Local projects awarded $220K in Grassroots Grants
Twenty eight innovative and practical environmental projects have received a total of $220,000 in Grassroots Grants from the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board.
Board chair David Greenhough said applicants came from a broad cross-section of the community, including not-for-profit organisations, individual landholders, agricultural industry bodies, schools and volunteer groups.
“The quality and diversity of applications has been impressive, showing a keen interest in improving our environment with local targeted activities. I thank everyone who applied,” he said.
The annual Grassroots Grants program, which commenced this year as part of the Landscape SA reform process, offers the community an opportunity to apply for funding to improve the management of natural and productive landscapes at the local level.
Among the recipients, the Echunga Community Association will use its grant to rehabilitate areas of Echunga Creek within the Mt Barker Council area. The project aims to transform this weedy degraded area into a community park with a thriving ecosystem for the benefit of nature and people.
Aboriginal consultancy Tribal Expertise Facility has received a grant to produce a guide to Aboriginal knowledge and values in the Fleurieu Swamps, focussing on particular local plants and animals.
“First Nations peoples have a wealth of knowledge about our natural environment and this guide will share some of that insight with the broader community,” Mr Greenhough said.
McLaren Vale Biodiversity Project will use its grant to restore and create habitat on vineyards with the help of 500 volunteers, aiming to plant 6000 seedlings across six hectares of land. Native vegetation supports vine health by attracting beneficial bugs, birds and bats as a non-chemical way to control pests.
A grant provided to the Goolwa Coastcare Group will help the group weed and restore some of the last remaining coastal vegetation in the area, involving significant volunteer input.
Encounter Lutheran College will revegetate four hectares with Sedge Grass to provide habitat for the threatened Sedge Skipper Butterfly, weeding, planting native species and installing signs to educate students, teachers and community.
“These projects will support the valuable work of volunteer organisations, schools, landholders and community groups to deliver important landscape management activities. I wish everyone good luck with their projects and I look forward to seeing the results of these great ideas,” Mr Greenhough said.
Photo: A Grassroots grant to Encounter Lutheran College in Victor Harbor will help students restore habitat for a rare butterfly. Credit: Encounter Lutheran College.