals and will be managing and expanding fox, rabbit and other pest animal programs, as well as weeds projects. Welcome back Jason, it’s great to have you here on the BCLN staff team again!

For more information about the BCLN Staff team click here

What's your story?

We would love to hear from you and your Landcare group with stories and photos of what's been happening in your area and suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news. Any feedback on our new format is most welcome. 

We especially can't wait for you to send us in your before and after shots from any Landcare works you have done on your property.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at events and activities in the new year around Bass Coast.

Until March, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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