Sunday 6 March 2016 was Clean Up Australia Day. Landcare groups and other volunteers around the region – and around the country – put on their gloves, boots, hats, and hi-vis vests, and headed out to clean up their local patch. Below are some of their stories.
If you live in the Riverina and would like to add an account of your own Clean Up Day efforts to those below, please contact Kimberley via firstname.lastname@example.org
Coolamon Landcare Group
Clean Up Australia Day was off to an early start in Coolamon’s Kindra Forest last Sunday where 20 participants armed themselves with clean up bags ready for the fray…
The group planned to make an attack at three main sites: where a large quantity of glass had accumulated at an old, very large campsite; discarded fencing materials at the southern boundary; and the Lewis Street roadside precinct.
Coolamon Landcare leader, Bill Pippen set a fine example with 16 Prickly Pear plants collected south of the fire trail in close proximity to the entrance gates. Bill thought this outbreak may have been the result of illegal dumping due to the close proximity of the site to the urban area and the gates. Coral Sheather (right) did an excellent job checking on registration and bag distribution while Laura Morrissey (centre) was responsible for First Aid and hydration of volunteers.
The two James’ – Mills and Campbell- did a deal of hard yacka loading a trailer full of old fencing materials and barbed wire with a very interesting report of an unusual find. James Mills, who is also a member of the Wagga Wires Group, reported convincing evidence of the presence of Wombats in the forest. The relative isolation of this particular area, and the strong understorey coverage on a rocky hillside terrain would certainly provide an ideal habitat for wombats.
Bill Pippen confirmed his conviction that Echidnas are still present in the forest, supported with stories from the Berry family who used to return the forest callers when they ventured across the road to their garden. Visitors are reminded to look for signs of Echidna following rains when evidence is visible on the many ants nests around the fire trail (but don’t stand still for too long). Holly Moynihan who helped to serve the lunch on Clean Up Day was delighted to be able to relate that her photo was taken in the forest with an Echidna when she was a little girl.
~Information & photos supplied by Jeanette Campbell, secretary of Coolamon Landcare Group
Narrandera Landcare Group
A total of 27 volunteers, ranging in age from several Primary School students to one 90-year-old, gathered outside Narrandera’s Tiger Moth Memorial at 8:30am to sign-in and bag-up on Clean Up Australia day. The group then split forces to tackled multiple sites around town, including the watertower, Town Beach, Brewery Flat, Old Wagga Road, and the Mad Mile.
Unusual finds included a car seat, a canoe paddle (not so strange, except that it was found beside the railway line, well away from roads or river!), and a large pile of old irrigation piping that had been dumped near Town Beach. The volunteers who found these would like to remind Narrandera residents that the tip is free and open six days a week.
By 11am three large trailer loads of rubbish (an estimated 8 cubic metres in total), had been collected, and transported to the tip. The volunteers refreshed themselves with fruit, water and cake, courtesy of the local Coles supermarket and the baking talents of some of the volunteers.
~ Information and photos supplied by Kimberley Beattie, publicity officer for Narrandera Landcare Group
Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group
Ten volunteers from Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group got stuck in at Flowerdale Lagoon and filled a 3 cubic metre skip bin, and an additional 18 large Clean Up Australia Day garbage bags.
Eleven other sites around Wagga Wagga were cleaned up by other groups of volunteers, including 25 volunteers at one site on Kooringal Road, and 22 school groups, who held clean up days on Friday 4 March.
~ Information courtesy of Ed Maher, and the Daily Advertiser. Photos courtesy of Ed Maher and Ros Prangnell, members of Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group
According to the official Clean Up Australia Day website, in 2016 a reported 682,245 volunteers removed an estimated 16,657.4 tonnes from 7,117 registered locations.