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21 July 2021
The entire July 21, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
BY DYLAN DE JONG
Decades of commitment to protecting the natural environment has prompted a Wimmera network to nominate Moyston Landcare Group for 2021 Victorian Landcare Awards.
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Project Platypus Landcare Network nominated the group in an environmental volunteering award category to honour its commitment to undertaking on-ground action to protect, enhance or restore the natural values of the area on behalf of the wider community.
Moyston Landcare president Madelene Townsend said the nomination reflected the group’s ‘great pride’ in improving social and environmental outcomes in the area.
“It’s humbling to be nominated for this award – if we won it, it would be major boost for the group,” she said.
The group’s main areas of focus include controlling invasive plants, rehabilitating areas of public land within the township boundary, tree planting and providing education for the public.
Ms Townsend said Landcare had become integral to her life in Moyston after she moved to the town more than 15 years ago.
“This was the first Landcare group I joined – I was a city person always yearning to be out in a regional area,” she said.
Ms Townsend said the group’s ‘Minewalk and Native Grasses Project’ was something she was particularly proud to be involved in.
The project involves the group restoring the mine walk, from earlier times when it was a significant gold mining area in the mid-1800 to the early 20th century.
The group hopes to reintroduce native grasses and will partner with Moyston Primary School to build bird boxes and create an all-weather walking track for residents and visitors.
Secretary Rosie Nater, who was among the first of 32 farmers to form the group in 1989, said volunteer work Landcare members undertook was critical to the sustainability of the environment.
“I think it’s important to do your own little bit in your area, whether it is weed or pest control, tree planting or community engagement,” she said.
“You don’t want to talk about projects, you want to do them and see them through. There’s always a lot of hours behind the scenes to make things happen.”
She encouraged anyone interested in protecting the environment to consider volunteering with the group.
“If there’s new people who come into the area, Landcare is a great way to connect people in the community,” she said.
“It’s also good for mental health and an opportunity to get fresh air.”