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Photo L to R: Jess Gardner from Greening Australia on the WAMA site ready to sow the seed with Ange Turrell WAMA Company Secretary, Jallukar Project Officer and Deputy Chair

NATIVE GRASSLANDS PLANTING COMMENCES

WAMA has partnered with Jallukar Landcare and Greening Australia, to develop a 1.6-hectare native grasslands area on the WAMA site.

 The prepared area has been direct seeded today with over 55 different species of native grasses and wildflowers, many of which have been collected and propagated by Jallukar Landcare within the Grampians region over the past 3 years.

 “This project is the first of many to come as part of the Jallukar Landcare Group’s Native Grasslands Revegetation Project to restore and revegetate the grasslands within the region to a more natural landscape, that contributes to the conservation of the Grampians unique biodiversity.” says Ange Turrell, WAMA Company Secretary, Jallukar Project Officer and Deputy Chair.

“There is as little as 1 per cent of native grasslands left in Victoria, meaning that grasslands are one of our most endangered ecosystems within the state.”

The WAMA site was chosen for the initial project due to its accessibility to the general public and having an open area that can be revegetated.  With the recent installation of a vermin proof fence around the whole 16-hectare WAMA site, the grassland will have optimum opportunity to thrive without the threat of animals looking for feed.

The project is driven by a strong volunteer workforce and partnership between Jallukar Landcare Group, The Australian Plant Society (Grampians) and Greening Australia who have provided expertise and guidance throughout the project. Funding to conduct the revegetation of the site was received from the Wimmera CMA’s Landcare Grants Program.

Greening Australia’s Senior Ecologist, Jess Gardner was on the WAMA site today to commence the revegetation process with sowing the native seed.

“To enable grassland restoration works in this region the initial focus of this project has been around addressing seed supply and community capacity to undertake works,” says Jess 

Plant identification, seed collection and propagation workshops have been held with participants, enabling them to collect seed from their own properties to contribute to the project.  To ensure the quality of seed utilised, a significant amount of seed was also produced in a community-run seed production nursery in Pomonal, with in ground production areas also established and harvested on private land. 

Jess says that everyone involved is very excited to see the roll out of the first on-ground works made possible by this effort.

“We are fortunate that in the Grampians we have a small number of sites with a rich diversity of plants and seed that we could collect and propagate to make this project happen,” says Ange

 “The Jallukar Landcare Group were very proud to be recognised for the Native Grasslands Revegetation Project by winning the 2019 Victorian Landcare Environmental Volunteer Award.”

“This project is a fantastic example of local people and groups coming together to collaborate, share expertise and support one another to achieve a common goal.  With all of us working together we have every chance of this program being a great success.”  

 The Grasslands Project forms part of the $6 million master plan for the 16-hectare WAMA site.

Photo L to R: Jess Gardner from Greening Australia on the WAMA site ready to sow the seed with Ange Turrell WAMA Company Secretary, Jallukar Project Officer and Deputy Chair