Environment

Seeing the opportunity in drought. Bega River working bee this Sunday

Elka Wood 22 November 2019
Some participants from the third Bega River Sunday held in August. Don’t miss the next one coming up on 24 November, meet at the Main Bega River Reserve Picnic Area from 9.45am.

Some participants from the third Bega River Sunday held in August. Don’t miss the next one coming up on 24 November, meet at the Main Bega River Reserve Picnic Area from 9.45 am. Photo: Supplied.

Have you been to the Bega River lately? Once overrun with a jungle of noxious weeds, large parts the river bed and banks have been cleared of weeds and replanted with native grasses, shrubs and trees, the work of Bega River and Wetlands Landcare (BRAWL).

With the river currently dry and thoughts of a hot summer ahead of us, setting the river up for long-term success is even more important than usual.

BRAWL Co-ordinator Erin Moon says with the drought in mind, the group have reduced their tree planting to once a quarter and are instead focusing on managing weeds and caring for seedlings in the ground.

“One good thing to come out of the drought has been that it’s given us a chance to get on top of some of the weeds – things like privet, hemlock and tradescantia pallida, formerly known as wandering jew or purple heart,” she says “while it’s dry, we’re actually hand-watering seedlings we planted earlier in the year at our monthly working bees.”

Bega Valley Shire Council has helped the group with a Community Environment Grant to cover the costs of an Education Officer, re-vegetation contractors and materials to make the most of volunteer efforts over a few hours.

Over 700 seedlings have been planted by BRAWL volunteers in three Sunday sessions this year and the fourth session will be held this Sunday – November 24, with a special emphasis on teaching kids science in the field.

Volunteers at BRAWL's family river day in August. Photo: Supplied.

Volunteers at BRAWL’s family river day in August. Photo: Supplied.

Have you ever been stumped trying to answer your child’s questions on complex scientific processes and realised the many holes in your understanding?

Canadian trained environmental education expert, Lisa Stobe, will be running workshops on the latest “macro-processes” games for explaining and exploring nature’s complicated biological processes.

Lisa will facilitate families getting their hands dirty while exploring the mysteries and magic of trees; nature’s water pumps, and light energy for nature’s food production.

This fun, free workshop will provide two hours of educational activities aimed at young and old alike along the Bega River Reserve as well as tree planting to help the bush re-generation efforts of BRAWL volunteers.

“Two hours every three months – that’s what we’re hoping families will be willing to contribute to the ongoing work at the Bega River Reserve and, in return, their children will learn about this very special yet endangered eco-system on our doorstep,” says Chris Allen, BRAWL Chairperson.

Tree planting at the Bega river in August this year with the BRAWL crew. Photo: Supplied.

Tree planting at the Bega River in August this year with the BRAWL crew. Photo: Supplied.

Following the workshop, everyone is invited to share in a communal picnic, as Erin explains, “Bring your kids – or grandkids, nieces, nephews, pack a picnic and I’m sure you will enjoy the chance to do good, feel good and learn about the local ecology.”

“While there will be activities for kids, parents will still need to be responsible for their children.”

Meet on Sunday, November 24 at 9.45 am for a 10 am start at the main Bega River Reserve picnic area at the bottom of Auckland Street, look for BRAWL flags.

Sturdy shoes, hats and sun protection are recommended. Bring your own gardening gloves if you can, but all other tools and materials will be provided.

For further information, contact Erin Moon by email – [email protected]

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