WULN Projects

WULN Projects

Healthy Hectares North East 2019-2021

What:  A three-year project in partnership with the Mid Ovens Landcare Consortium to build the capacity of small rural property owners to apply best practice land management principles to their land. The project adapts the Healthy Hectares program developed by Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Euroa Arboretum to the NE region of Victoria and delivers a series of Field Days for landholders. Healthy Hectares Field Day Topics will include:

  • Working with what you have – reading your property to best plan for its future
  • Homes and habitat- attracting wildlife to your property
  • The land down under- matching your dreams to your soils
  • When it rains it pours- water and your property
  • Not just living but thriving – choosing and caring for livestock
  • Invaders and escapees- managing invasive pests and weeds on small properties

Where: The program is open to small property owners from the peri-urban zone of Wodonga across the North East CMA region.

How: WULN received $50,000 over three years from the Australian Government through the Smart Farms program. A Project Officer has been employed to deliver this project. Working with a Project Steering Group and the Facilitators of WULN and MOLC, the Project Officer will deliver the 3 activities of the HH project, including

  • Adapt Healthy Hectares Resources developed by the Euroa Arboretum from the Goulburn-Broken catchment to NE Vic region, including printing new booklets and making web based materials available on Wodonga Urban Landcare and Healthy Hectares websites
  • Develop a Healthy Hectares training program to cover the
  • Deliver Healthy Hectares events throughout 2020

Project Progress: A Steering Committee has been formed and is assisting Project Officer Sophie Enders to implement the project plan. Healthy Hectares NE booklet has been reviewed and is on track for printing early 2020. The program of workshops has been planned and will commence in February 2020.

Get involved: Please contact Healthy Hectares NE Project Officer Sophie Enders at healthyhectaresne@gmail.com , and check out the past programs and latest updates on the Healthy Hectares site at http://www.healthyhectares.org.au/

Gardens for Wildlife (G4W)

What:  Gardens for Wildlife was started in Wodonga by the Friends of Willow Park, who ran events and created a website for G4W before it went into recess through lack of volunteer time and focus. WULN refocussed on G4W in 2016 as a result of increased awareness of the damage caused by garden escapees along waterways, and our aim to create landscape scale corridors as per our Strategic Plan.

The G4W program recognises the great potential for residential gardens to provide vital habitat supporting native birds and animals, including threatened species. At the same time our gardens can also be a source of environmental weeds and introduced species that are part and parcel of the decline of native species.

G4W aims to educate residents about the connections between what they plant in their gardens, the plants invading bushland, and the reduction of viable habitat, demonstrating ways in which they can change their gardens to attract and support native wildlife, and engaging them in stewardship of Wodonga’s wildlife corridors.

Where: Throughout Albury-Wodonga.

When: This project is in progress, with funding through to April 2020.

How: In 2017, WULN received a three-year Community Impact grant from the City of Wodonga to create community partnerships, provide native plants and run events. In 2018, two additional grants; DELWP Restoring Habitat Linkages and a Victorian Landcare grant provided further support for G4W events. In late 2018 it received a fourth source of funding from Wodonga Council (via a Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant) for a Bush Kinder project.

2019 Update:

G4W has run a total of 23 events to date. Events in the past 12 months included six ‘Roadshow’ events incorporating community planting mornings at Whenby Grange, Gordon Hartsman Park and Felltimber Creek, and three feral pest events in conjunction with Parklands; a habitat gardening talk to U3A gardeners, a wildlife spotlighting evening, a habitat gardening presentation to Seed Savers Albury-Wodonga, a Birdscaping Baranduda event (in conjunction with Baranduda Landcare), a habitat open garden in West Wodonga, a habitat garden tour with propagating workshop and a bird-bath making workshop. Each event included a G4W Roadshow component featuring inspiring and educational displays.

A range of partners have contributed to Gardens for Wildlife events including City of Wodonga, Parklands, the Australian Plant Society Albury-Wodonga, various Friends groups, Leanne Smith from Eco Inquire, Karen Retra from Neighbourhood Naturalist, ecologist Dr Damian Michael and horticulturalist Sue Brunskill.

Project Officer Lizette Salmon visited nine habitat gardens in Albury-Wodonga, interviewing their owners, taking photos, publicising online and creating two hard-copy photo books (one for WULN and one for G4W). These books, a ‘nature’s treasure box’ and the new ‘Gardens for Wildlife Albury-Wodonga’ steel plaques have been popular at G4W stalls.

G4W has performed well in traditional and social media, including nine articles in The Border Mail in the past 12 months and a Facebook audience that grew from 120 followers (on 20/8/18) to 513 (on 5/8/19). Popular posts have reached up to 6700 people.

Get involved: Please contact G4W Project Officer Lizette Salmon at g4w@wodongalandcare.org.au or follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/G4WAW/

Local Education Network for Sustainability (LENS)

What: The LENS supports Sustainability Education for young people by showcasing local examples, creating pathways linking educators and young people with local projects and activities, informing members of education related funding and training opportunities and engaging schools in Landcare and Sustainability activities.

Where: With a focus on information sharing, the LENS is an internet-based network.

When: The SAC coordinates a LENS networking event each school term. LENS members receive the WULN Bulletin monthly – a comprehensive listing of local opportunities for involvement in Landcare and Sustainability, upcoming events and activities, current funding rounds and resources. Opportunistic events are offered by both the SAC and WULN.

How: The LENS began with WULN in 2013 as Wodonga Local Sustainability Education Network, based on quarterly showcase and networking events. Following the advent of the Sustainable Activity Centre, WLSEN became LENS with Claire Greenhalgh driving the program. LENS now operates as a loose partnership between the Sustainable Activity Centre, WULN and local Sustainability organisations. We welcome involvement and ideas from all with an interest – the more communication we all have, the better! Please contact lensalburywodonga@gmail.com  and follow LENS on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lensalburywodonga/

2019 Update

This year WULN contributions to local Sustainability Education have included:

  • Running two Student Biodiversity Days for Wodonga’s Year 8 students, with another similar event planned,
  • Offering Associate Membership to schools, with benefits including options for student activities engaging with waterways such as water quality testing (aquatic waterbugs), monitoring for frogs, using mobile devices to contribute to the national biodiversity database, nature journaling using botanical art, and digital storytelling. and promoting to schools, and an annual Award for students championing Landcare/ Environmental stewardship. St Francis, Wodonga Senior Secondary College and Catholic College Wodonga joined as Associates.
  • Supply of native plants to St Francis (our first school Associate Member), Leneva school site, Wodonga Middle Years Felltimber, and Victory Lutheran College,
  • Coordinating a native plant propagation activity at the Wodonga SED day with Sandy Creek Trees,
  • Presentation to Wodonga South primary school students about Landcare volunteering,
  • Supporting the planning and development of the Old Leneva School site as a nature based environmental education site,
  • Notification of education related funding opportunities to LENS members and support for school funding applications,
  • Member groups Leneva Castle Creek Landcare Group, Clyde Cameron Reserve Group, Friends of Willow Park and Parklands Albury Wodonga have provided regular on-ground Landcare opportunities for students.

2020 LENS activities

Nature based enquiry program for Wodonga schools – Terms 1-4 2020

In 2020 WULN is offering three local schools a free program of enquiry-based learning about nature using digital platforms. The program will assist schools to set up a platform (Questagame or iNaturalist) and provide professional development for teachers, followed by a four-term program for one class. This will include a guided initial student learning session and three seasonal return sessions with the students.

Students will learn a scientific approach to observing nature through practical, hands-on exploration of the local environment, at the same time contributing observations to the national biodiversity database.

The program harnesses the natural curiosity of children in an outdoor setting to connect them with nature and develop skills and knowledge in science and technology.

The program is suitable for both Primary or Secondary students and will be tailored to suit the class level. If this is of interest, we would love to discuss in the leadup to your 2020 planning to tailor this program for your school. Places are limited to three schools, with student sessions provided to one class only. Please contact Project Officer Karen Retra at waterways@wodongalandcare.org.au This program has been made possible through the Victorian Landcare program.

Nature on Waterways activities – Term 1 2020

In Term 1 2020 WULN have several opportunities for students to engage with Nature on Waterways activities. These can fit with science, art, technology and media curriculum and can be designed for classes, small groups or individual student projects. Examples are:

  • water quality testing (aquatic waterbugs),
  • monitoring for frogs,
  • using mobile devices to contribute to the national biodiversity database,
  • nature journaling using botanical art,
  • digital storytelling.

Activities can be arranged within walking distance of many of Wodonga’s schools using Felltimber Creek, Huon Creek and House Creek reserves. Please contact Karen Retra at waterways@wodongalandcare.org.au

Join WULN as a Schools Associate Member

Associate membership is $35 for a school and covers insurance for students engaged in WULN Landcare activities. Associate members enjoy:

  • Access to on and off campus Student Project Opportunities: For example, WSSC students have been linked by WULN with the Council Parks and Gardens team to improve the amenity and biodiversity of Les Stone Park. Young people have also been linked through Junction Support Services to indigenous artist David Dunn to create artworks on the new Wodonga Rail Trail
  • Opportunities to collaborate in the development of funding bids: For example, WULN collaborated with two local Pre-schools in 2018 to secure a Junior Landcare grant to run a Bush Kinder program in 2019
  • Priority invitation to benefit from current Landcare projects: For example, Associate members have priority access to the projects listed above. Also, in most years, WULN has a stock of native plants available to school Associate members through our Victorian Landcare Project.
  • Linkages to Wodonga’s community Landcare and Friends groups: Our Friends groups care for parks, reserves and private land throughout Wodonga. Many of these groups welcome the participation of students in activities such as planting, weeding and park cleanups, constructing new tracks or park furniture, communications projects or research such as water quality testing. Our member group Our Native Garden Nursery offers schools a ‘buy one, get one free’ deal on indigenous plants being planted by students on or off campus.
  • Annual Student award for Landcare/ Environmental Stewardship: WULN offers an annual Award to Associate member schools, for a student championing Landcare/ Environmental stewardship.

Please contact secretary@wodongalandcare.org.au to join.

Get Involved: Subscribe to the monthly WULN Bulletin to hear about LENS projects and funding opportunities. Click here to subscribe. Follow LENS on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lensalburywodonga/

Threatened Species Nestbox Network

What:  Engaging community members in the ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the nestbox network.

Where: Private and public land in the municipality of Wodonga.

 How: WULN received a DELWP grant of $9480 in 2016 to locate and map threatened species nestboxes across Wodonga, upload the data to the Atlas of Living Australia and run community engagement events. These were delivered by Parklands Albury Wodonga and the project finalised in September last year. In 2017, WULN received funds through our DELWP Restoring Habitat Linkages project to run further community engagement events.

Progress: The 2016 ‘Creating a Nestbox Network’ project furnished us with monitoring equipment (pole camera), a map of current nestboxes and a small pool of people keen to monitor them. Since then WULN and Parklands have continued to engage community members through monitoring field days and developing a system to support a Community Nestbox Monitoring Program.

Ten monitoring field days led by Parkland’s Shane Vanderwerf have been held in regional reserves to train community members in monitoring techniques, with more than 20 community members registering to be part of the Community Nestbox Monitoring program.

A demonstration nestbox has been installed at Parklands to refresh volunteers on the use of the pole camera, and a system to loan the pole cameras for monitoring developed. An electronic monitoring form has been developed for people to fill in the field using their smartphone. Instructions and ethical guidelines have been created, with the final piece of the puzzle being the allocation of mapped boxes to volunteers according to their preference for location. Community monitoring began in autumn 2019.

Get Involved: Please contact nestboxnetwork@gmail.com

Restoring Habitat Linkages 2018-2020

What:  A three-year project to improve the quality of riparian habitat in 3 key sites, including

  • Removal of woody weeds in targeted areas including contract removal of trees and cut and paint weeding by the Landmates team and community volunteers.
  • Revegetation planting by WULN member groups and community volunteers.
  • Community engagement activities including nestbox monitoring, G4W events, community planting and weeding field days.

Where:

  • House Creek between Yarralumla Drive and Huon Creek Rd, linking Whenby Grange WRENs to downstream areas restored by WULN member groups (Clyde Cameron Reserve Group, Friends of Willow Park).
  • Huon Creek through David Winterbottom Park, extending the restored areas downstream of the junction between House and Huon Creeks.
  • Felltimber Creek between Lambourn Drive and Felltimber Creek Rd, extending high quality bush from Swainsona Reserve/McFarlanes Hill further down into Wodonga.

How: WULN received $50,000 over three years from the Victorian Government (DELWP) through the Biodiversity On-Ground Action program Threatened Species Initiative. David Winterbottom Park group and Friends of Felltimber Creek are supporting the project implementation on their sites. Parklands have been contracted to undertake spraying of blackberries and smaller weeds and follow-up spraying of regrowth. WULN is working in partnership with Wodonga Council to get the best possible value from these funds and utilising the Victorian Landmates Program to undertake manual woody weeding in the target areas. Council is providing support with removal of woody weed debris, and materials, staff time and equipment for community planting events.

Project Progress: Weed removal works have been largely achieved, with the Landmates team clearing substantial sections of all three sites by hand. Mulcahey Contracting undertook mechanical weed removal works in David Winterbottom Park, where large willows needed to be removed from the site. In other areas debris was stockpiled for Council disposal and either removed or mulched onsite. Some piles are still onsite – to be cleared this summer.  Parklands and Council have sprayed blackberry and other woody weeds on all sites.

Combining Landmates, community and school planting events, more than 6000 plants have been planted in RHL sites.

Community engagement events have included Nestbox Monitoring field days led by Parklands Albury Wodonga and Gardens for Wildlife activities including nature expert presentations and wildlife spotting night walks. A Student Biodiversity Day for 120 secondary students was held at the House Creek site and 50 primary school students tested water quality in winter 2019.

Clearing House Creek Seed Source Weeds

What:  WULN is managing the contract removal of woody weeds and planting of native species on House Creek upstream of our member group and project sites, in order to reduce the spread of Black willows in particular into stewardship areas, and as recommended by the Wodonga Regional Waterway Action Plan. 

Where: House Creek in Ewart Brothers Reserve.

How: WULN received a Riparian Incentives grant of $26,440 for this project through the North East Catchment Management Authority. We are managing the project in partnership with Council, who are providing extensive in-kind support.

Project Progress: A letterbox drop was done in the area to inform residents about the project, with a view to engaging community down the track in planting and stewardship. The Landmates team have been engaged to remove willows by hand along the length of the site, and have achieved an extraordinary amount to date, the majority behind the houses on Yarralumla Drive/Castle Creek Rd. This will enable both access and accuracy by heavy machinery contractors this summer.

A spray contractor has been engaged to spray blackberry and other environmental weeds,  and has worked the length of the site several times controlling weeds and regrowth.

Mulcahey Earthmoving have removed the large willows from the bed and banks of the creek.

Council has arranged stockpile sites for weed debris which will be mulched at a later date.

Plants and planting will be carried out in early autumn 2020 to give us a chance to achieve maximum weed control. Council will provide guards and planting support for community planting events.

Waterways Engagement Project

What:  A series of community activities to promote the messages and information contained in the new Wodonga Regional Waterways Action Plan (WRWAP). The WRWAP provides guidance for community groups, private landholders and local government land managers working along the waterways of Wodonga as well as opportunities to engage the community to connect with local waterways and their biodiversity.

Where: Across the municipality of Wodonga with a focus on the waterways highlighted in the plan, namely Castle Creek; Felltimber Creek; House Creek; Huon Creek; Jack in the Box Creek; Middle Creek; Yackandandah Creek within the confines of the City of Wodonga; and the lower reaches of the Kiewa River.

How: The project has funding of $26,000, with WULN’s contribution of $1,000 funded by the Victorian Landcare Program (events funds) and $25,000 from NECMA through the Waterways Action 2019 funding.  The project is being managed by WULN, on behalf of a Project Control Group representing the project partners. Parklands Albury Wodonga have been contracted to remove woody weeds in House Creek between Pearce and Lawrence Sts. WULN has employed Karen Retra as a project officer to coordinate the engagement activities and communication for this project.

Project Progress: The new Wodonga Regional Waterway Action Plan provides a snapshot of the health of our waterways, the threats and issues on each waterway and best practice management techniques to restore and improve them. It is designed to be used as a comprehensive tool for project planning, partnership development and seeking funding.

This project seeks to create and strengthen ties between WULN, member groups and local schools, finding ways to use our local parks and waterways as learning experiences for young people and connecting young people with nature where they live. It aims to build the capacity of the community to recognise the connections between their activities and the biodiversity of our waterways, and to act responsibly to improve them.

Some key activities within this project include the removal of woody weeds along House Creek, launching and promoting the WRWAP to the community; WRWAP implementation workshops for WULN member groups and the community and both public and school-based education and engagement events.

The first events for the project were held on World Turtle Day 2019 (23 May). A family after-school session at Sumsion Gardens (Belvoir Park) featured local turtle researcher, Dr James Van Dyke, members of Turtles Australia and was co-hosted by WULN member group Turtles Albury Wodonga. It was well attended by families, with the live turtles and nest protection assembly and information about local turtles generating lots of interest. That evening the same presenters were joined by Geoff Williams from the Australian Platypus Conservancy for an information session on turtles and platypus, in partnership with NECMA. Both sessions provided much interest and encouraged awareness and action towards caring for our waterways and these fascinating animals.

Additional activities included an official launch of the WRWAP; Walk ‘n Talk workshops to engage WULN member groups with the sections of the WRWAP relevant to their group and project interests; school planting and waterway activities; and social media pieces to share key messages and stories from the plan and Wodonga’s waterways.

Get Involved: Please contact Project Officer Karen Retra at waterways@wodongalandcare.org.au

2019 Projects

Victorian Landcare Grant 2019

What: Network activities and events to support the work of WULN and its member groups to protect, enhance and restore the natural environment of Wodonga, including

  • Purchase plants, guards, refreshments, PPE and equipment to support 8 community planting events.
  • Provide expertise and refreshments and deliver 4 Walk ‘n Talks.
  • Contract a Project Officer, contract expertise, provide refreshments and materials to deliver 2 Gardens for Wildlife events.
  • Update the Albury Wodonga Garden Guide in partnership with Albury and Wodonga Councils.

Where: Throughout Wodonga

How: WULN received $13,230 from the Victorian Government’s Landcare program through the North East Catchment Management Authority. The project is being managed by WULN with community planting events organised by member groups. Project Officer Lizette Salmon is delivering G4W events. A cross-border volunteer Steering Group is updating the Albury Wodonga Garden Guide.

Project wrap-up: 2000 plants were distributed to member groups and schools for planting in winter/ spring 2019. Two Walk ‘n Talks led by Brendon Kennedy provided a fascinating insight into the cultural heritage of House Creek and McFarlanes Hill. More walks were held in spring including a repeat of the popular Waterfall Walk on Klinges Hill and Wildflower walks in Castle Creek Conservation Reserve, a new ‘Ride and Talk’ on the High Country Rail Trail and a Seniors walk in Clyde Cameron Reserve. G4W events and activities included a very successful Bird Bath making workshop in summer, with a Habitat Open Garden held in November 2019. The Albury Wodonga Garden Guide update is due for completion in February 2020.

Community Impact Projects 2018-2019

What: Both the Network and member groups have received funds from Wodonga Council to deliver community impact projects in the past year. These projects include on-ground improvements to park amenity, habitat restoration and beautification, and materials and equipment to support new stewardship groups.

 Where: Within the Wodonga municipality.

When: 2018-2019

How: WULN was successful with a $3000 submission to assist the establishment of new and emerging stewardship groups in Wodonga. David Winterbottom Park Group received $3000 for park improvements, and a further $3000 for a new entrance to the park. Turtles Albury Wodonga received $1796 for turtle protection kits and road signage in Belvoir Park. Friends of Susan Campbell and Kent McKoy Reserves received $3000 to create a new walking track and install park furniture in the ridge reserves. Clyde Cameron Reserve Group received $3000 to design and install interpretive signage in the park. Many of these projects involve on-ground support from Council in addition to funds, as well as partnerships with other WULN programs and other community support.

Impact Projects Progress: The progress of these various projects is evident in parks and reserves throughout Wodonga. A walk in David Winterbottom Park reveals an extraordinary transformation in the structure of the park, as well as amenity improvements such as new walking tracks, garden edging and extensive native plantings. Clyde Cameron, Susan Campbell and Kent McKoy reserves have undergone similar transformations, with new walking paths adding to the recreational use of these parks.

With Impact funds, WULN has been able to support groups with safety and protective equipment, branded vests and signage, risk management kits, materials for startup activities and community engagement events.

G4W Bush Kinder 2019

What:  This project consisted of two elements; the first to provide preschool children from Felltimber and Stanley Street Preschools a ‘bush kinder’ program at nearby bush land, allowing them to explore and discover the joy and wonder of the natural environment. The second was to develop a small bush tucker garden at each preschool. G4W appointed educational consultant/naturalists to engage in three sessions (of two hours each) per preschool and a horticulturalist to develop the preschool gardens.

Where: Four locations in Wodonga: bush kinder sessions were held at Ern Hart Woodland and Felltimber Creek, with plantings at Stanley Street Preschool and Felltimber Preschool.

When: Bush kinder sessions and garden works held May-September 2019.

How: Wodonga Council’s Early Years Team Coordinator, Shelli Hardwick, approached WULN and Gardens for Wildlife in July 2018, with the intention of applying for a Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grant. In September 2018 their grant was confirmed and planning with WULN and G4W commenced shortly thereafter. By late 2018 G4W had secured ecologist Dr Nicki Munro and horticulturalist Sue Brunskill to host the bush kinder sessions, with Sue Brunskill engaged to conduct the bush tucker planning and plantings.

Project wrap-up: In March 2019 G4W Project Officer Lizette Salmon conducted preliminary visits at both preschools and finalised dates for the six bush kinder sessions.

In April 2019 Sue Brunskill conducted site visits at each preschool, met with the preschool directors, developed site plans and ordered seedlings. During these discussions both preschool directors decided to shift from predominantly bush tucker plantings to bird and pollinator attracting plantings. Almost 30 plants were ordered for Stanley Street Preschool with 20 for Felltimber Preschool. Plants included native grasses, lilies, wattles, grevilleas, correas and banksias. Plantings were conducted at Felltimber Preschool in June and at Stanley Street Preschool in August, with preschool children involved on each occasion.

Each of the six bush kinder sessions was capped at 11 pre-schoolers. The sessions commenced in May and concluded in September. Sue and Nicki’s roles were to follow the children’s leads, answer questions and pique curiosity. They chatted to the children about a range of topics including how to determine if a creek is flowing up or down stream, how nest boxes compare to bedrooms, different animal tracks and scats, leaf shapes, similarities between juvenile wattle leaves and baby teeth, differences between Australian mistletoe and Santa’s mistletoe and so on.

Victorian Landcare Grant 2018

What: Network activities and events to support the work of WULN and its member groups to protect, enhance and restore the natural environment of Wodonga, including

  • Purchase plants, guards, refreshments, PPE and equipment to support 10 community planting events.
  • Provide expertise and refreshments and deliver 6 Walk n Talks.
  • Contract a Project Officer, contract expertise, provide refreshments and materials to deliver 3 Gardens for Wildlife events.
  • Contract the delivery of 2 student Biodiversity days.

Where: Throughout Wodonga

How: WULN received $21,560 from the Victorian Government’s Landcare program through the North East Catchment Management Authority. The project was managed by WULN with community planting events organised by member groups. Michelle Wilkinson and Lizette Salmon delivered the G4W Program and Petaurus Education Group (PEG) the student biodiversity days.

Project wrap-up:

Walk ‘n Talks were held on Klinges Hill, in Stringybark Reserve Baranduda, and in the Castle Creek Conservation Reserve during spring. Leaders included Parklands ranger Danny Jones and local plant specialists Sue Brunskill and Fleur Stelling. These were very popular with 94 people participating.

2000 plants were distributed to member groups and schools for planting in winter/ spring 2018.

Promotional materials were developed to enable WULN and G4W displays at fairs throughout the year such as the Sustainability Fair, Volunteer Fair and Henty Field Days.

Two Student Biodiversity Days were held, one on House Creek for Wodonga Middle Years students, and one at Victory Lutheran College. Petaurus Education Group capably organised these two informative days on our behalf. These involved a range of activities which students cycled through, including planting and mulching, waterbugs and water health, botanical art and Aboriginal culture, habitat and wild pollinators, nestboxes and threatened species. Both days were well attended with excellent feedback from staff and students.

G4W events included ‘Roadshow’ and community planting mornings at Whenby Grange and Federation Hill and creating a garden for wildlife with Stoneleigh Girl Guides in West Wodonga.

Fleur Stelling, lecturer in Environmental Interpretation with CSU, led an Interpretation workshop to train members and interested community in the development of interpretive signage in parks. This workshop supported member groups with current signage projects.

Wodonga Waterways Action Plan Renewal 2014 -2019

What:  WULN has led the renewal of the Wodonga Waterways Action Plan (2000) to provide a condition report and plans for the waterways in the Wodonga Municipality. This builds on the Wodonga Waterways Community Consultation undertaken in 2014-15, and will provide clear guidance for community groups, private landholders and local government land managers working along the waterways of Wodonga.

Where: The plan includes the major waterways within the municipality of Wodonga. Principles of the plan can be directed to other waterways.

How: WULN partnered with the North East Catchment Management Authority and the City of Wodonga to deliver this project, with funding from multiple sources over the life of the project, including $10,000 from the Victorian Landcare Program, $25,000 from Council and $10,000 from NECMA. As the lead organisation, WULN administered the project funding, and managed the project delivery. A Project Control Group representing the project partners directed the project; a Project Reference Group drawn from the local community informed the waterway assessments; consultants Water Technology undertook the assessment of the waterways and production of the Wodonga Regional Waterway Action Plan (WRWAP) in 2018.

Project wrap-up: Since the publication of the Wodonga Waterways Community Consultation in 2015, WULN has acted to address the key recommendations. These include the establishment of regular meetings between Council, WULN and NECMA key staff, involving the Green Army  and Landmates in works on the waterways and the development of community engagement projects including our Walk ‘n Talk series, the Nestbox Network, Gardens for Wildlife and Restoring Habitat Linkages projects.

Most importantly, we sought and pulled together funds for the technical consultancy required to create a new Waterway Action Plan. In the past three years we have brought together a Project Control Group representing the key partners to develop and oversee this complex project. The PCG has ensured community input into the process through the Project Reference Group and feedback from the partner organisations. Michelle Wilkinson was employed to communicate progress and findings with the community.

Water Technology undertook the waterways assessment process and produced the new Action Plan, which establishes the geomorphology and ecology of the waterways and the works needed to restore their integrity. The final Report was approved by all partner organisations and publicly launched in August 2019.

The new Wodonga Regional Waterway Action Plan provides us with a snapshot of the health of our waterways, the threats and issues on each waterway and best practice management techniques to restore and improve them. It is designed to be used as a comprehensive tool for project planning, partnership development and seeking funding.

WULN is working to ensure that the partnerships developed in the making of this new WRWAP continue to provide a sound basis for implementation of the plan in the coming years.

Community Skills Development 2018-2019

What:  A series of training workshops to build the capacity of community members to engage in environmental stewardship. The workshops aimed to build skills in participating effectively in community groups, collecting and using species data and appreciating the cultural history of the landscape.

Where: Ryans Lagoon nature reserve, Baranduda Community Centre, CSU laboratories, Burraja Cultural Centre, the Murray River and Wagirra Trail.

How: WULN received $19,949 from the Victorian Government through DELWP’s Community Skills Development Program to deliver training workshops in 2018/19. The project is being managed by the WULN, working with Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups, Wodonga Council, CSU, Burraja, and the Alpine Valleys Leadership program. Target participants are current WULN members, potential new group members, potential citizen scientists

Project wrap-up: 7 workshops to provide skills in creating grass-roots change, understanding our landscape from the Dhudhuroa perspective and mapping and monitoring were delivered in late 2018 and early 2019. These included:

·         ‘Tools for Change’ – Three workshops for community by the renowned Alpine Valleys Community Leadership team: Community Leadership Essentials, Effective Advocacy, and Collective Impact for positive change

  • ‘Culture and Country’ – Two field workshops with Dhudhuroa Elders walking country and interpreting the resources and culture held there: Living on the Murray River and Burraja bushcrafts.
  • ‘Nature Mapping’ – Two workshops to learn how to find, identity and record plants and animals with Charles Sturt University staff: Field Observations – the How of observing nature and Mapping change over time

2018 Projects

Sharing Culture – 2017-18

What: A series of hands-on workshops for Wodonga Urban Landcare Network members and interested members of the public to learn about Aboriginal heritage in our local landscape. The workshops were designed to fill an identified knowledge gap for non-aboriginal Landcarers in Wodonga around stewardship from the perspective of traditional owners and Victoria’s legislation regarding cultural heritage. Additionally, we expected to create relationships with traditional owners and expand awareness of their ongoing relationship with the land here in Albury-Wodonga.

Workshops consisted of:

  1. Stone Tool Workshop at Burraja Indigenous Cultural and Environmental Discovery Centre. Led by Brendon Murray.
  2. Traditional Basketry Weaving Workshop at Burraja Indigenous Cultural and Environmental Discovery Centre, Led by Aunty Marg Murray.
  3. Traditional Resources Walk and Talk, led by Elder Uncle Alan Murray at McFarlanes Hill bush reserve.

Where: Burraja Cultural Centre (Gateway Island) and McFarlanes Hill Nature Reserve

How: WULN received $1800 from Border Trust to contract Aboriginal Elders through the Aboriginal-managed social enterprise, Burraja the Journey at Gateway Village, to deliver these events.

Project wrap-up: This project was completed and a report submitted to Border Trust in July 2018. The workshops were extremely well received by participants and certainly met the aims of the original proposal. People felt changed by the experience and better able to appreciate the connection local Aboriginal people had and still have, with the land. Walking with Uncle Alan and stripping bark from a tree to make string, experiencing Brendon’s focused knowledge in determining the best place to strike a stone for the flake you need, harvesting local grasses in preparation for weaving with Aunty Marg – all brought home the intimate relationship Aboriginal people have with Country and the importance of respecting that in our Landcare projects.

“I learned so much about traditional methods and the resources available in the local area. Presenters were great – willing to share their knowledge and stories. I got so much more out of the workshops and their connection to land, deep knowledge of its workings and encouragement of us to learn and connect was inspiring and energising”.

Victorian Landcare Grant – 2017

What: Network projects, activities and events to provide a renewed Wodonga Waterways Action Plan, improve urban connection with waterways and the environment, engage Wodonga residents with our native habitat and build their capacity to take positive action, address invasive weed species impacts and build Landcare and sustainability networks specifically relating to young people.

Where: Throughout Wodonga

How: In 2017 WULN received $30,000 from the Victorian Government’s Landcare program through the North East Catchment Management Authority. We worked in partnership with Parklands, Kiewa Catchment Landcare Groups, Mid Ovens Landcare Consortium, Upper Ovens Landcare Network, NECMA and Wodonga Council to deliver Walk ’n Talk events in Wodonga’s parks and bush reserves, planting events for WULN members groups, a renewal workshop for Baranduda Landcare Group, Bush Regeneration Field days, resources for member groups, a trial Intrepid Landcare event for young people, the Wodonga Waterways Action Plan renewal project, and the Pathways to Participation in Urban Landcare project.

Project wrap-up: This project was completed in December 2017. In all, 7000 plants were distributed to member groups and schools and planted in spring 2017.

Walk ‘n Talks engaged more than 190 people, walking Gateway Island, the Bhutanese Community Farm, Wodonga Rail Corridor, Ryans Lagoon, Swainsona Reserve, Felltimber Creek, Belvoir Park, Castle Creek bushlands, Baranduda Link WRENS land and a Trust for Nature covenanted block in Huon Creek.

A Bush Regeneration Field Day was held at Baranduda in March led by Glen Johnson. Two further planned field days were cancelled due to lack of numbers.

Two Indian Myna awareness workshops were held in Willow Park and Felltimber Community Centre, demonstrating the use of purpose-built Myna traps and raising awareness of the destructiveness of this invading bird.

Resources were developed for member groups, including Risk Management templates, planting ‘How to’ instruction sheets and a guide to the native plants listed for Wodonga EVC’s. Many thanks to volunteers Garry Knight, Kate Purnell and Tilly Terry for invaluable efforts to make these happen.

A Pathways to Landcare for Young People project brought together Petaurus Education Group, the Sustainable Activity Centre, land managers and educators at all levels throughout Wodonga to create accessible pathways for young people to connect with Landcare, with a Prospectus published in May 2018. We also partnered with neighbouring Landcare Networks and Parklands to trial an ‘Intrepid’ style landcare event, with 8 young people developing and enjoying a ‘Youth Enviro-Ride’ on the High Country Rail Trail.

Significant progress was made in renewing the Wodonga Waterways Action Plan.