Out-going Presidents Report.

Proo Pyke September 2007

Members have been involved in a wide variety of activities this year. Starting with the annual Ptilotus count, I think all of us were surprised to find any, given the extraordinarily dry conditions.

This was followed by the enormously successful Beyond Smoke Festival thanks to the very hard work of two of our members, Margo and David.

There have been several very enjoyable threatened species activities despite some inclement weather and rather varied success in finding the sought – for species. So, thanks to Sylvia for organising these.

The “Thin Green Line” film night was successful and raised around $150 to support rangers injured in their line of work across the world.

We have had several information sessions; weed spotting, the fire operations plan 07/08 and research into the fire response of grass trees in the Mount Zero area. We were also invited to make a presentation to the Parliamentary Enquiry into Bush Fires, which Margo and I duly attended with some trepidation. We seemed to be well received and felt the points we made were listened to.

The printing of our new membership brochure was exciting and hope it will attract some new members to the group. Thanks to Frank, we now have a very friendly to use Web Site which we hope members will become familiar with, and that it will become an important means of communicating within the group.

Stan generously agreed to become President of FOGG at our AGM and I wish him as much enjoyment as I had in the position. We all agreed at the meeting that it was important for the health of the group that the positions of responsibility are shared around. So we hope members will consider seriously offering to take on the positions of treasurer, secretary or newsletter editor next year. We try to ensure these jobs are not too onerous and it is a good way to get to know and influence the work of FOGG.

I’m very pleased to report that Graham has been given funding to appoint a team of ten to continue work on restoring tracks in the park and that he is fairly confident that it will be possible to do the restoration work necessary for the Red Gum Walk during the year 2008.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their help and support over the last two years, especially Kathy , Margo, Dot and Stan.

October 20 TSG Glycine latrobeana (Clover Glycine)

in the Black Range State Park. There were only 3 attendees in total. There are a good number of plants at the location, but disappointing that the majority are not flowering yet. Just as we were finishing up, we located a couple of plants with flowers.(Sylvia did take a Photograph of the flower) If we are to get seeds for the Seed Bank it will need a few more visits to monitor the site.
Stan Parfett.

October 5-9 Halls Gap Wildflower and Arts Show.

Strictly speaking, not a FOGG activity, but one which could not work without the invaluable efforts of FOGG members, including non Halls Gap folk. Once again a successful show. Attendances were down on last year, which we expected as last year there was tremendous interest for the first Spring after the fires, but still satisfactory. However the future of the show is under discussion. How relevant is it? Are we asking too much of a small bunch of volunteers? Can we make it less work while still making it worth visiting? Your feedback is welcome .
Our theme this year was the six seasons of Gariwerd, with once again a delightful mural by Ken Woodcock explaining the six seasons in word and picture. We had over 150 named specimens on display , despite the restricted collection area since the fire, art and craft works, books, children’s activities, excursions, educational displays from the Catchment management Authority, Rock Wallaby Recovery Group, Weed spotters, Threatened Species Group.

September 22: AGM. and Red Gum walk inspection.

Twelve people attended this day. We had hoped we could have started on planning restoration but we have not been successful in getting a community grant, so instead we discussed how to proceed.
Proo is following up our unsuccessful grant application. If Parks are not willing to help how will FOGG maintain walk? Risk assessment is a big task; approx 50-80 trees need to be removed. Suggestion made to just upkeep picnic area & table for the time being. Use could be made of pre & post fire photos together with aboriginal interpretation to keep area viable. Plans on hold, awaiting further clarification. A report on our AGM and general meeting follows.

September 20. TSG Briggs Bluff.

Search for the small-leaf wax flower (_Philotheca difformis subsp difformis_).

A beautiful Spring day (or should I say Petyan) for a group to explore below Briggs Bluff looking for this plant. Unfortunately we had no success. However we did find quite a few specimens of the also rare endemic Downy Star Bush, which we logged; plus enjoying the beauty of the many “common” Grampians flowers.

Some photos from the day:

Community Weed-spotter training

WEED SPOTTING – the latest sport ?
Kathy McDonald. August 15 activity follow up

DPI & DSE have recently created a Weed Alert Programme to focus on new and emerging weeds in the environment.

“ … if we can prevent serious new weed introductions or identify and eradicate new infestations early then it is significantly cheaper and less time consuming than waiting until the weeds cover a large area”.

Weed Spotters can be anyone with an interest in plants including gardeners, farmers, teachers, students, members of community groups … Training activities & publications will be made available to anyone interested in identifying & collecting plants that may pose potential threats to our environment whether it be on public or private land eg. roadsides, parks, cemeteries, rubbish dumps, bushland, farmland and even nurseries. Larger towns & cities are not exempt from unwanted weed invasion. A Weed Alert Contact Officer or WACO will report findings and field information to the national Herbarium. The efforts of Weed Spotters are keenly sought by the Departments to help monitor the potential threat of weed invasion. For more information visit the website www.dpi.vic.gov.au/weeds. To report new weeds in Victoria phone 136 186 or
Australian Weed Alert Hotline 1800 084 881.

Some weeds to look for : Bridal creeper, Mexican Feather grass, Broom, Lantana, Basket Asparagus, Garden Asparagus to name just a few.

New Committe Formed at AGM

*President: Stan Parfett*

Vice-president: Proo Pyke

Secretary: Kathy McDonald

Treasurer: Dot Hoffmann

Newsletter: Margo Sietsma

* Mabel and Jan Bert Brouwer
* Ben and Leigh Gunn
* Ewen Johnson
* David Fletcher
* and anyone else that wants to be!

10am – Annual General Meeting

AGM(Annual General Meeting) and Red Gum walk inspection (BYO lunch).

We have applied for a community grant to help us restore the walk. By September we should know if we have been successful, and we can start making some plans. It is also time for our AGM.

Please try to come along. Maybe we might attract some new members to our committee!