Ambers Gully Site - Black Hill Conservation Park

Ambers Gully, March 2002
Ambers Gully, 3 March 2002

Collaborative School "Our Patch" Landcare Project.

PROJECT AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

Ambers Gully, Project Map
Map of the project site
Our project is actively supported by the Campbelltown, Athelstone & Paradise Primary Schools from which students and staff make fortnightly visits to undertake educational and "hands on" activities.

Our area of remnant bushland requires constant monitoring, and while we have an enormous task ahead to complete the work commenced here we are committed to the long term and determined to work to that end.

Photo taken in December 1992
Photo taken in December 1992

During the 10 years we have been involved everyone has worked hard and our collective efforts have raised and planted a total of 8000 plants, which have been sited since 1993. Special planting days have been well attended and it is a joy to share with dedicated students, community and friends on such occasions.

Photo taken in May 2000
Photo taken in May 2000

Plant survival rate has been excellent, with over 80% doing well in spite of the heat summer brings and it is pleasing to see earlier plantings flowering profusely, producing seed which will aid our revegetation process and make a dramatic contrast to the weed infested sites we were confronted with when we started in 1992.

Students
Students

Our project could not continue without the support of the schools, The Friends of Black Hill & Morialta Inc, National Parks & Wildlife SA Lofty/Barossa Region, Natural Heritage Trust, "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Urban Forest Biodiversity Program.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the years implementing our busy programs busy program and consider it a privilege to be able to work and share something very worthwhile with these young people,

Graham - Project Coordinator

Collaborative Schools 2009 Project Report

Students 2009
Students 2009
Our project commenced in 1992 and we established a project site in Ambers Gully in 1993 where we set about rehabilitating remnant bushland and increasing biodiversity. Over 11,500 plants have been raised and planted here by students, service clubs and other volunteers and it is encouraging to look back at these areas now to see the changes that have occurred. My recent inspections have shown that in spite of the severe heat and lack of rain of seasons past, plants are flourishing and we can take great pride in our collective efforts.

Health issues and funding, brought about a modified programme this year and due to the feedback from everyone, I believe this modified program has been successful. This year we reduced the number of units to 9 over terms one and two but topics covered were similar to when fifteen units were delivered. Instead of having a unit for just Animals, I simply combined Animals with Feral Animals, Plants with Pest Plants, Parasites with Life Cycles etc.

Funding wise, I was worried earlier this year as we were $600 short of our target but the Athelstone Lions Club and the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc came to the rescue and we were not only able to complete the program but now have some funds for 2010.

The Friends of Black Hill and Morialta have adopted the Ambers Gully site and this year they received some grant money which was used to engage a contractor, through National Parks, to work on Erica in the Banksia Site where we had previously weeded and planted. If we can maintain this kind of support we may be able to bring the Erica infestations under control and prevent its spread into other sections of Ambers Gully.

My thanks to the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, National Parks, volunteers, and in particular, those willing parents who transport to and from venues, for without their commitment, we could not function.

It has been encouraging too to receive feedback from parents and schools regarding the enthusiasm and interest expressed by students participating in the project and I have often been asked about the 2010 programme as other students want to become involved.

2009 Students
2009 students

I look forward to continuing next year and with some optimism feel that we will find the funds needed to continue what I believe is a great program.

During the presentation of my last unit I reiterated to my students that they have been fortunate to be at schools that are committed to teaching their students about the environment, and through this program, students have not only been better equipped to not only understand some of the issues but now know some methods of dealing with them. Students know that while the problems on our planet are not of their making, we will need their help to solve them.

My sincere thanks to the school Principals, Maggie and Peter along with their staff for their sterling support. In particular, Roger who is retiring this year. I wish him all the best for the future.

Over the years I have been so fortunate to have been able to associate and share experiences with so many wonderful students and staff and I hope that by continuing our program we can help equip more students to become good environmental ambassadors and while I am prepared to continue in this endeavour, I will need your ongoing support.

Project Coordinator - Graham

Collaborative Schools 2008 Project Report

This is an interim report as our programme does not conclude until November but I will make comment on our work so far. Our project commenced in 1992 and we established a project site in Ambers Gully in 1993 where we set about rehabilitating remnant bushland and increasing biodiversity. Over 11,000 plants have been raised and planted here by students, service clubs and other volunteers and it is encouraging to look at these areas now to see the changes that have occurred.

It is planned to present 15 units over 4 terms and these have been carried out on park and at the schools. Weed control has been difficult to maintain due to the weather and insufficient funding and in future, it will become the responsibility of National Parks and other volunteers as it is not planned to continue with a project site within the program but to support other Friends Group Sites when possible. This will still provide the important "Hands On" component for students.

Pembroke School has again been supportive with some woody weed control sessions in the project site, but again, the weather reduced the number of opportunities.

Last year saw the end of our special planting activities and this year we removed plant guards and tidied the site in Stage 4. Again, we had wonderful support on the day with 24 helpers attending. It has been encouraging to receive feedback from parents and schools regarding the enthusiasm and interest of students participating in the project and I am often asked by parents about the 2009 programme as other children want to become involved. At this stage I may have to consider a modified program as grant funding is becoming harder to obtain and there are some other considerations I need to take on board.

Funding this year has come from the participating schools, the Friends of Black Hill & Morialta Inc., Richard Fassbender, Andrew Chalklin, Mitre 10 and the Athelstone Loins Club. Without this financial support we could not function and I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed. My thanks too to all the friends, volunteers, school principals, staff and in particular, those willing parents who transport to and from sites for without this commitment we could not function.

Project Coordinator - Graham


Project Report - 2007.

This year our project was actively supported by the Paradise, Athelstone & East Marden Primary Schools from which students and staff made visits to undertake "educational and hands on" environmental activities in the Black Hill & Morialta Conservation Parks.

Our project area in Ambers Gully is comprised of remnant bushland on mainly steep terrain, and in 1992 when we commenced this project, few endemic species were represented here and some, by just one or two plants. Since then we have added a considerable number of species and expanded on those poorly represented.

Planting this year was particularly rewarding when 57 students, staff, parents and community group members attended. We were supported by our three schools, the Minister for the Aging, Christopher Pyne MP, Natural History Society of SA, Tabol Christian College, Ingle Farm Primary School, Friends of Black Hill & Morialta, East Torrens Primary School, Glenunga International High School and Scotch College. Unlike the previous two years, we had perfect planting conditions but still used plant guards around plantings to prevent rabbits and kangaroos eating them off. This year we raised and planted another 560 seedlings, making a total of 11,070 plants that have been sited since 1993.

This was the last planting activity in Zone 4 and next year, if we receive appropriate funding, we will concentrate on Zones 1 and 2.

My grateful thanks to those dedicated staff, students, community members and Friends who gave their support for our planting activities this year. Funding this year came by way of school contributions, a most welcome grant from Australia Post and again, Glynde Mitre 10. Others who donated to make this year a success were the Friends of Black Hill & Morialta Inc, Richard and Andrew.

Thank you all for your support.

The weed front poses many problems and while there are some small diminishing patches of Blackberry and Salvation Jane, Tangier pea, remains a problem, along with Erica in our Banksia site and Fennel on steeper slopes. Some support was arranged by Northern Region in the Banksia site using DCS crews cutting and swabbing Erica, but there is still a great dealt to be done here. Steep areas are beyond our capability and we will have to depend on Northern Region to deal with these.

Fifteen varied educational units were presented this year and students were actively engaged with planting, weeding, litter removal, feral animal surveys, along with other observations. Again this year, we had a number of Landcare students join our Young Friends Group. This has been another continuing positive outcome from the program which commenced and has continued for 15 years.

My sincere thanks to the school principals, their deputies and staff, who have been supportive on behalf of the program and their Landcare Students. They are a credit to their schools. Without transporters we would not have a project and I extend a special "thank you" to the parents who have transported and assisted with the program. Likewise, I greatly value the support given by National Parks & Wildlife SA Northern Region, and Liaison Ranger Tammy, Friends of Black Hill & Morialta Inc. and Pembroke School for their exceptional, ongoing and long term supportive contribution.

Regarding funding for next year we have been privileged to receive a Junior Mitre 10 grant and I am hopeful that others will come to allow us to continue extremely worthy and vital programme for young people who will all too soon take their place in society and become our future decision makers in what could be a most trying and challenging Future.

I have been privileged to be able to play a part in this program and have been encouraged and rewarded by the outcomes I have experienced with these students, their teachers and parents.

Graham - Project Coordinator


2006 Project Report

Falls in full flow November 2995
Ambers Gully falls
November 2005

This year was supported by Paradise, East Marden and Athelstone Primary Schools and additional on ground support was given by Pembroke Schoolm the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc., Dept of Environment, Northern Lofty Region, Lions Club of Athelstone, the Natural History Society and others. Again all important funding came from the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc. Mitre 10, Richard Fassbender and some donations.

This year was so different to 2005, when we had to dig in rock hard ground to plant tube stock and then have to water until the rains eventurally came. In May we planted 576 seedlings and the going was slow as we fitted plant guards to protect plantings from rabbits and kangaroos.

Planting was well supported wtih 43 people attending on the main planting day.

Graham - PROJECT COORDINATOR


2005 Project Report

May 2005 Working Bee
Ambers Gully Working Bee
May 2005
This year our project was actively supported by the Paradise, Athelstone and East Marden Primary Schools from which students and staff made visits to undertake "education and hands on" activities in the Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks.

Our project area in Ambers Gully is comprised of remnant bushland on mainly steep terrain, and in 1992 when we commenced this project, few endemic species were represented, and some, by just one or two plants. Since then we have added a considerable number of species and expanded on those poorly represented.

Digging holes for planting
Digging holes for planting
May 2005

Planting this year was particularly trying and drawn out as the season broke late, and digging in dry, hard soil was a chore as many of you will recall. For the first time in 13 years, we had to water plants in and follow up later to water again. In addition problems arose in zone 5, where rabbits and kangaroos, searching for greenery, found our plantings and again another first, we had to remove our plant stakes and replace them with guards. This was also an expense we had not counted on.

This year we raised and planted another 720 seedlings, making a total of 9994 plants that have been sited since 1993. My grateful thanks to those dedicated staff, students, comunity members and Friends who gave their support for our somewhat trying planting activities this year.

Mitre 10 staff planting
Mitre 10 staff planting
July 2005

Last year we were chosen as one of the 20 projects Australia wide by Landcare Australia and Mitre 10 Caring for our Waterways program and I must express my appreciation to Mitre 10 Australia and the management and staff of Glynde Mitre 10 for their sterling support. Not only do we have a display at the Glynde store, management has released staff on a monthly basis to work on woody weeds and planting in Ambers Gully. Staff members have enjoyed their sessions, and mixed with good humor, we have achieved a great deal together. They are a great bunch and it has been a joy for me to work with this team.

Mitre 10 working on the Erica
Mitre 10 staff controlling Erica
July 2005

On the weed front there are some small diminishing patches of Blackberry and Salvation Jane and these will be addressed this year. However Tangier pea, remains a problem, along with Erica in our Banksia site and Fennel on steeper slopes. Also, after a recent inspection with our District Ranger, we found a number of dead plants in the Banksia site, and he has advised that he will have the site tested for Phytophthera. This was a shock to find dead, established Banksia marginata and Hakea carinata. These deaths happened in a very short time.

Tangier Pea
Controlling Tangier Pea
November 2005

Fifteen varied educational units were presented this year and students were actively engaged with planting, weeding, feral animal surveys, litter removal and other observations and again this year, we had a number of Landcare students join our Young Friends Group

My thanks to the school principals, their deputies and staff who have been supportive on behalf of the program and their Landcare students. A special thank you to the parents who transport and assist with the program. Without their support we could not function and their commitment is greatly appreciated by us all.

Possible phytophthera outbreak
Possible phytophthera outbreak
November 2005

Likewise, I greatly value the support given by National Parks and Wildlife SA Northern Region, Our District Ranger, and Liaison Ranger, Friends of Parks and Pembroke School for their ongoing and long term supportive contribution.

We managed funding wise this year, but grants came in bits and pieces which involved considerable time compiling applications. Fortunately, at the Friends of Parks Forum, the project received two awards, "Best Biodiversity Project" from Nature Foundation SA Inc. and the "SA Landcare Committee Award for the Best Landcare Project". These awards also provided a much needed $1,000 which carried us through to complete the year.

Planting
Planting
May 2005

As it has been in the past, and in spite of the numerous awards we recieve, I have never had a positive feeling about having enough funds for the year to come but I am optomistic and usually something turns up, but it is time consuming applying for grant funds.

We have applied for Commonwealth grants but have not been successful as grant conditions are such that they do not fund coordinating positions and the application process is frustrating and complicated. It needs to be overhauled and simplified. This year we were funded by the participating schools, local benefactors, reserve funds from Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, Nature Foundation, Lancare Australia, Friends of Parks, SA Landcare and Mitre 10. My sincere thanks to you all.

Another busy but enjoyable year with sum ups and downs due to weather but overall we achieved a great deal and as always it was a privilege for me to be able to work and share in a collaborative manner, with staff and other volunteers and of course, our young people, who often amaze me at times with their forthrightness and honesty about the environment and their concerns.

Graham - PROJECT COORDINATOR


2003 Project Report

Taking a break
Taking a break
May 2003
This year our project was actively supported by the Campbelltown, Athelstone and Paradise Primary Schools from which students and staff make visits to undertake educational and 'hands on' activities in the Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks.

Our project area in Ambers Gully is a large area of remnant bushland and again this year our collaborative efforts have raised and planted another 784 seedlings in the project area now making a total of 8618 plants that have been sited since 1993.

It was, as always a joy to share with everyone who came and assisted with our special planting days although the numbers of students, parents and staff were down on the previous year.

Planting 2003
A planting working bee
May 2003

My thanks to the dedicated staff, students, community members and Friends who gave their support.

Last year I raised an aspect of concern regarding the invasion of stage 4 by Erica sp. from the head of Ambers Gully. We added a stage 5 to the project area, which encompassed the source of the infestation, which gave us control over the whole catchment. Some grant funds were obtained by the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta to continue work here and this year we have secured the valuable Banksia marginata forest, the second most threatened vegetation type in the state.

In other zones we still have weed problems and this year has been particularly frustrating regarding weed control. If it was not rain it was wind that prevented weed spray activities and in some sections we have seen a regression of our weed control efforts. While Phalaris grass, Rice Millet grass, Blackberry, Prunus sp and Artichoke is under control, Salvation Jane and Tangier pea is a problem.

Every little bit helps
A young helper with dad
May 2003

It is becoming increasingly difficult for schools to release staff for the program and while we have attempted to do some units at school I have found that working with full classes is not successful as other students do not respond due to the fact that they have not been involved with off site units that are essential to be able to fully interact with the program. For example, a child who has not seen the Ambers Gully Project site or experienced key units does not understand the thrust of the 'mind on/hands on' concepts.

One aspect of the program that has encouraged me is the number of children, who throughout the past eleven years that we have been active, have been considered slow learners at school but have excelled in demonstrating practical and other skills in the Landcare Program. It is an absolute joy for me when a child has excelled in this way with their peers.

This year we have an unprecedented number of Landcare students who have joined our Young Friends Group and that has been another plus that proves that our program is not only providing an extension of interest for these students but also, their parents too, are supporting their children and as families want to share and learn more about our environment and precious natural heritage.

Working on the Erica
Ongoing control of the Erica
July 2003

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the school principals who have been supportive on behalf of the program and their Landcare Students.

My thanks and appreciation also to the staff, and parents for their continuing support and I have especially valued the support and friendship of staff members. Without the parents who transport and assist with the program we could not function and their commitment is greatly appreciated by us all.

Our project could not function if it were not for the support of National Parks and Wildlife SA Lofty/Barossa Region and the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc.

My sincere thanks to our District Ranger, Senior Ranger and the Executive of the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Inc.

Other organisations assisting us are Athelstone Lions, Pembroke School and the Natural History Society of SA Inc.

Controlling Olive
Cutting and swabbing Olive
December 2003

Last year the Torrens Catchment Board and the SA Urban Forest Biodiversity Program did not fund us. We were naturally disappointed in receiving this news as we have demonstrated our ability to manage the program in a highly professional manner. This project has won numerous awards and high praise over the years for not only ourselves but also those who funded us. This year we were awarded the Nature Foundation 'Highly Commended Biodiversity Project' award. We commenced our project in 1992 and not only have we a perfect track record we have also demonstrated that we have a long term commitment to the project, the environment, and the education of our young people.

Obtaining grant-funding remains a problem and this year the Project funded itself, as grant applications were not successful. We have some funds, but not enough to run a full program and if the project fails if will not only be a bitter blow for me and those students who could have been better equipped to cope with future environmental issues, the repercussions could be far reaching, affecting not only the project site in Ambers Gully but also the Young Friends Group that draws its young people and their parents from the schools participation in this project.

Again we had a busy but enjoyable year and it was a privilege to be able to work and share in a collaborative manner, with young people, staff and other volunteers.

Let us hope that our funding problem can be solved and that we can continue this worthwhile program. To end on a high note, I am pleased to report that East Marden Primary School will join the program in 2004, making four schools in all current members remain.

Graham - Project Coordinator

Please consider if you can assist funding this important project.

Donations may be sent to the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks Inc. Please inlcude a note if you wish the funds to be specifically directed to this project site.


2002 Project Report

Our project is actively supported by the Campbelltown, Athelstone and Paradise Primary Schools from which students and staff make fortnightly visits to undertake educational and "hands on" activities in the Black Hill and Morialta Conservation Parks.

Setting out the plants 2002
Setting out the plants
May 2002

Our project area in Ambers Gully is a large area of remnant bushland and this year was increased to take in the entire catchment so that we now have greater control over spreading weeds, planting sites and monitoring.

Again, everyone has worked hard and our collective efforts have raised and planted another 700 seedlings in the project area now making a total of 7834 plants which have been sited since 1993.

It was as always, a joy to share with everyone who came and assisted with out special planting days. My thanks to the dedicated staff, students, community and friends who gave their support. In spite of a dry summer, plant survival rate has been excellent, with over 80% doing well and it is pleasing to see natural regeneration occurring in some sections due to out earlier efforts.

Erica weed control
Working on controlling the weed
Erica February 2002

One aspect of great concern I raised last year was the invasion of stage 4 by Eric sp. from the head of Ambers Gully. This is the new area we have added to the project site (Stage 5) and I am pleased to say that some grant funds were obtained to allow us to commence work here this year.

In other zones we still have weed problems but our planting and weed control program is working. Some persistent weeds are Tangier Pea, Olive, Fennel and to a lesser extent, Salsify, Blackberry Phalaris grass, Rice Millet grass, Prunus, Artichoke, Salvation Jane and Pines need to be worked on.

While little rain has fallen throughout the year there has been enough to promote vigorous weed growth, but due to the frequency and vagaries of the weather, less opportunities to carry out appropriate weed control, especially spraying, due to wet and/or windy conditions.

Feral pine April 2002
Dealing with a non-native pine
April 2002

We still have an enormous task ahead to complete the work commenced her, but we are committed to the long term and determined to work to that end.

It has become increasingly difficult for schools to release staff for the program and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the principals who have been so supportive and made the effort on behalf of their Landcare Students.

My thanks and appreciation also to staff, and parents of the Campbelltown, Paradise and Athelstone Primary Schools for their continuing support and I have especially valued the support and friendship of staff members, Bob, Jan and Ed. I much value your wit, wisdom and friendship. Sadly, we will be losing Bob and Jan next year, it is time for them to move on, so it is a case of Landcare's loss and their new school's gain. We wish you every success in your new endeavours and hope that you will carry with you fond memories of Landcare. I have also appreciated the support given by Adrian who relieved Ed in term 4.

Parents and Students planting
Parents and students planting
May 2002

Some other very important helpers are those parents who transport and assist with the program. Without their support we could not function and their commitment is greatly appreciated by us all.

Tricia, is our "Our Patch" representative and we thank her for the encouragement and support given throughout the year.

Without the support and funding received from the Natural Heritage Trust, "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Urban Forest Biodiversity Program, National Parks & Wildlife SA Lofty/Barossa Region our project would cease. Again we do not know what the future will bring as we have two staff leaving and have to apply for future program funding.

We have been advised that funds have ceased from the Urban Forest Biodiversity Program so we are dependent upon "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board for next year's funds and hope that we can again share in a continued partnership in 2003 and continue our program in Ambers Gully.

Again, we had an enjoyable, busy program and it was a privilege to be able to work and share in a collaborative manner with young people, staff and other volunteers who are part of our team.

Graham - Project Coordinator


2001 Project Report

Our project is actively supported by the Campbelltown, Athelstone & Paradise Primary Schools from which students and staff make fortnightly visits to undertake educational and "hands on" activities.

Our area is approximately 6 square kilometers of remnant bushland, it requires constant moni- toring, and while we have an enormous task ahead to complete the work commenced here we are committed to the long term and determined to work to that end.

During the year everyone has worked hard .and our collectlye efforts have raised and planted another 853 seedlings in the project area in spite of extreme wet conditions experienced. This now makes a total of 7134 plants which have been sited since 1993.

My thanks to everyone who came and assisted with our special planting days and it is a joy to share with dedicated students, community and friends on such occasions. Plant survival rate has been excellent, with over 80% doing well in spite of the heat of last summer and it is pleasing to see earlier plantings flowering profusely making a dramatic contrast to the weed infested site we were confronted with when we started in 1992.

One aspect of great concern is the invasion of stage 4 by Erica sp. and a large infestation at the head of Ambers Gully is slowly but surely spreading into surrounding areas. The Friends Of Black Hill & Morialta Inc have applied for, and received, a small grant to tackle this infestation but the weather has caused some difficulties.

Our project could not continue without the support of the Natural Heritage Trust, "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Urban Forest Biodiversity Program, and National Parks & Wildlife SA Lofty/Barossa Region.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the year's very busy program and consider it a privilege to be able to work and share something very worthwhile with these young people, staff and other volunteers who are part of our team.

Graham Churchett - Project Coordinator


2000 Project Report

Collaborative School "Our Patch" Landcare Project.

During the past year we have worked hard and our collective efforts have planted another 600 seedlings in the project area. This now makes a total of 6,281 plants which have been sited in all four zones since 1993. In addition, our survival rate has been excellent with over 80% doing well. Our project area is approximately 6 square kilometers, it requires constant monitoring, and while we have an enormous task ahead to complete the work commenced here we are committed to the longterm and determined to work to that end.

Blackberry has been brought under control on the lower slopes and creek-line but it is still found in large patches on the ridges and upper slopes. National Parks have offered the use of a special spray unit, and with the new ridge track having been completed, we will now be able to tackle infestations on the upper slopes more effectively. Bridal Creeper, Tangier Pea, Onion weed, Olive, Dog rose. Artichoke, Fennel, pines and Rice Millet grass are the main weed species we need to keep working on.

Stage No 1.
Students and staff, plus volunteers from the Friends of Black Hill & Morialta and Pembroke School, have attended to weed control and planting. Earlier plantings flowered profusely this year making a dramatic contrast to the weed infested site we were confronted with when we started in 1992. Fennel and Rice Millet grass still persist in small patches and will require our ongoing attention.

This year the prolonged wet has brought enormous weed growth and little opportunity to use herbicides. However, when weather becomes more stable spraying will commence.

Stage No 2.
Fennel and Tangier Pea still persist and some Blackberry regrowth requires attention. Valley slopes, where foxes have voided seeds of various weed species, need to be continually checked for weed outbreaks and it is pleasing to see that National Parks & Wildlife have commenced a Fox baiting program this year in the Black Hill & Morialta Conservation Parks.

Stage No 3.
This area is a Fuel Reduction Zone and no more planting is needed here. However, we will continue to monitor and control weeds.

Stage No 4.
Black berry, Prunus sp, Dog Rose, Fennel, Olive, Box thorn, Bridal creeper and Figs still require ongoing attention. Project members, Pembroke students, and Friends members have assisted with cutting olives and other exotic species. Another 500 plants were placed in this zone in May during our community .planting days.

My thanks to everyone who came and assisted with planting. It was great weather and a joy to share it with dedicated workers and friends. This year was another successful one for us and we accomplished a great deal in our project area plus achieved the desired educational outcomes from students. I would like to thank the following for their support. Richard, District Ranger of the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (Lofty Region), Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Greg, Urban Forest Biodiversity program, Friends of Black Hill & Morialta, Young Friends of Black Hill & Morialta, Athelstone Lions, Campbelltown State Emergency, Natural History Society and Pembroke School. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the principals, staff, and parents of the Campbelltown, Thorndon Park, Newton and Athelstone Primary Schools for their continuing support and encouragement. In particular, I have valued the support & friendship of staff members Juris, our Project Manager, from Campbelltown Primary School, Jen, Thorndon Park Primary, Judy, Newton Primary, and Ed Anstey from Athelstone Primary.

This year we were fortunate and indeed grateful, to be jointly funded by the "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board and the Urban Forest Biodiversity Program and our special thanks to Greg, UFBP Project Officer, for his encouragement and support.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the year's very busy program and consider it a privilege to be able to work and share something very worthwhile with young people, staff and others who are part of our team and I look forward to continuing our work in 2001.

Graham -Project Coordinator


1999 Project Report

During the past twelve months positive feedback from parents, staff and students and others assisting us in this project has been encouraging. Everyone has worked hard and our collective efforts have placed over 1,000 seedlings in the project area. A total of 5,653 plants have now been sited in all four zones since 1993.

Our project area is approximately 6 square kilometres, it requires constant monitoring, and while we have an enormous task ahead to complete the work commenced here and we are determined to work to that end. Blackberry has been brought under control on the lower slopes and creek-line but it is still found in large patches on the ridges and upper slopes. Onion weed, Olive, Dog rose, Artichoke, Fennel and Rice millet grass are the main species we need to keep working on.

Stage No 1.
Students and staff, plus volunteers from the Friends of Black Hill & Morialta and Pembroke School, have attended to weed control and planting. Earlier plantings flowered profusely this year making a dramatic contrast to the weed infested site we were confronted with when we started in 1992. Fennel and Rice Millet grass still persist in small patches and will require our ongoing attention.

Stage No 2.
Fennel and Tangier Pea are still persistent and some small Blackberry plants require attention. Valley slopes, where foxes have voided seeds of various weed species, need to be continually checked for weed outbreaks and it is pleasing to see that National Parks & Wildlife have commenced a Fox bailing program this year in the Black Hill & Morialta Conservation Parks.

Stage No 3.
This area is a Fuel Reduction Zone and no more planting is needed here. However, we will continue to monitor and control weeds.

Stage No 4.
Blackberry, Prunus sp. Dog Rose, Fennel, Olive, Boxthorn. Bridal creeper and Figs still require ongoing attention. Project members, Pembroke students, and Friends members have assisted with cutting olives and other exotic species. Another 850 plants were placed in this zone in May during our community planting days and it was a particularly humbling experience for me when 35 students , staff, Friends of Black Hill & Morialta members and others came out over two wet miserable days to plant. What can you say to people with that sort of dedication - they are special to me and I thank them all for their support. I believe 1999 has been another successful year which has accomplished a great deal in our project area and achieved the desired educational outcomes from students and others who have taken part.

I would like to thank the following for their support:
Richard, District Ranger and Ron, Senior Ranger of the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (Lofty Region), Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Greg, Urban Forest Biodiversity program. Friends of Black Hill & Morialta, Young Friends of Black Hill & Morialta, Athelstone Lions, Campbelltown State Emergency, Natural History Society and Pembroke School. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the principals, staff, and parents of the Campbelltown, Thorndon Park, Newton and Athelstone Primary Schools for their continuing support and encouragement. In particular, I have valued the support & friendship of staff members Juris, our Project Manager, from Campbelltown Primary School, lan, Evonne, Thorndon Park Primary, Jasmin, Newton Primary, and Karen from Athelstone Primary. During Juris' absence during the 3rd term Elizabeth and Peter assisted with Campbelltown Primary students and I would like to thank them too for their support and contribution.

Funding is always a major problem and we never know from where funds will come for the next year's program. However, this year we were fortunate again, and indeed grateful, to be funded by the "Our Patch" Torrens Catchment Water Management Board. Change is sometimes not easy to embrace and two staff members from the Thorndon Park Primary School, who have been with our project from its inception, are moving on.lan is taking early retirement and Evonne has accepted a challenge teaching in the northern regions of the state. I wish them every success and happiness but will miss them both for they have been staunch supporters and good friends. I hope Thorndon Park Primary continues to support and remain a part of our team.

In conclusion, I thoroughly enjoyed the year's very busy, challenging program and I am proud of the young people, staff and others who are part of our team, promoting a healthy environment in the Black Hill Conservation Park. Our continuing efforts have been an exemplary demonstration and proof of our long term commitment to our local environment and our National Parks.

Graham Churchett - Project Coordinator


1998 Project Report

Our Patch project May 1998
Black Hill Ambers Gully Our Patch Project
May 1998
This year we welcomed Athelstone Primary School to our programe now making four schools participating in our project and during the past twelve months positive feedback from parents, staff and students from all four schools has been encouraging. Everyone has worked hard and can be pleased with their efforts with over 1,070 seedlings alone having been planted in all zones this year. A total of 4,633 plants have now been sited in all four zones since 1993. Our project area is quite large, it requires constant monitoring, and this year required extra attention due to the wet winter and resulting vigorous weed growth. Blackberry, Onion weed, Dog Rose, Artichoke, Fennel and Rice Millet grass are the main species plus a fig and an almond tree, growing from the tufa formation in Stage No2, which is proving a challenge.
Projct Sites
Stage No1.

Weed control has continued by spraying, and cut and swab by the coordinator, assisted by volunteers from the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta and Pembroe School, while valuable grubbing and hand weeding around plantings has been continued by students. In May additional plants were placed in this site and further tube stock has been sown for next year. Some earlier planings are several metres tall now and have set seed and this is encouraging for nature can commence its own revegetation processes. Fennel and Rice Millet grass still persists in some patches and will require our attention.

Our Patch project May 1998
Black Hill Ambers Gully Our Patch Project
May 1998

Stage No2.

More attention needs to be directed towards the control of Fennel and Tangier Pea, in particular the latter, as it spreads rapidly smothering other vegetation. Some small Blackberry plants will require attention and is has been nearly eliminated along the creek line. Valley slopes, where foxed have voided seeds of various weed species, need to be continually checked for weed outbreaks.

Stage No3.

The area is a Fuel Reduction Zone and no more planting is needed here.

In March this year the area was back burnt to control the advance of a deliberately lit fire in the Gorge Valley and as a consequence half of our plantings were destroyed. However, being quick to take advantage of the opportunity, we developed the site as a Fire Study area for our students so that they could observe the changes before and after the winter rains.

Lions Club helping May 1998
Lions Club Members help
May 1998

Stage No4.

Weeds here still pose a significant problem in the form of Blackberry, Prunus, Dog Rose, Fennel, Olive, Box Thorn, Bridal Creeper and Figs and year 10 students from Penbroke School have been working on some of these. In addition, Friends of Black Hill and Morialta members have spent additional time under the coordinator's supervision, cutting olives and other exotice species.

Another 846 plants were placed in this zone in May during our community planting day where 39 people joined in to help. My thanks to staff, students, parents, Friends members, Athelstone Lions and members of the community for a great effort.

Stopping for refreshments May 1998
Ambers Gully Our Patch Project
Stopping for refreshments May 1998

I believe that 1998 has been another successful year of Landcare with our team effort accomplishing a great deal in our project area and achieving he desired education outcomes from students and others who have taken part in our activities. This year we have received support from a number of organisations and individuals, and I would like to thank Richard, District Ranger and Ron, Senior Ranger of the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (Lofty Region), Rachel, Torrens Catchment Water Management Board, Greg, Urban Forest Biodiversity Program, Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, Young Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, Athelstone Lions and Pembroke School for their support.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the principals, staff and parents from the Campbelltown, Thorndon Park, Newton and Athelstone Primary Schools for their continuing support and encouragement.

Pembroke School planting May 1998
Pembroke Schools students
Planting, May 1998

In particular I have valued the support and friendship of staff members Juris, our Project Manager, from Campbelltown Primary School, Ian, Evonne, Thordon Park Primary, Jasmin (thanks for the sticky buns), Jessica, Newton Primary and Elizabeth from Athelstone Primary. Willing parents transporting students to and from the project area and study sites are essential to the project and I extend my thanks to your all for your important and continuing support.

Funding remains a major problem and I am hopeful that our enthusiatic team and supporters can raise the funds needed that will allow us to continue to promote the Landcare ethic in Campbelltown in 1999. This year we were fortunate indeed to be funded by the 'Our Patch' Torrens Catchment Water Management Board when our application for NHT funds were refused on the grounds that we were in a National Park. Their support and assistance through their project officer, Rachel, has been greatly apprrciated.

Graham - Project Coordinator


1997 Project Report

The year's programme seems to have gone by so quickly and we have achieved a great deal during the past twelve months. With repsect to the units presented, and the overall programme, positive feedback from parents, staff and students has been encouraging. This year we produced three "Landcare News" and were invited by KESAB to plant the gardens of the Athelstone Shopping Centre. In three visits we planted 500 plants and were heartened by the support from folk at the centre and support given by Dijana, the KESAB coordinator. It was also particularly pleasing that Dijana attended assemblies at the three schools present to present certificates to the students.

Project site - Stage 1
Weed control has continued by spraying, and cut and swab by the cooordinator, assisted by volunteers from Friends of Black Hill and Morialta and Pembroke School, while valuable grubbing and pulling activities around plantings has been continued by the students. In May an additional 35 plants were placed in this site and further tube stock is planned to be planted in 1997. I am particularly pleased with the growth and development of our earlier plantings for now they are producing seed and this will enhance the recovery of this section of the project area at a greater pace. Some Olive, Fennel, Radiata Pine and Rice Millet grass seed germination still persists and will have to be continually monitored.

Stage 2
Another 15 plants were put in this area and previous plantings are growing well. More attention needs to be directed toward the control of Fennel and other weeds, particularly those which smother vegetation and spread rapidly such as Tangier Pea and Bridal Creeper. Blackberry has nearly been eliminated along the creek line but the valley slopes, where foxes have voided seeds of various weed species, need to be checked for weed outbreaks.

Stage 3
We have completed planting in this zone but constant attention is needed to locate and remove various weed species and in particular, Olive and Radiata Pine.

Stage 4
Weeds here pose a potentially significant problem in the form of Blackberry, Prunus, Dog Rose, Fennel, Olive Boxthorn ad Figs.

Removal of these larger woody weeds is beyond the primary school students, however year 10 students from Pembroke School have given a considerable amount of time to this site, cutting and swabbing. In addtion, Friends members, Andrew and Philip have assisted coordinating Pembroke students and have spent additional time under the Project Coordinator's supervision cutting olives and other exotic species. Outcomes are realistic in this area and if we can follow up with more planting programmes throughout the coming years, and back-up with Landcare students weeding around plantings and collecting seed, we will have achived something worthwhile. Another 617 plants were paced in this zone in May.

From my point of view, as project coordinator, we have completed another successful year of Landcare, which has seen a great deal of work put into out project area and is a desired education outcome from the students and others who have taken part in our varied activities.

Throughout the year we have received support from a number of organisations and individuals and I would like to thank Richard, District Ranger, and ranger Ron from the Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (Lofty Region), Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, Young Friends of Black Hill and Morialta, National Parks Foundation of SA, SA National Parks Association, Athelstone Lions Club, Pembroke School and members of the community. This support is critical to the success of the overall project, especially now that we are running on a very tight budget and we need to look to raising further funds so that this programme can continue to not only educate students and the community from which they come but also bring together other groups and individuals in a worthwhile commng cause for our local environment.

The management of weed species and propagation of tube stock has a critical bearing on future outcomes and I would like to thank Lola for her valuable contribtion of plant stock.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the principals, staff and parents from the Campbelltown, Thorndon Park and Newton Primary Schools for their continuing support and encouragement, and in particular, I have valued the support and friendship of staff members such as Evonne (Thorndon Park Primary), Jasmin (thanks for the sticky buns! Newton Primary), and in particular Juris (Campbelltown Primary), for the extra support and help given to me and the programme throughout 1997. Willing parents transporting students to and from study sites are essential to the project. My thanks to you all for your continuing support.

In conclusion, funding still remains a major problem, but I am hopeful that with our enthusiastic team and supporters, we can raise the funds needed that will allow us to continue to promote the Landcare ethic in Campbelltown. I sincerely believe that our investment in the youth who take part in this programme will be amply returned as they grow and take their place in the community, and we can be justly proud of our collective team work and achievements. At the time of writing I have been advised that our project is one of the state finalists for a Landcare Award. To receive reconition is pleasing - but to be funded would mean the continuing of our work educating children along with the community and improvement of the environment and increased biodiversity in the Black Hill Conservation Park.

Graham - project coordinator


1996 Project Report

On the 26th May, students, friends, teacther, parents and Lions Club members gathered in Ambers Gully to attend to our yearly planting. This year we planted 526 trees, shrubs and ground covers in all four zones but because there had not been any reasonable rainfall prior to planting we had to carry water to all planting areas. Carting by hand heavt containers of water made the job ore difficult but everyone worked hard and we achieved our goal by lunchtime. Those who stayed for lunch enjoyed a well earned break with perfect weather, good fod and jovial company.

However, during the next week we were somewhat worried that if rain did not fall we would have to water out plantings. Fortunately, on the 1st June heavy rain fell and out fears were allayed.

My sincere thanks to all who helped on the day.

Graham - project coordinator

Taking a rest
Jan 1996
Taking a rest.
Ambers Cottage Ruin
February 1996 Ambers
cottage ruin.

1995 Project Report

Over two days, 20 and 21 May, children from the Paradise, Thorndon Park and Campbelltown Primary Schools, together with help from the Athelstone Lions, Friends of Black Hill and Morialta and the Campbelltown S.E.S. planted a magnificent total of 924 shrubs, trees and ground covers in stages 1, 2 and 3 of our project areas. Over 700 plants were placed in stag 3 and the remained were placed in stages 1 and 2.

This project commenced in March 1993 and with the above plantings a total of 1,892 seedlings have been planted with a high survival rate even in spite of the 1994 drought year.

Graham - project coordinator

Planting day
May 1995
Planting Day.
Tufa formation
July 1995 Water flows over the
Tufa formation.
Young Friends
July 2005 Ambers Gully
Pressing specimens.
Ambers Gully planting
August 1995 Ambers Gully
Planting.
Seed collection
November 1995 Ambers Gully
Seed collection.

1994 Project Report

On the 28th of May and the 5th of June, 37 students, parents and staff from the Campbelltown, Paradise and Thorndon Park Primary Schools, along with Friends members and supporters sited 718 plants, representing 10 species, in stages 1 and 2 of our project area. This now makes a total of 1068 plants for 1993 and 1994.

Many thanks to all who helped to make this such a successful occasion.

Graham - project coordinator

Campbelltown Primary
March 1994 Campbelltown Primary
Seed collection.
Thorndon Primary
May 1994 Thorndon Primary
Olive removal.
Ambers Gully planting
May 1994 Ambers Gully
Ranger Brent lends a hand.
Parents and Students planting
May 1994 Ambers Gully Collaborative
Schools Landcare Planting.
Ambers Gully planting
May 1994 Ambers Gully
Planting.
Parents and Students planting
May 1994 Ambers Gully Collaborative
Schools Landcare Planting.
Ambers Gully planting
May 1994 Ambers Gully
Planting.

1993 Project Report

Collaborative Schools Landcare
May 1993 Collaborative Schools Landcare
Weed removal.
Stopping for a break
May 1993 Ambers Gully
Stopping for a break.
Collaborative Schools Landcare
May 1993 Collaborative
Schools Landcare Planting.
Parents and Students planting
May 1993 Collaborative
Schools Landcare Planting.
Parents and Students planting
May 1993 Ambers Gully Collaborative
Schools Landcare Planting.

1990 Project Report

The removal of pines (non-heritage variety!) above Ambers Gully on 29th April 1990 was attended by four members and Ann's Japanese house guest. My 4WD was used to get us up to the top of the hill, but not all at once! Some isolated very large pines were ringbarked and many others cut down, but as you can probably guess, there are plenty left so don't feel disappointed if you missed out. A future group outing will likely be arranged to attend to a concentrated patch of medium sized trees.

Graham - project coordinator


19 April 2010 - minor formatting changes and corrections.

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