Mother Nature is getting a helping hand in Northampton – thanks to a hard-working and dedicated band of local volunteers.
The members of the Northampton Environmental Group (NEG) have achieved great results in the years since they were formed, currently moving from strength to strength on a project they’re undertaking at Nokanena Brook in Northampton.
Over several years the small group of dedicated volunteers have transformed the site.
In 2014, the group constructed an EcoHut as an education pavilion, but the area surrounding it was weed-infested, and very bare due to frequent fires and a lack of regeneration.
Now, weeds are being managed, and there are hundreds of native seedlings growing happily, making it look like a completely different place.
A lot of this has been achieved with the help of a two-year NACC Habitat Fencing Incentive, which will continue through 2016.
Through the project, NEG has partnered with local schools, the local Playgroup and Mission Australia, so that much of the hands-on work has been able to provide educational opportunities – engaging local youth in environmental rehabilitation.
The Shire of Northampton has also partnered on the project, assisting with the very tricky removal of Prickly Pear and other challenging weeds including Jade, Aloe Vera and Bamboo.
In a great example of recycling, the bamboo sticks that were removed were subsequently used as stakes to mark the seedlings, and to support rabbit guards which were also hand-made from recycled materials.
NACC Natural Resource Management Officer Heather Legge said, “The volunteers have been fantastic – putting many hours of hard work into the site, but also getting a lot out of it themselves.”
“They have increased their skills and knowledge in environmental restoration,” she said.
“They have also enjoyed the satisfaction of improving their local area, and working with the next generation of landcarers.”
The group plans to continue this learning through a planned seed collection and propagation workshop.
“We are also hoping to build a greenhouse where we will be able to help local school children propagate their own local seedlings which they can then plant in the brook,” said NEG member Marlo Elsum-Beaumont.
“A big thank you to Deb Carson for all the help she gives community groups, like ours, in our town. This grant has certainly taken the whipper snipping pressure off so we can enjoy our beautiful Nokanena reserve.”