Grassroots support

CREATING CHANGE: Conservation and Land Management tutor Kathy Bell (centre) with Millicent High School students Zoe and Mikisha. Picture: MOUNT GAMBIER CITY COUNCIL

COMMUNITY groups, organisations and individuals can now apply for the Limestone Coast Landscape Board’s latest Grassroot Grant program.

Through a funding pool of $250,000, the board will strive to support innovative and exciting ideas on how to successfully manage the Limestone Coast landscape.

Board chair Penny Schulz said the Grassroots Grant program was an important element in the Landscape SA reform agenda, which ensures there is more funding opportunities for local communities dedicated to enhancing the region’s landscape.

The 2020/21 funding stream supported 16 projects ranging from a trial of large-scale feral deer trapping, through to a cultural connection program at Millicent High School.

The Wine Grape Council of South Australia Incorporated was supported in its establishment of new demonstration sites in the Coonawarra region to showcase the use of native insectary plants in and around vineyards, while Beachport District Development Association Inc was awarded funding to develop a Spiny Rush management program for Lake George.

Mount Gambier City Council received more than $30,000 through the inaugural funding round to undertake weed control measures in the vicinity of the Crater Lakes area in line with the Crater Lakes Conservation Management Plan.

Limestone Coast students are involved in the conservation and land managements activities around the Crater Lakes, including Millicent High School students who are learning cut and swab techniques to remove weed plants and small self-sown wild pines located along the slopes of the saddle.

Eight students involved in the Conservation and Land Management Pathways program are receiving hands-on training under the guidance of council’s Valley Lakes Conservation Park coordinator Orazio Cultreri to complete the weeds and chemical handling component of the course.

“The focus of this program is to develop the student’s awareness of the environment, flora and fauna, soil and weeds and Work Health and Safety,” Mr Cultreri said.

“Given the majority of the weeds in the area are woody shrubs, the students will apply the cut and swab method of weed control using hand saws.”

Students will also learn the importance of controlling feral weeds to protect the natural vegetation within the Crater Lakes.

“Controlling weeds around the conservation area is very important so it does not impact on the ecology of the conservation park,” Mr Cultreri said.

“The weeds compete for light, water and soil nutrition and the woody weed plants/shrubs may impact on nesting behaviour of our native birds and impact food sources for our native animal.”

Applications for the next Grassroot Grant funding round close April 19.

Visit to apply.