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Southern Otway Landcare eNews, October 25 2011

What is the Southern Otway Landcare Network?

Our Vision: To protect and restore our environment so that we can all live, work and find joy in a healthy, productive and balanced landscape.

If you are a member of a local Landcare group in the Southern Otways, it is possible that you may be quite confused about who the Southern Otway Landcare Network are, what we actually do and what our relationship is to your local group. This edition of our eNews letter is devoted to helping you understand what local Landcare is, how it works and how you can be involved.

The Southern Otway Landcare Network is a group that represents and administrates the needs of the four local Landcare groups in the Southern Otways. The four groups are: Wye to Wongarra, Apollo Bay, Otway Barham Catchment and Hordernvale Glenaire. Each of these groups are distinct communities with separate needs and priorities. The groups are completely voluntary and co-ordinated by an elected committee. Landcare group meetings are used to discuss local concerns relating to land management. Local Landcare groups can and do take significant action.

In 2005 the Otway Barham Catchment Group, concerned by a lack of community consultation, drove a brief and highly effective campaign to prevent the declaration of the Barham River as a Special Water Supply Catchment. The outcome of their advocacy was the creation of a reference group which meets regularly to direct management of the catchment. Barwon Water now financially supports a project officer to deliver environmental outcomes on the Barham and the group has run the outstanding Barham River Festival twice. The Apollo Bay Landcare Group are particularly involved in managing coastal weeds such as Sea Spurge through volunteer working bees and are strong advocates for the protection of Hooded Plover habitat in their area.

So where does the Southern Otway Landcare Network fit in? Southern Otway Landcare is an umbrella organisation that covers these four groups. It is run by a voluntary Committee of Management, which includes at least one delegate from each of the Local Groups. The Committee of Management employs staff and oversees the management of the office which provides support for the four local groups. One of the main functions of Southern Otway Landcare is to find funding that supports the aspirations of the local Landcare.

One of the most common ways in which we do this is to seek Expressions of Interest from Landcare Members who may wish to undertake a Landcare project such as weeding, fencing and revegetation on their private property. Our staff can then attempt to find funding that matches that project. We cannot find money for all projects as we are reliant on the funding streams available to us, which mostly come from State and Federal government sources. If funding is secured, we will then assist you to plan and manage your project.

Apart from works on private property,  Southern Otway Landcare manages a large range of projects and services that support our vision. Sustainable agriculture has become a priority in recent years, largely driven by the Hordernvale Glenaire Landcare Group. In 2012 we will be hosting a sustainable agriculture forum which will focus on existing businesses and emerging niche markets. We maintain a community seed bank where full species lists are collected and stored according to Landcare region. This means that plants grown for jobs in Wye to Wongarra will come from seed collected from that area. Public education and events are another important focus.

So what can you do?  Attend group meetings and think openly and creatively about the issues facing your local Landcare area. Encourage others to join – new blood is always a great way to get things moving. Think seriously about becoming a delegate for your group to the Southern Otway Landcare Network Committee of Management, it’s a great way to understand the issues facing this district and to be inspired by Landcare.  Plus, you’ll get a great free meal from local caterers  – always a bonus!

If you want to know more, please let us know here at the Southern Otway Landcare Network and we would be more than happy to send a staff member along to the next meeting of your local Landcare group. Or you could drop by our office, which is open 9-5 weekdays (unless we’ve all been lucky enough to get out in the field) and have a chat. If you’re on Facebook, you can keep up with our news on www.facebook.com/soln.org and if you’re a twitterer @solandcare.

For more information, please contact Libby Riches on 5237 6904 or solnlibb@vicnet.net.au



~ by SOLN on October 25, 2011 .

One Response to “Southern Otway Landcare eNews, October 25 2011”

  1.   Ginny Moylan Says:

    Was a member of Horhern Vale/Glenaire for many years but have not renewed subscription as felt as I wasn’t in the area often,missed meetings or meetings were called too late for me to change plans in Melbourne to attend, I got out of the loop. Lovely people there and I still enjoy coming down to our home at Glenaire when I can, cheers, Virginia Moylan