News and stories from Ginninderra Catchment Group

Quarterly Issue, April 2023

An Update from our Coordinator

As the street trees of Canberra slowly shift towards their autumn hues, we've been delighted (and relieved) with the recent rains to help keep our new native plantings healthy and reduce the risk of summer bushfires across the region. As we're moving into winter, it's great to see land managers undertake biomass reduction with several ecological burns scheduled across the region. 
Grant applications: In preparation for this coming year, our team has been busy developing grant project proposals with our member groups, across both the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate’s ACT Environment/Nature in the City Grants and the Transport Canberra and City Services Adopt-A-Park Grants programs. These have focused mainly on weed control projects, which have been an increasing issue over the last few years of La Nina weather.

Recruitment: We're currently in the process of recruiting a new Waterwatch Coordinator, with a new member of the team expected in the next few weeks. We are also looking to fill field officer positions, to assist our existing team to deliver our growing portfolio of on-ground restoration and education projects across the catchment. We have been amazed at the diverse interest in these positions, with many excellent candidates. Hopefully, by the next Grassroots, we can introduce the new members of our team!

We wish you all a happy and safe Easter break and school holidays.

Kat McGilp
Ginninderra Catchment Group Coordinator
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News from GCG

Stormwater stencilling - at a drain near you!
Excellent turnout at Kuringa Woodland Info Day.

Project Updates

Stormwater stencils: Now that our grant writing has slowed down and staff can get back to other projects, you may start to see ‘Only rain down the stormwater drain’ stencils at a drain near you. 

Building on a pre-Covid project, GCG is undertaking stencilling across shopping centres in Belconnen and Gungahlin. This is part of the ACT Government's wider H2OK program and hopes to get people thinking about what they put down the stormwater drains, which directly lead to our wetlands and creeks. 

The stencils we did in 2018 have all faded, so hopefully these new ones will last longer.

Kuringa Woodland Community Info Day: GCG were at the Kuringa Woodland Community Information Day on 18th February. Held by the Kuringa Woodland Landcare Group, as part of an Adopt-A-Park grant, the purpose was to introduce locals to this precious remnant Box Gum Grassy Woodland along Kuringa Drive through Fraser and Spence. Over 40 people came along and enjoyed informative walks about the birds and grassy woodlands (thankyou Canberra Ornithologists Group and Friends of Grasslands).

Hall Village Reserve Community Planting: Recently GCG joined the Village of Hall and District Progress Association and Hall Landcare Group to get some more plants in the ground as part of an ACT Nature in the City grant. Sixteen people came along and planted over 200 native pollinator and habitat plants in the newly created mulched garden beds at Hall Village Reserve. A huge thanks to everyone who participated, and to those who prepared the site for planting – huge effort!

Celebrate Gungahlin stall: GCG also had a stall at our first opportunity for the year at the Celebrate Gungahlin Sports and Wellbeing Expo on 10th February at Amaroo Playing Fields. Although it was a very blustery day, we spoke to about 60 children and their parents about frogs, helped largely by the rescued frogs that had been handed in that morning. 
The volunteer team at Hall Village Reserve Community Planting in March. Well done!
GCG and Landcare ACT stall at Celebrate Gungahlin expo.

Reporting back: Workshop on the Art of Public Speaking for Enviro Advocates

In March this year, some of our team at GCG were lucky enough to attend a fantastic workshop with experienced voice actor coach and wildlife carer, Charmian Gradwell, hosted by Julia Landford at NatureArt Lab.

This two-day workshop was crafted to build the participants' confidence to engage with audiences large or small, on screen or off, whilst delivering our messages powerfully and memorably. Charmian included training in techniques used by the ancient Greeks, and by many of our most successful actors, as well as business entrepreneurs and speakers.  

The team thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and has already had many opportunities to utilise their new communications skills with public education events and radio talks. We are looking forward to an opportunity to participate in this workshop again and build on our learnings from Charmian's incredible experience and skill-sharing.

Thank you to Jo Clay MLA for her personal support with this workshop.
Public speaking workshop buddies: Kat McGilp (GCG), Stephanie Brooker (participant), Anke Maria Hoefer (GCG), Fiona Spier (GCG), Charmian Gradwell (coach), Julia Landford (NatureArt Lab).

Waterwatch Update

Launch of CHIP 2022 report at Dickson Wetland.
CHIP report: Celebrating World Water Day on 22nd March, Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch launched its annual Catchment Health Indicator Program (CHIP) report for 2022. This report provides a health score for the Upper Murrumbidgee rivers and wetlands using data collected by volunteers.

The 2022 report found ACT waterways are the healthiest they've been since the report began nine years ago - possibly due to all the waterflows in recent years flushing out pollutants. But with all the waterflow also came erosion, particularly in rural catchments, highlighting the importance of revegetating our waterways.

These yearly reports are a mighty effort from a lot of people. A huge thank you to all the 200+ Waterwatch volunteers who diligently collected data on water quality across 237 sites. And thank you to the FrogWatch volunteers for their work in the 2022 FrogTober frog census - the key findings of which are also published in this report.

Thank you also to Shane Rattenbury MLA, Minister for Water, for launching the report at Dickson Wetland.

Thank you and farewell to Woo: We would like to extend our gratitude to Woo O'Reilly, the outstanding coordinator of the Upper Murrumbidgee Waterwatch program for over a decade. Woo has been a passionate proponent of citizen science and community-government collaboration in the Waterwatch program, and a dedicated promoter of catchment health improvement initiatives throughout the region. It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Woo as she embarks on a new chapter in her career.

FrogWatch Update

Frog census reports released!
What are you doing for Save the Frogs Day?
Frog census reports: Looking for a good read? Check out the 2021 and 2022 frog census reports - hot off the (online) press and jam-packed with good news stories. Amazing what a bit of rain can do!

FrogWatch on Canberra Nature Map: Finally, the big FrogWatch bang! Our data portal is becoming a fully-fledged part of the Canberra Nature Map (CNM) over the coming months. Being a part of CNM rather than a bespoke project will streamline data entry and include us in all program updates. This provides the best protection of froggy data and a responsive and fast portal.

Frog habitat, penthouse style: Australian TikToker @unknowndazza has gone viral with videos showing his development of an upmarket frog hotel, which is much appreciated by lots of other wildlife, too. Unfortunately, this type of frog real estate only works for frogs with toepads made for climbing, and is no good for the vast majority of frogs in Canberra’s urban landscape. Most of our frogs are ground-dwellers, without toepads, so wouldn't be able to climb up to the house! Bother. Nevertheless, here's an article about Frodrick's house for your reading pleasure.

Out of office: Between Easter and mid-July, the FrogWatch office is going to be un-womanned as FrogWatch Coordinator Anke Maria Hoefer will be on her much anticipated Long Service Leave. For any pressing froggy questions while she is cycling through Europe, just ring the office and the team will do their best to help you out.

Save the Frogs Day, 28th April: Don’t forget to celebrate Save the Frogs Day! This annual event is to raise awareness for frogs and their plight globally. You could organise a Save the Frogs Day activity, like a morning tea at work, a walk with friends to your favourite wetland or pond, or a fun-run around the lake. Find more ideas and info at the Save the Frogs Day website. If you are holding a public event, please let our comms officer know ( so we can share it on social media.


Canberra Nature Map ACT Priority Weeds - please report!

Check out Canberra Nature Map for 42 species of weed and pest species that pose a significant threat to ACT's plants, animals and fungi. 

These plants have not yet been established widely across the ACT, however, they pose a significant threat to our local biodiversity if they do.

Early detection and reporting of any new outbreaks are critical to ensure we keep these pest species under control.

Upload your observations to Canberra Nature Map!


Mulching leaves: Helping our waterways and your garden at the same time!

Did you know that one of the major sources of pollution in our local waterways is fallen leaves? With all the deciduous trees planted in Canberra, the excess nutrients from fallen leaves throughout autumn get washed down our street drains and into our local creeks and lakes. These excess nutrients can lead to reducing water quality and even toxic algae blooms.

You can improve our waterways by collecting fallen leaves from around your property and using them as mulch for garden beds. Mulching is great because:
  • Mulched areas will have greater water infiltration and reduce stormwater runoff
  • Mulching adds insulation to protect against heavy frosts
  • Mulch provides a habitat for our local insects and reptiles.
Find out more ways to keep our waterways healthy.

Volunteer Group Updates

Moncrieff Landcare Group

Welcome to Moncrieff! We planted up the beds.
Planting along the path from Moncrieff to Taylor.
The Moncrieff Landcare Group is currently a small group with 10 members. Moncrieff is fortunate to have considerable land reserves and parks. The group meets on the first Sunday of the month for several hours and pick up rubbish in the reserves. Outside of this, with the support of TCCS, we have planted a considerable number of trees in the various reserves. We also undertake gardening as there are a number of large public gardens in the suburb with weeds being a major problem for us.

In May 2022 we were successful in getting an Adopt-A-Park grant to install two gardens adjacent to the main suburb sign and undertake tree plantings along the walking path from the main sign through to Taylor. The gardens have been established, but we have more tree plantings to go. We've spent considerable time watering the gardens from a nearby pond, but we're pleased to say we haven't lost a plant yet! We had a lot of issues with the cockatoos, but we are managing to 'live' with them. 

Several members of the group do lots of work outside of the first Sunday of the month. There is always plenty of work to do!

If you would like to know more about Moncrieff Landcare or to join in with our activities, you can contact Selwyn at or 0435 010 358.

Jarramlee Park Landcare Group, Dunlop

Planting out native flax and bush foods.
Our beautiful Jarramlee Pond.
Working bees: Over the past year, Jarramlee Park Landcare Group has concentrated work in reducing overgrowth within group planted sites and the original plantings in the floodway running into Jarramlee Pond. This included clearing out the overhanging and dead bushes to enable mowers to work inaccessible areas in the upper floodway. This will allow surviving plants to prosper and grow. With the process of thinning out, we have commenced mulching sites around well-used public sections around Jarramlee Pond. The group undertook a planting of native flax and bush food plants in a newly cleared location in the Jarramlee Pond floodway. 

Infrastructure improvements: The group secured grant funding to install a picnic table in a location local families use in a grassed sloping area south of Jarramlee Pond. We also applied for a grant to move existing seating from its unsafe location below a large gumtree to a more open and accessible location. Two pedestal signs were included in the grant and these are in the process of having artwork designed, ready for printing, delivery and installation by group members. Another grant through the government’s Adopt-A-Park scheme has allowed additional removal of established woody weeds on the north side of Jarramlee Pond by a contractor.

Surveys: With the survey of flowering bushes, trees and forbs completed covering the Jarramlee Park area, plans are afoot to include a survey of grasses. We are presently undertaking another bird survey on the back of many selective years over the last 23 years. Fauna is included in a long-term survey which aims to log wildlife found in the Jarramlee Park area as reported by group and the participating public.

Live in Dunlop? Want to join in with our activities? Follow Jarramlee Park Landcare's Facebook Page and find out how.

Higgins Landcare Group

Patches of remnant grasslands - an exciting find in the middle of suburbia.
We love wildlife, but seriously guys, please stop trashing our new plantings!
As a new and enthusiastic landcare group, Higgins Landcare has been on a steep learning curve about the practical realities of urban landcare, including learning more about our native flora and invasive weeds. Under the guidance of a local ecologist, we have commenced regular monthly working bees where our focus has been on pulling/digging out St John's Wort, Fleabane, African Love Grass and Chilean needlegrass, as well as the usual wet weather exotic grasses. Some members also weed during the week, which has been incredibly helpful in reducing the biomass of invasive grasses.

GCG and the ACT Government helped us put on a small community planting day in November last year. Unfortunately, since then, many of the shrubs we planted were vandalised by cockatoos. Another learning experience! One member has constructed some wire (fully OH&S compliant) plant guards to keep the blighters off the leftover replacement shrubs.

In February, we hosted a visit by the Friends of Grasslands (FoG), who were delighted by the patch of remnant grassland and the number of grassland species that they saw across the wider park. Over the next few months, we hope to better share our newly-gained knowledge of the ecological values of our protected grassy woodland with the local community. Our efforts have resulted in a couple of new helpers. Hooray!

Like the Brazel/Hudson Street park, Higgins Landcare is a work-in-progress. Still, we have dreams and enthusiasm. Tester park box-gum African Love Grass woodland anyone?

Check out the Higgins Landcare Facebook Page for news and upcoming events. We'd love to see you!

Friends of Flea Bog Flat, Bruce

One of our guided walks. Join us...
Weeding, weeding, weeding!
Last year Friends of Flea Bog Flat started implementing the recommendations of our grant-funded Biodiversity Management Plan, which has meant weeding, weeding and more weeding. Our focus has been on highly invasive weeds such as Blackberry and Honeysuckle, as well as African Love Grass which spreads along our tracks, but we’ve also tackled other woody and herbaceous weeds. St John’s Wort was prolific this year but with a few work parties and dedicated solo work by three volunteers we managed to manually remove around 90%. 

We’ve all also enjoyed another good wildflower season, especially bulbine and chocolate lilies, bitter cryptandra and yam daisies.

We joined with Friends of Gossan Hill to hold well-attended bird and wildflower walks on both sites, led by Chris Davey and Dr Catherine Ross respectively. Three of our volunteers also led a National Trust Heritage walk, focusing on the Old Weetangera Road and the block’s natural and cultural values. We’re always excited to show off Flea Bog Flat and have hosted visits by Friends of Grasslands, ACT Government ecologists and NRM staff, and talked weed management with TCCS’s Dan Patterson. Many thanks to Dan for arranging the respraying of our mammoth Blackberry and Honeysuckle patches, and to coordinator Allan Mclean for carting away some large dumped items.

Want to join in? Follow Friends of Flea Bog Flat on our Facebook Page.

Emu Creek Landcare Group, Belconnen

2022 Floriade display at Emu Creek. 2023 display in the works!
Spikey Hakea - protection for little birds once it gets bigger. 
Another Floriade, things growing, life, bugs returning. 2022 saw another great Floriade display at the corner of Hennessy Street and Renny Place, Belconnen, and the beds are now being prepared for another 1000 bulbs and other plants for the 2023 display. Great work Geoff – who also keeps the verges there and the paths through the plantings mown. 

Things are growing. The continuing La Nina helped the plantings to flourish, with Eucalypts now over 6 metres high, and groundcovers spreading. The spikey Hakea pictured above is lovely, and may one day provide protection for little birds.

With the plantings, animals are returning. The tiny but spectacular Hop-bush leaf beetle (photo below) only occurs on Hop-bushes, some of which have been planted at Emu Creek. For more pictures of life here, see Emu Creek on Canberra Nature Map

We had a number of corporate groups come and help. Some of the participants had been here previously and were delighted to see the results of their earlier efforts. Ken Hodgkinson helped us identify grasses. 
There will be a lot happening around Emu Creek in the coming year. The plans for the Wetland on Belconnen Oval are progressing. This will create a much larger ecologically rich area here, as will the Connecting Nature Connecting Community project on the Emu Creek site.
Great work by all the volunteers and also by everyone who was part of the consultation for the Wetland.

You're very welcome to come along to one of our regular meetups. Find out more by joining the Emu Creek Landcare Facebook Group.
Hop-bush leaf beetle - tiny but spectacular!
Ken Hodgkinson helping us identify grasses.

Consultations, Campaigns and Surveys

2023-24 ACT Budget Consultation

The annual Budget consultation process is one of the ways that Canberrans, community groups and local organisations can have a say on how and where the ACT Government should invest to boost services and infrastructure, as well as how we ensure a fair and sustainable base to fund this.

You are welcome to complete a survey or provide a budget submission - find out more on YourSay. This year's budget survey closes 28 April 2023. The budget submission process will remain open indefinitely and will inform future budgets.

Ginninderry Conservation Corridor Management Plan Review

The Ginninderry Conservation Corridor Management Plan 2018-2023 is set for review, and the Ginninderry Conservation Trust invites you to provide your feedback about what’s important to you about the Corridor and any issues and opportunities you would like considered. Provide your input

ACT Pathway to Electrification

The ACT Government needs your help to design a regulation for the prevention of new residential and commercial gas network connections, so we can make sure the regulation considers the impacts of a change like this for ACT homes, businesses, industry and community groups. Have your say by 20th April 2023.

Namadgi National Park Plan of Management Review

ACT Government is seeking community views on a Review of the Namadgi National Park Plan of Management 2010 and providing an opportunity for the community to identify issues that should be considered in the development of a new management plan. Have your say by 14th May 2023.

Feral horses in the Australian Alps

The Australian Government is undertaking an inquiry into the impacts and management of feral horses in the Australian Alps. They will be taking particular reference to biodiversity, indigenous cultural heritage, water quality, Commonwealth powers with regards to environmental protection laws, state and territory laws, ands repair and restoration of habitat. Make a submission by 11th April 2023.

Other Consultations of Interest

Find more opportunities to have your say at the ACT Government YourSay Conversations website, ACT Government Inquiries and DA Finder for development applications.

Survey: Community perceptions of snakes and snake catching services

The purpose of this ANU research project is to explore perceptions of snakes in the community. This short 4-minute questionnaire is designed to explore how people think and feel about snakes, and how they interact with them when they are encountered. Take the survey

Other Surveys of Interest

Protect the Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon

Nature in Canberra and Australia is in trouble. Right here our precious Canberra Grassland Earless Dragon is under threat due to a proposed road set to destroy its habitat. Canberra Airport Group have all the approvals they need to clear grassland for its new proposed ‘Northern Road.’ Call on decision makers to protect the Canberra Dragon.

Dear Tanya, don't go soft on soft plastics

With industry and government now admitting that Australia is in danger of not reaching its 2025 targets - they are on notice to take action. But will they?

You can help by sending an email to the Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek using the email template here


Friends of Grasslands 2023 Small Grassy Ecosystem Grants

Friends of Grasslands (FoG) is again offering a small number of grants of up to $1500 each for projects that promote the understanding, conservation, and management of native grassy ecosystems. Any individual or organisation can apply.

The project can involve education, research, surveys, monitoring, citizen science, on-ground work or training, publications (physical or electronic), advocacy or policy development, publicity and awareness raising, collaboration and networking, Indigenous engagement, or other forms of communication. 

Find out more and apply by Friday 21 April 2023.

Canberra Birds Conservation Fund Grants

The Canberra Birds Conservation Fund was developed by Canberra Ornithologists Group to intake and disperse donations to assist with bird conservation across the ACT. Applications for amounts of up to $5,000 are invited. Find out more and apply any time of year.

Ginninderry Grants Programs 2023/24

Applications for Ginninderry's 2023/24 grants programs are now open and our team are on the lookout for opportunities to build capacity, encourage participation and support initiatives that promote partnerships and collaborations that strengthen our community: 
  • Community Grants: Totalling $10,000, funding will support projects that facilitate community development initiatives within Ginninderry.
  • Sponsorship Grants: Totalling $50,000, funding will support sponsorship opportunities in the Capital Region that fall broadly under three key areas - community support and development, environment and sustainability and industry partnerships.
Find out more and apply by 5pm, 5th May 2023.

Other Grants

Find more grants at the ACT Government grants website and the Australian Government grants website.

Media and Appearances

Umbagong bridges upgrade gets underway

Chris Steel MLA media release, 14th March 2023: Construction is starting on the new Umbagong Park bridge upgrades today after a safety audit revealed the popular running and walking bridges needed replacement... “I would like to thank the local community, including members of the Belconnen Community Council, the Umbagong Landcare Group and the Ginninderra Catchment group for their assistance in the design process, to make sure we can rebuild this fantastic community asset following the neccessary decommissioning of the previous bridges for safety reasons." Read the media release

In Other News  

2021-2022 ParkCare Annual Report

Well done on a wonderful year, ParkCarers! ACT Parks and Conservation Service have told GCG that the program has already achieved significant milestones for 2022-2023, and we're all looking forward to seeing more great things to come.

Check out the 2021-2022 ParkCare Annual Report (pdf), or find out more about ParkCaring.

Canberra Tree Week,  29 Apr - 7 May 2023

Canberra Tree Week celebrates the many benefits of the trees that make up the Canberra landscape. Find out what's happening near you in the Tree Week calendar.

Enter Crace Landcare's Tree Week competition!

Send a love letter to your favourite tree in Crace and you could win a $200 hamper from Supabarn Farmer's Market! Post a pic and words of love to your favourite Crace tree by 26 April at Crace Landcare's FB Group - the post with the most likes wins!

Tree Week Event at Crace - Sat 29 April, 10am-12pm

Join Crace Landcare outside Crace Supabarn for -- FREE face painting -- FREE craft & succulent pot making for kids -- FREE native tube stock stall -- GET $1 OFF any cold or hot non-alcoholic drinks at The District. See you there!

Webinar: A Biodiversity Network for the ACT
Wed 26th Apr, 5.30pm

The Conservation Council’s Biodiversity Working Group and Friends of Grasslands have co-authored a paper that proposes part of the solution to protecting and enhancing the ACT’s remaining natural places: The Biodiversity Network. 

Did you miss the paper’s launch? Then join this webinar to hear from a panel all about the Biodiversity Network, including: 
  • How and why protection of biodiversity is currently failing across the ACT
  • The benefits of the Biodiversity Network
  • How the Biodiversity Network can be implemented in the ACT, and the opportunity presented by the current Planning Reform for biodiversity conservation.
Register for the webinar

Sign up to become a Bush Bud!

Adopt a Bush Bud to learn about the nature that makes our region so special and commit to its protection. With over 30 buds to choose from, you’re sure to find someone that you get along with!

After befriending them you will be invited to attend a walk with a local expert to connect with nature and learn more about your new Bush Bud. You’ll also receive updates about opportunities to take the next steps in advocating for your Bush Bud!

ABC Webinar: Can documentaries help save the planet?
Mon 17th Apr, 12pm-1pm

In support of the ABC's upcoming slate of incredible natural history documentaries, come along online for a panel conversation to discuss some of the urgent conservation solutions needed to address the biodiversity crisis. 

The documentaries highlight the importance of protecting ecosystems, ocean and waterway conservation, the plight of migratory shore birds, platypus conservation, climate change, habitat loss and the biodiversity crisis.

The briefing will outline how we can ignite a broader conversation as the documentaries go to air.

Find out more and register


On behalf of the Ginninderra Catchment Group and community Lnadcre volunteers, we would like to thank Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) for support through the Adopt-A-Park Grants, and also thanks to ACT Heritage ACT for their support through the ACT Heritage Grants Program.
Thanks to the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) and ACT NRM for supporting our organisation with core funding under the Community Stewardship and Environmental Education Program (2021 - 2024), as well as support for Landcare work through the ACT Environment and Nature in the City Grants Program.
Also thanks to EPSDD for funding additional on-ground projects through this round of ACT Environment and Nature in the City grants. 

Thank you to all our local MLAs across Ginninderra and Yerrabi, who continuously support GCG and our members. And to our federal MPs Alicia Payne and Andrew Leigh for their support across the Canberra and Fenner electorates.

To all the members of the GCG and our dedicated group convenors, we would like to express our heartfelt appreciation for your unwavering commitment to restoring and preserving the natural habitats of the Ginninderra Catchment and the rest of Australia through Landcare. Your work is truly making a positive impact on our world, and we are grateful for your efforts.

Want to get involved in Landcare?

There are lots of groups in the Ginninderra Catchment keen to have you on board! Habitat restoration, waterway protection, weed management, tree planting and cultural site maintenance are just a few of the activities you can join in with.

You’ll find a warm welcome within the Landcare community!

Find a group near you

Not in the Ginninderra Catchment? Find other groups in the ACT region
Have questions? Please email Ginninderra Catchment Group at and we'll do our best to help.

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