What's New in December 2020

BCLN E-news

Hello to all of our Landcare Members, Partners, Sponsors and Friends throughout the Bass Coast Landcare Network and welcome to the December edition of our E-news.

We made it through 2020! As we wind up for the year and get ready for 2021, we can reflect on the year of challenges we have all faced. We are very grateful to our extraordinarily adaptable Landcare community. You have embraced the changes, learning new tech to stay connected, while providing much needed support to each other through some very difficult times. Some were lucky enough to get out to do some tree planting and volunteering in between restrictions as well.

We hope that next year we can re-connect in person with you, our Members, Partners, Sponsors and Friends, through a range of exciting events, learning and training opportunities and volunteer programs. We wish you all a very Merry Holiday Season and can't wait to see you in 2021!


The BCLN Office re-opens on the 6th of January 2021

The BCLN Office will be closed from Christmas Eve until Wednesday the 6th of January. You are welcome to drop in and collect a free 2021 BCLN Calendar from the office - just make sure you come before Christmas Eve or after 6th January.


For all the latest updates, follow us on Facebook and Instagram... just click the links above!



Kongwak Hills AGM

Our Annual General Meeting will be held Sunday 20th December 2020 - further details emailed to members.
Please contact Communications Secretary Kate Davis for more information: [email protected]


National Urban Agriculture Forum

The third national Urban Agriculture Forum, Care Farming & Gardening in the Climate Emergency, will take place online from April 23 to 24! Join the forum to explore growing urban agriculture initiatives and the positive impact they have on our health and wellbeing. You can read all about the findings from the 2020 Pandemic Gardening Survey conducted by Sustain and the Urban Agriculture Forum here.

The agenda will feature a number of innovative Australian and International urban agricultural practices including groundbreaking research in the field. 

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets




Our Network AGM was held on Saturday 5th of December, at the Gurdies Vineyard. Our thanks to the fantastic venue and catering provided by Mez Oldham's catering team, also to Uncle Shane from the Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation for an inspiring Welcome to Country. Thanks to all those who gave speeches including,  Andrew Maclean - CEO of Landcare Victoria, Dave Bateman - BCLN Executive General Manager, Ric Oldham - BCLN Board Chair, Roger Lee - BCLN Treasurer and Susan Pryde - BCLN Public Fund Trustee. 

The BCLN board had two notable retirements from the board. Mike Cleeland has retired after serving over 10 years on the board, three years of those as Chair. Ray Kirk has stepped down after serving 3 years on the Board as the Three Creeks representative. We have at least two new board members joining BCLN this year: Jarryd Minahan from Phillip Island and Nick Sibly from 3 Creeks Landcare Group.

Once the new BCLN committee was confirmed, we had delicious paella followed by cheese and wine – all provided by Mez Oldham’s catering company, Not Just Tarts. Phillip Island Musician, Steve Cousins, played for us – his first live performance in 9 months. On the same day, Bass Valley and Three Creeks Landcare Groups held their AGMs and confirmed their committee members and positions for 2021. 

Thanks to all who attended and helped to organise the event.

For more information on our BCLN Board click here


Kongwak Hills Landcare Group Wrap Up for 2020

It has been an interesting 2020 for the Kongwak Hills Landcare Group, who has not escaped an unprecedented year. A sign of COVID times, the group hosted its first “virtual” General Meeting in March. It was great to “get together” with familiar faces to discuss group news and plans during that uncertain period. Disappointingly, limited funding opportunities and government restrictions resulted in a “plantless” season for KHLG, with no group planting sessions held in 2020.

On the upside, the group worked with Mick from Drift Media to improve the visitor experience of the Kongwak Pioneer Reserve. Check out the tour here! 

Become a member of the Kongwak Hills Landcare Group and keep up to date on Kongwak Hill's facebook page. 

Let’s get some plants in the ground for 2021! Katie Davis | KHLG Communications Secretary

For more information on the Kongwak Hills Landcare Group click here. 


Covid-19 Advice for Environmental Volunteering

Environmental volunteering can be done within the latest public health measures if the following are observed:

  • Before undertaking any activity, please contact your program manager or land manager and adhere to any program specific safety requirements.
  • Ensure any contractor your group engages has a COVID Safe Plan in place. Request a copy of the plan and keep it on file.
  • Collect an attendance record on site with name and phone number of all volunteers.
  • Follow the maximum participation numbers.
  • Adhere to wearing fitted face masks, physical distancing and good hygiene practices as per DHHS guidelines. We ask that you follow the most up-to-date advice and check the DHHS website before doing your activities.

View Current Restrictions  (as at 16th December 2020)


My Landcare Legacy 

My Landcare Legacy, a project by Landcare Australia and National Landcare Network (NLN), is offering the community an opportunity to share stories.

Landcare Australia's big vision is to collect 250 home videos of Australian producers and land managers telling the community why they are passionate about being good stewards of their land – and their vison for our farming future. Snapshots are two minutes long. Participants will be asked these three questions:

  1. What is your landcare passion for?
  2. What is your message to others?
  3. What will your landcare legacy be?

Click here to find out more on the Landcare Australia Website


2021 BCLN Calendars Available to Collect

Small 2021 calendars are available to collect from the Bass Coast Office at 2/4 Bass School Rd, Bass VIC 3991. Calendars feature stunning photographs of local landscapes and many people in the diverse Landcare groups in our network. They are colourful, down-to-earth, portable affairs and what is more, they are yours to have for free!

Drop by for a calendar before the 24th of December or from the 6th of January, when our office opens again after the break.



Preserving wilderness, so more people can enjoy it

The Andrews Labor Government is protecting Victoria’s beautiful natural environment and ensuring more people can enjoy it, with major investments in our much-loved parks and Zoos, and funding to protect biodiversity across the state.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invests $474 million towards protecting vulnerable wilderness and improving visitor facilities so more people can get out and enjoy Victoria’s natural wonders. This includes $23 million which will build a new visitors centre at Wilsons Promontory, and establish a 50,000-hectare biodiversity sanctuary, with a predator proof fence to protect the Park’s unique and abundant wildlife, including its threatened species.

We look forward to finding out more about how the funding for Landcare will be rolled out over the coming months. 

Click here to read the full article


Landcare Facilitator and Regional Landcare Coordinator Extension to June 2021

The Victorian Government is extending contracts for existing Landcare Facilitators and Regional Landcare Coordinators to 30 June 2021.

These contract extensions for existing Landcare Facilitators and Regional Landcare Coordinators will ensure continuity of employment for the facilitators and coordinators who play a vital role in supporting the work of Victorian Landcare and environmental volunteer groups.

An application process for organisations that want to employ a Landcare Facilitator beyond 30 June 2021 will be run by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning in early 2021. 

You can find details of the Victorian Government announcement about the continued investment in the Victorian Landcare Program, amongst a host of other initiatives, within this media release.

Click here to read the media release


Landcare Australia’s Landcare Farming program 

Planning roundtables, a benchmarking project, a Landcare Legacy Campaign, and meet the Landcare Farmer. These were just some of the initiatives that Landcare Farming Program Manager, Mick Taylor, discussed during his highly informative webinar about the Program. Mick also spoke about the six themes of the Program and how people can get involved and provide input. If you’d like to catch up on the very first Landcare Farming Program webinar, you can check out the recording online.

Click here to watch the video showing how you can get involved  


Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Webinars

By actively encouraging knowledge dissemination and discussion, the Arthur Rylah Institute works to raise awareness about key ecological issues and build opportunities for collaboration. 

You can read about the latest research on the impacts of the latest bushfires, hear from some of ARI's most esteemed researchers as they reflect on ARI’s scientific achievements, the evolution of environmental research and policy in Victoria, and how ARI might lead biodiversity research in future.

Seminars range from Fisheries, fish and aquatic ecology, mammal research over time and the role of behavioural science and people in conservation and ecology.

Click here to access 2020 Legacy seminar series and the latest research from ARI


Landcarer - a landcare data repository

Akin to facebook, Landcarer is an Australia-wide social network and data repository.  Stakeholders can engage with the platform by utilising different tools, including a databank, project management, group management, eLearning, stories, events, polls, chat, and discussion forums. Essentially, it is an all-in-one tool built to empower the Landcare community and address some of its challenges. 

You can get on landcarer yourself, or as a group by visiting the landcarer website at: https://www.landcarer.com.au/

Share your story on landcarer and use the social media platform made exclusively with Landcare's purposes in mind. 

Click here to sign up today



New Project Rabbit Officer, Jason McCracken!

We say farewell and thank you to Chantelle Geissler, who worked for BCLN for just shy of 1 year and made a quick impact by streamlining processes, effectively engaging stakeholders and managing the Phillip Island Nature Parks "Rabbit Buffer Zone" Project, working alongside Nature Park Staff. Chantelle has recently accepted a job on Kangaroo Island on the feral cat eradication program. 

We are pleased to welcome new BCLN Rabbit Project Officer, Jason McCracken. Jason comes to BCLN having spent time working for Melbourne Water, Phillip Island Nature Parks and more recently the Bass Coast Shire Council. Jason is a great acquisition for BCLN and brings with him great energy and personality. Welcome Jason, we look forward to having you as part of the BCLN team!

Click here to find out more about our Staff Team.


River Garden Update for December

It's been a busy spring and summer at the River Garden as we complete seasonal plantings and develop more areas of the site for growing. Recently Horticulture students from Bass Coast Adult Learning Centre, led by Teacher Adrian James, built us some new garden beds! The materials were funded through a Bass Coast Shire Council Community Grant. The beds will be used for volunteer days and our new 'Feed your Family' series of Master classes with Collen from Coll's plants. A great example of how organisations working together in partnership can get things done for our River Garden Community!

Our Working for Victoria crew have been doing an exemplary job weeding, re-mulching and planting our new crops including revamping and planting our sweet potato beds. They have added flowers and herbs to our Kitchen Garden demonstration at the top of our swale beds to attract bees for pollination and increase our range of produce. There has also been some earthworks, moving existing soil piles into a snake like shape, representing the Rainbow serpent for our bushfood planting area, which we hope to plant out next Autumn. 

We have lots of interested volunteers and are re-starting our regular monthly program of activities in February next year. If you love to learn about growing healthy nutritious food, join our inspiring River Garden Community. You can sign up at the link below to hear the latest news on opportunities to get involved!

Click here to join the River Garden Volunteer Community today!


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 and contribute to restoring your own local landscape. 

All your friends and family will also see your complimentary car sticker showing your commitment to the Bass Coast 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 Coast 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.

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 any suggestions of things that you would like to see in your E-news.

We look forward to meeting and catching up with you at upcoming events and activities around Bass Coast.

Until next edition, 

Happy reading, from the Bass Coast Landcare Network.

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We want to hear from you for the next E-news!

Please send us any of your stories, events or other information for the next edition of the E-news by the end of the first week of the month.

All we need is a photo and a couple of paragraphs to be sent to:  [email protected]

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