Calendar

The Current Calendar (below) includes FoG and related activities. To be kept fully up to date with FoG activities, become a member, get the newsletter and if you have email access you'll also get the FoG E-bulletin with all the latest news and information. If you have queries about any of the activities below, contact the person nominated, or Contact Us.

FoG visits many private or public properties during the year to assist in plant identification and management issues. These visits usually do not appear in the FoG program because we may not know what to expect at such sites and because they are usually arranged at short notice. If you are interested in participating in property visits, Contact Us.

Please advertise this information amongst your friends and networks and support our activities.

Non FoG members are welcome to participate in FoG events.

For any FoG activity you should register with the indicated contact, who can assist with directions and possibly car pooling. By registering you assist us to organise any catering and provide you with any other information that you may need, including late changes.

Calendar

Sunday 28 May. 9 am – 12.30 pm: Stirling Park workparty

You will be welcome at the next Friends of Grasslands’/Yarralumla Residents’ workparty at Stirling Park, Yarralumla, 9 am – 12:30 pm on Sunday 28 May. The workparty will be cancelled in the event of thunderstorms or heavy rain.

Meet at the car park across from Lotus Bay on Alexandrina Drive, east of the eastern intersection with Mariner Place: look out for the FOG sandwich board sign. Key tasks: (a) Continue to clear out woody weeds from the eastern end of Stirling Park; (b) Plant a small number of trees and shrubs to replace those that died from earlier plantings. The survival record for our planting is very good by most standards, but inevitably some plants are lost along the way. (c) Check, and where necessary repair or replace tree guards from past tree planting. (d) Remove general rubbish.

We provide tools and a great morning tea.

You provide your own solid footwear, sun and eye protection and drinking water.

Please email to let us know if you intend to come so that we can plan for catering and tools: jamie.pittock@fog.org.au.

Saturday 3 June, 10.00 am – 1.00 pm: Greening Australia planting, Gunning, NSW, followed by a BBQ lunch

Join Greening Australia to celebrate World Environment Day 2017 and Greening Australia’s official 35th birthday! The site is at ‘Collingwood’, Grabben Gullen Road, Gunning, where critically endangered Grassy Box Gum Woodlands have been over cleared. The task (suitable for all ages) is to plant a 1.5 km wildlife corridor to help provide habitat and connectivity for native fauna. The site has been ripped, and is mostly flat to undulating. There will be a portaloo on site. … And the local Rural Fire Service will be putting on a country BBQ for us!

Please bring a hat, sunscreen, long sleeves, long pants, gardening gloves, sturdy boots, and a water bottle. No experience is necessary, and all tools will be provided on site.

RSVP essential: cbr.admin@greeningaustralia.org.au or 02 6253 3035.

A bus will pick up in Civic at 8.30am at City West bus interchange, corner of Marcus Clarke and University Avenue; and in Sutton at 9.00am at Victoria Street, Sutton (opposite Sutton Bakery). It will return to Canberra by approximately 3.00pm. If driving from Canberra: head north on Federal Highway, turn left onto Gundaroo Road, then head to Gunning through Sutton and Gundaroo. Drive north-east through Gunning on Cullerin Road. 2km from Gunning, turn left onto Grabben Gullen Road (road to Crookwell). 2.8km along Grabben Gullen Road, turn right into ‘Collingwood’ at cattle yards. Look for Greening Australia directional signs from Gunning township. Please allow an hour to get to the site from Canberra. In the event of wet weather, please call 6253 3035. A message will be left on the answering machine if the event is called off. This planting is funded by the Bridging the Gaps project, which is supported by donations from Cafe Brindabella, as well as other local companies and individuals.

Saturday 3 June, evening: FOG table at World Environment Day dinner

The Conservation Council's big fundraising event of the year is their World Environment Day dinner to be held on Saturday 3 June at the National Arboretum Canberra. Book early for the early bird saving of $36 off full price! You then have more money for raffles and auctions – it is a fund raiser, after all! Early bird tickets are $99 before 28 April, and $135 after then (10 persons per table). FOG has booked a table for the evening, and welcomes all comers to join us on it. Please contact Margaret Ning (margaret.ning@fog.org.au) if interested. It is another great opportunity to catch up with FOG friends, and in rather salubrious surroundings. Once again Janet Jeffs of Ginger Catering will cook up a treat using local, seasonal produce. There will be a three course meal plus champagne and canapes to start and your ticket includes wine. http://conservationcouncil.org.au/civicrm/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/info&reset=1&id=81.

Tuesday 6 June, 12.15–1.30 pm: Reptiles in Yass and Canberra: a talk by Geoff Robertson

What reptiles might you expect to see in our local area? Where to look for them? How to photograph them and how to become a citizen scientist. Geoff (who is a moderator for reptiles on Canberra Nature Map) will speak about snakes, dragons, goannas, geckos, skinks, legless lizards and turtles in the Yass Valley and Canberra, at Yass Library, 84 Comur St, Yass NSW.

Please phone the library (in working hours) on 02 6226 1305 if you will be attending. They are providing a light lunch.

Thursday 8 June, 12.30–1.30 pm: Recent results of the effects of fire on grassland plants and animals

Dr Brett Howland will speak about his work within the ACT Conservation Research Unit. This is one of the very popular Thursday lunchtime talks series at the Australian National Botanic Gardens in the Theatrette. If you do not arrive in time to secure one of the 90 seats you will be turned away. Gold coin donations welcomed at the door.

Saturday 10 June, 10.30 am – 12.30 pm: FOG visit to grassland in Yass Gorge, Yass NSW

Friends of Yass Gorge (FOYG) have invited FOG to visit their river gorge almost in the centre of Yass township, where there is good Natural Temperate Grassland. In early winter, we are not likely to see many flowers on this visit, but we can see the gorge itself, and the grassland in its vegetative state. There are defined paths on both sides of the river through the gorge. One side is such easy walking it’s wheelchair friendly (< 1 km). The other side is more rugged, with a steep climb up to the cul-de-sac at the north end of Meehan St, and on this side we may be able to walk on as far as the wall of Yass River dam, checking out good grassland all the way (distance less than 3 km).

At the end of this visit, Jill McGovern (of FOYG) suggests we may all like to have lunch together. Various dining styles are on offer in six differing cafes, and once we have decided what we want as a group FOYG can book us some space; we shall be paying for ourselves.

Since beginning work at Yass Gorge, FOYG has removed large amounts of blackberry, which has opened up grassland that was hidden before. We shall be able to discuss this and other management. Each spring, the gorge management plan requires a floristic survey. This year, FOYG would be very happy if FOG people are interested in being involved to help with plant identification. We can discuss this on 10 June also.

Be sure to register with ann.milligan@fog.org.au by Thursday 8 June, to find out meeting & parking places, and to discuss lunch options.

Saturday 15 July, 2–5 pm: FOG mid-winter talks & tea, Mugga Mugga

Come to the annual gathering of FOG people at Mugga Mugga environment education centre in Symonston, ACT, to hear interesting illustrated talks and to network over tea.

We expect to hear Dr Lydia Guja, Seed Conservation Biologist at the Australian National Botanic Gardens Seed Bank, telling us about their program of collecting and storing seed of Natural Temperate Grassland species as well as species in Box–Gum Woodland. We also hope to welcome a second exciting speaker - check the July-August edition of News of FOG to find out who this will be! Unfortunately, the ACT Commissioner for Sustainability & the Environment Dr Kate Auty (whom we advertised as a speaker in the last FOG newsletter) has had to pull out again this year.

Both speakers will be fascinating and generate plenty to chat about over the usual splendid afternoon tea.

To register for this FOG activity, please contact paul.archer@fog.org.au by 11 July (for planning the catering and seating).

Friday – Saturday 21–22 July: ‘Bushfire Management: Balancing the risks’ symposium

A community symposium on research, strategies and expectations for fire management in ACT in a changing climate. See http://www.npaact.org.au/event.php?id=1533 and http://www.npaact.org.au//res/File/2017/BushfireFlier6.pdf.

Stirling Park workparties in 2017: 28 May, 27 August, 29 October, 26 November.

Yarramundi Grassland workparties in 2017: 24 September, 26 November.

Annual wildflower walk at Stirling Parkrk: 12 November 2017.

Other Things

Friends of Great Southern Forest (SE NSW) are seeking support and endorsement for their proposal and recommendations about the management and logging of public native forests. See their website, http://www.greatsouthernforest.org.au/, which includes a useful summary accessible via the ‘BRIEF’ option in the menu line atop their front page.

Help the Conservation Council

Can you help the Conservation Council by donating? They have lost their federal funding, as of May 2014, which provided 20% of their budget. To donate, the Conservation Council asks you to phone them on 02 6229 3200 with your credit card details, or visit visit www.conservationcouncil.org.au/support-us/donate//.

Fireweed

An ALERT… Fireweed is now at large across the ACT, as well as in much of eastern NSW. ACT Government media release, on 24/07/2014: Canberrans are again urged to report infestations of the pest plant Madagascan Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis) after it was discovered growing in the ACT suburb of Coombs. "Fireweed was discovered on Monday at several locations around a pond in Coombs," Stephen Hughes, Biosecurity Manager, Territory and Municipal Services said. "Unlike the Fireweed infestations found last week on public and private land in Forde, Franklin, Chisholm, Casey, Lyneham and Crace, the recent incursion in Coombs is not associated with imported couch turf. We would like to stress to residents to look beyond areas with couch turf for Fireweed infestations.” It is important that we control Fireweed in ACT, and also in NSW where possible. It is a Class 3 Noxious Weed (must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed) widely across SE NSW too. Make sure you know it when you see it! The website at http://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au/Weeds/Details/533 has good photos and more details. Fireweed has daisy-like bright yellow flowers that usually have 13 petals (or 20 green bracts on unopened flowers). Plants can produce thousands of viable seeds, which are fluffy and wind-borne. To pull Fireweed out by hand, first enclose/cover the plant with a strong plastic bag to prevent mature seeds bursting out and flying away. Wear gloves to avoid skin irritation. Double-bag the weed and dispose of the bag with your regular rubbish (NOT in the recycled or green waste). Do NOT spray it with glyphosate. Please note the exact location and report the plant and its condition as soon as you can by email to fireweed@act.gov.au. Include a photo of the plant for confirmation, and report what you have done (pulled it out/left it there, etc).

Please advertise this information among your friends and networks. Non FoG members are welcome to FoG events. For inquiries or if you have an item to include, please Contact Us