It is one thing to talk about the importance of biodiversity conservation, and it is another to walk the walk. Instead of chatting to your friends about how global warming is affecting polar bears, why not try getting active and actually do something! There are countless opportunities for you to get your hands dirty, and some of which may be more achievable than you expect. Just last month I got involved in the cleaning Sullivans creek event organised by ANU green and a planting event organised by Friends of Mount Painter. Honestly I did not expect these experiences to be so rewarding and fun.
Firstly I went to the cleaning Sullivans creek event. Sullivans creek runs through series of urban development towards the Australian National University before flowing into Lake Burley Griffin.
A survey of ANU showed that the creek supports a great diversity of birds, mammals and frogs. The aim was to pick up any rubbish and debris along the creek that can potentially damage the biodiversity in the area. Knowing how much human disturbance the creek experiences especially with students and staffs crossing over it daily, it was no surprise that some cleaning up was needed.
What was surprising was the items that we picked up: Handbags, skateboards, unopened beer bottles…not to mention shopping trolleys.
Not only does the creek and the surrounding environment support a great biodiversity, it also undeniably formed part of the identity of this beautiful campus. To maintain its ecological and social value, it requires us humans to take care of it. Don’t litter!
In a separate occasion I went to be a part of a great land care group called Friends of Mount Painter. Volunteers meet once a month to do conservation work on the Mount Painter nature reserve. The area have experienced extensive grazing and introduction of weeds and exotic grass, which has increased degradation of soil and decrease in biodiversity. On that particular day, we helped weeding and replanting of a native grass, Themeda triandra, or Kangaroo grass. The key, as I heard, was to fully dig out the weed plant, including its roots, to prevent it from regenerating. Then seedlings of Kangaroo grass were planted.
The triangular guard prevents grazing from kangaroos. Mulching wood chips were laid to conserve moisture. Lastly finishing off with some watering. This was the procedure to replant one kangaroo plant, and there were hundreds more to go!
Luckily there were many selfless volunteers eager to work, which makes the whole process more enjoyable!
This was the result of a day’s effort. There are plenty more to be done!
These actions may seem insignificant, but if we all put in that little time and effort, the benefit towards the environment and biodiversity conservation will go a long way in creating a better future for not only our communities, but for our planet Earth.