Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Victorian Junior Landcare biodiversity grants

Posted on 6 June, 2019 by Asha

Victorian schools and other groups with young Victorians that want to work on a biodiversity project can apply for the 2019 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants. These grants offer funding for projects that involve and educate young Victorians in valuing and actively caring for our natural environment. For further information: click here

Who can apply: Schools, kindergartens, childcare centres, Scouts, Girl Guides and youth groups.

Grant funding: Up to $5,000 is available for projects comprising direct action (i.e., projects with an on-ground component), indirect action (i.e., projects with an environmental education component), or a mix of both.

Type of projects supported by this program:

  • On-ground projects that restore, protect, enhance, or develop habitat for native flora and fauna, and/or address threats to biodiversity, e.g., weed invasion, habitat loss.
  • Projects that increase opportunities for children to connect with their natural environment, e.g., a school excursion to Healesville Sanctuary.
  • Projects that educate and raise awareness among young people of the benefits and importance of biodiversity and a healthy environment, and/or how they can contribute to environmental improvement.

Grant guidelines: click here

Frequently asked questions: click here

How to apply: To access the application form log into the Landcare Australia Communities portal (or register if you haven’t applied for a Landcare Australia grant before). Click on ‘2019 Victorian Junior Landcare and Biodiversity Grants’ and then click ‘create application’. You can save your application as a draft and log back in to finish it later.

Applications close: 3.00 pm on Friday 21 June 2019

 

Climate Change Adaptation grant opportunity for groups

Posted on 31 January, 2019 by Tanya Loos

Community Climate Change Adaptation (3CA) Grants now open

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is delivering a small grants program to build resilience to climate change impacts through community-driven adaptation activities that address identified gaps and priorities in Victoria’s regions.

Applications close on Sunday 31 March 2019 and projects must be completed by 31 December 2020. Grants will be between $25,000 to $75,000.

Eligible projects must either be led by, or implemented in partnership with, a local council, traditional owner corporation, community group, or not-for-profit organisation.

This program will fund two categories of projects:

  • Building Adaptive Capacity: these projects will build the capacity of communities or regions to better plan for, coordinate and deliver actions that support communities to adapt to current or future climate change impacts.
  • Delivering Adaptation Action: delivering adaptation action projects will implement practical actions that will support communities and regions to adapt to current or future climate change impacts

For more detailed information about the grant opportunity, including guidelines on project eligibility, grant assessment criteria, application process and funding conditions, and FAQs go to https://www.climatechange.vic.gov.au/adapting-to-climate-change-impacts/community-climate-change-adaptation-3ca-grants-program

To apply online via DELWP’s online portal click here.

For more information on climate change impacts and climate change adaptation priorities and gaps in your region of Victoria please refer to the relevant Regional Climate Change Adaptation Snapshot Report.

 

Biodiversity Response Planning: a new Connecting Country project

Posted on 13 September, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Biodiversity Response Planning projects announced

BRP planning – photo by DELWP

Over the six months, a diverse array of government, Traditional Owner and community organisations from across Victoria came together to participate in an intense Biodiversity Response Planning process. Connecting Country was one of these organisations!

After a lot of hard work, 89 new projects were just announced by the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, including 85 projects for on-ground biodiversity action worth $33.67 million. These projects are part of the government’s investment to implement Protecting Victoria’s Environment – Biodiversity 2037 and will be delivered by various stakeholders over the next three years.

Connecting Country is excited to announce that our proposed project was selected for funding.

For the full list of successful projects visit: https://www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-response-planning

Our project: Remnant rescue – restoring woodland bird habitat in central Victoria

Local landscape – photo by Bonnie Humphreys

We know that much of central Victoria’s native woodland has been heavily disturbed by a long history of mining, clearing, woodcutting, grazing, and changes in fire and water regimes. The Box-Ironbark landscape contains provides habitat for many threatened species including the threatened Temperate Woodland Bird Community. Scientific studies demonstrate an alarming acceleration in the decline of most species within this community over recent years. Habitat loss is the single greatest threat to woodland birds, and exacerbates other threats, such as predation by cats and foxes, and prolonged drought. Many of the remaining woodlands lack complexity and are missing the key understorey species that provide food, nesting sites and protection from predators for woodland birds and other animals.

Within the Mount Alexander region, large areas of remnant woodlands and priority habitat exist on private land. Through our work, Connecting Country has identified numerous private landholders with the interest, enthusiasm and capacity to protect and restore woodland habitat on their land, but require guidance and practical assistance.

This project restores habitat for the Temperate Woodland Bird Community by focusing on weeds and rabbit control to promote natural regeneration of native species. We’ll supplement this by strategic revegetation with key missing understorey plants to increase species diversity and community complexity. The project targets 60 ha of priority areas of potential habitat on private land, engaging landholders to develop appropriate management actions tailored for their properties. We’ll also implement weed and rabbit control on 40 ha of complementary areas of public land.

Diamond Firetail – photo by Geoff Park

Connecting Country is proud to oversee the project in collaboration with our project partners: local landholders, Dja Dja Wurrung, Trust for Nature, Parks Victoria and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

 

Turn your property into habitat for woodland birds

Posted on 8 February, 2018 by Frances

Would you like your property to provide a home for threatened birds and marsupials? We’re looking for keen local landholders with at least three hectares of remnant vegetation to set aside for our local wildlife.

Only one week left to get involved in our Prickly Plants for Wildlife project!

Trees are great, but small native animals need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. Due to a long history of gold mining, timber cutting, grazing, and introduction of rabbits and weeds, many of our woodlands are missing these important prickly shrubs. We’ll work with you to develop a plan specific for your property and needs. As well as planting key understorey species to enhance existing native vegetation, actions can include watering, weed control, rabbit control and ongoing maintenance. We’ll also provide financial support and advice to implement the plan.

Requirements for eligibility:

  • Local property: Your property must be located within the Shire of Mount Alexander, Victoria.
  • An area of at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We’ll also provide some financial support for on-ground actions such as planting, watering, pest control and maintenance. On-ground work will be overseen by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will manage any contractors on your property. However, we’ll be available to offer advice and help with any questions.

 

How to apply:

Please fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au by Monday 19 February 2018. If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

 

A prickly new project: get involved with Prickly Plants for Wildlife

Posted on 25 January, 2018 by Tanya Loos

Trees are great, but small birds and marsupials need shrubby habitat to find food, build nests and shelter from predators. We’re very happy to announce that Connecting Country has obtained funding for a new project called Prickly Plants for Wildlife.

This project will supply eligible landholders with valuable understorey plants that will enhance existing native vegetation, and provide habitat for many small birds such as Diamond Firetails, Superb Fairy-wrens, Scarlet Robins and Brown Thornbills.

This charming nest was built by a pair of Mistletoebirds at Bonnie’s property, in a hedge wattle. The white fluff is from an old couch!

Prickly plant species include Bushy Needlewood (Hakea decurrens), Tree Violet (Melicytus dentatus), Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa), and acacias such as Hedge Wattle (Acacia paradoxa) and Spreading Wattle (Acacia genistifolia).  These plants are depleted or missing from our local area, and we would like to lend a helping hand to see these plants back in the landscape and on local properties.

Requirements for eligibility

  • Property with at least 3 ha of native vegetation: We need a project area of a minimum of three hectares containing some remnant vegetation, such as scattered eucalypt trees, or land that is in transition to native species after the removal of grazing. This project is not suited to revegetation of cleared paddocks.
  • Commitment to project management: Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, management advice and a property habitat management plan. We will also supply some financial support, and then it is over to you!  Planting, watering, pest control and maintenance will be carried out by the landholder, with the help of local contractors. You will be in charge of managing contractors on your property. Of course we will be on deck for any information or questions as needed.

How to apply

All interested landholders are encouraged to fill in the expression of interest form (link below) and email it to bonnie@connectingcountry.org.au. Or to find out more about your eligibility, call Bonnie at Connecting Country on 5472 1594. If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Prickly Plants for Wildlife project, we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Expression-Of-Interest-Form-Prickly-Plants

A Brown Thornbill in the safety of a prickly Hedge Wattle. Photo by Geoff Park

Expressions of interest close Monday 19 February 2018.

 

Caring for our Key Biodiversity Areas: new on ground works program

Posted on 1 November, 2017 by Tanya Loos

A Diamond Firetail, photo by Geoff Park

Connecting Country has been granted funding for a new on ground works project called ‘Caring for Key Biodiversity Areas in Central Victoria’. The special bird habitats of Clydesdale and Sandon are designated as Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) by BirdLife International and BirdLife Australia. The trigger species for these areas are the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government – Community and Volunteer Action Grants. In a nutshell, the project has three main components:

  1. Care and protection of native vegetation on private land, including actions such as supplementary revegetation, weed control and rabbit control. These actions will help enhance habitat for the trigger species for the Diamond Firetail, Swift Parrot and Flame Robin.
  2. Creation and installation of two attractive interpretative signs at popular parts of the Key Biodiversity areas, such as Rise and Shine Bushland Reserve, and Muckleford Nature Conservation Reserve.
  3. Two community events in 2018, such as a bird walk and sign launch!

The participating landholders have been contacted, and site visits will begin in early 2018.

Earlier this year, Connecting Country held a workshop in partnership with BirdLife Australia, to recruit bird survey volunteers known as ‘KBA guardians’ and provide training in how to complete an annual ‘Easter Heath Check’ form. You can read about that workshop here.

Diamond Firetails are declining in our region. Photo by Geoff Park

We are thrilled that this workshop generated the interest and the impetus for this grant.

There is also a very keen new group, coordinated by Friends of Muckleford Forest, which involves volunteers surveying 15 sites across the Muckleford KBA. These surveys are in preparation for the 2018 Easter Health Check. To read about Friends’ project, or volunteer,  see the Friends website here. 

 

 

 

 

  • Learn about Key Biodiversity Areas by visiting the BirdLife Australia website: birdlife.org.au/KBA

 

 

Remnant rescue for woodland birds – looking for eligible landholders

Posted on 3 August, 2017 by Tanya Loos

Connecting Country is currently seeking expressions of interest for on ground works on private land. In particular, we are looking for  landholders with remnant vegetation on their properties who are interested in undertaking actions that improve woodland bird habitat.

Thanks to our recently announced “Woodland bird community habitat protection and enhancement” project, we have a small amount of funding available for the protection and enhancement of 60 ha of remnant vegetation. Building connections between bushland areas through direct seeding  and revegetation with tubestock is very important, but at the same time we need to care for our remnants; the core habitat.  This project will fund actions that protect bird habitat from threats such as stock grazing and weeds.

This male Scarlet Robin needs extensive areas of good quality habitat to thrive. Photo by Geoff Park

Eligible landholders will receive a site visit, and a subsequent plant list and property habitat management plan.  Activities funded will mainly focus on fencing for stock exclusion and weed control within these remnants.

Eligibility for funding from this project will be determined according to the following factors:

  • Size of your remnant vegetation patch
  • Property location
  • Presence of threatened woodland birds

Having said that, all interested landholders are welcome to fill in the EOI form.  If your proposed project does not fit with the requirements for Remnant Rescue,  then we will keep you on file for future opportunities.

Click here to open the Expression Of Interest Form for Remnant Rescue
Deadline for EOIs: 24th September, 2017

Please send in the form to info@connectingcountry.org.au or post it to PO Box 437 Castlemaine 3450. If you have any questions about this funding opportunity, please do not hesitate to contact Bonnie on 5472 1594.

This project is funded with the support of the Victorian Government’s Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action Initiative.

Our resident plant enthusiast Bonnie Humphreys in a beautiful remnant patch in Yapeen

 

Threatened woodland birds get a bodyguard

Posted on 21 June, 2017 by Connecting Country

Threatened woodland bird populations in the Mount Alexander region are being better protected through a new collaborative Connecting Country project. Over three years, $300,000 from the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative will help to protect, enhance and increase critical bird habitat in Box-Ironbark Forests in the Mount Alexander area. This area is important because it provides core habitat for the Victorian Temperate Woodland Bird Community, which is listed under the Flora and Fauna Guaranteed Act and an indicator of the health of the landscape.

The Diamond Firetail is one of the threatened Woodland bird species to be targeted by the project.

Krista Patterson-Majoor, Connecting Country Director – Project Manager, explains; “Over recent years, we have seen a decline among most threatened species within this bird community. We are taking a team approach with this project and collaborating with Trust for Nature, Dja Dja Wurrung, North Central Catchment Management Authority, Parks Victoria, Landmate, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), local Landcare groups and private landholders to carry out a variety of environmental works to help protect the birds.”

Works funded will include having private land owners undertake weed control and fencing to protect remnant vegetation across 60 hectares. In exchange, the owners will set aside land for conservation for at least ten years, including stock grazing removal and pest control. This funded project aligns with our Woodland Bird Action plan which aims to stabilise and then increase the populations of local species by protecting and expanding their core habitat. Landholders who are interested in finding out more are encouraged to contact Connecting Country or fill out an  Expression-Of-Interest-Form-July-2017-Connecting-Country.

DELWP Program Manager, Biodiversity, Jill Fleming, said: “This community-led group has been working for more than 10 years to protect threatened woodland birds in the Mount Alexander region and it’s great to see them receive this funding that will help them, and all the partners, to continue this important work.” DELWP’s involvement will help to broaden the scope of the project and ensure works carried out on private land will be complemented by similar activities on 80 hectares of surrounding public land that has been strategically aligned with private landholders and woodland bird priority zones. “By controlling the weeds and removing stock grazing, we discourage non-native birds, who may displace the native ones, from using the same habitat,” Ms Fleming said.

Twenty-six large scale, multi-partner regional partnership projects totalling $7.7 million have been funded through the Regional Biodiversity On-Ground Action initiative to address major risks to threatened species and ecosystems across the state. These projects will be delivered through regional partnerships between agencies, organisations, community, landholders and traditional owners. The list of projects is available at: www.environment.vic.gov.au/biodiversity/biodiversity-on-groundaction 

Box Ironbark East Biodiversity Hub Steering Group Members (from left) – Chris Timewell (CC), Jill Fleming (DELWP), Matt Menhennet (Landmate), Tanya Loos (CC), Steve Comte (Landmate) Deanna Marshall (TFN), Krista Patterson-Majoor (CC) Bonnie Humphreys (CC), Britt Gregory (NCCMA), Kirsten Hutchinson (TFN) and Noel Muller (PV) – at our inaugural meeting in Castlemaine. Absent are Rodney Carter (DDW), Steve Jackson (DDW) and Adrian Martins (NCCMA).

 

NCCMA Community Grants Open Now

Posted on 23 May, 2017 by Asha

Applications for the 2017-18 North Central Community Grants Program are now open. Three types of grants are available:

  •  Maintenance (up to $500/group or network) and start-up grants (up to $500/group or $1,000/network)
  • Project grants of up to $10,000 are available for individuals and Landcare or community based NRM groups, and
  • Landcare networks are eligible for grants of up to $15,000.

Online applications are to be submitted before 5pm Friday 23 June 2017 via https://nccma.smartygrants.com.au. Application forms, guidelines and the online survey link are available under the Landcare Grants tab at www.nccma.vic.gov.au . The mandatory ‘Supporting Landcare in North Central Victoria survey’ that you need to fill out in order to apply has been extensively revised.

NCCMA will prioritise projects that improve the natural resource base of agricultural landscapes and encourage projects with a focus on improving soil health, innovative agricultural techniques and practices such as trialling pasture species under variable seasonal conditions, and activities that increase community awareness and engagement such as workshops to up-skilling volunteers and field days. To be successful, groups need to read the guidelines, map their proposed project activities and know their projects really well. Clarity of purpose is vital, as is a clear direction and focus, of both the project and the community.

 

May 2017 North Central Chat plus grant information

Posted on 11 May, 2017 by Connecting Country

Please click here for the May 2017 edition of the North Central Chat. This Month features a large Waterwatch feature and the details for the North Central CMA’s 2017-18 Community Grant round, which open  Monday May 15th, for six weeks, until June 23. There is a lot happening in regard to grant opportunities for Landcare groups, networks and individuals which is also included in the Chat, as well as some more recent ones below that couldn’t fit in, please see below. 

The Threatened Species Recovery Fund was launched last Friday 5 May. For the next six weeks individuals and groups can apply for funding between $20k and $250 for projects supporting threatened species. More info at:    http://www.nrm.gov.au/national/threatened-species-recovery-fund

Birdlife Australia ABEF Community Grants (5K)

http://www.birdlife.org.au/who-we-are/our-organisation/awards-scholarships/australian-bird-environment-foundation

M Middleton fund for endangered native vertebrates (up to 15K)

https://www.science.org.au/opportunities/research-funding/margaret-middleton-fund

 

April 2017 edition North Central Chat plus Landcare Grants and Report Card

Posted on 19 April, 2017 by Connecting Country

CLICK HERE to view the April 2017 edition of the North Central Chat. This month’s edition features information, Landcare stories and upcoming events.

Landcare Australia’s Sustainable Agriculture Grants 2017 have recently opened. All the information can be found at: https://landcareaustralia.org.au/funding-opportunities/landcare-australias-sustainable-agriculture-grants-2017/

To see our region’s Landcare report card 2015-16 from Tess Grieves, our Regional Landcare Coordinator, CLICK HERE.

 

Now open: Biodiversity On-ground Action – Community & Volunteer Action Grants

Posted on 6 April, 2017 by Connecting Country

Grant applications are now open for the Biodiversity On-ground Action – Community & Volunteer Action Grants.

The Community & Volunteer Action grants:

  • are offering funding for projects between $5,000 and $50,000,
  • include the option of single or multi-year projects, and
  • have a broad biodiversity focus.

Funding of up to $1 million is available for these grants in 2017.

Who can apply: Community groups/networks and not-for-profit organisations primarily focused on environmental projects such as biodiversity conservation or habitat protection and restoration projects.

Grants close: midnight 10 May 2017

Further information: www.environment.vic.gov.au/communityaction

 

CC behind the scenes and grant success!

Posted on 23 February, 2017 by Connecting Country

Connecting Country has recently been successful with three grants enabling us to continue our education program into 2018, review our Woodland Bird Action plan, and provide increased support and botany training to local Landcare groups. These opportunities are thanks to wonderful support from the Norman Wettenhall Foundation and the North Central Catchment Management Authority (NCCMA).  In addition, we have been working closely with the state government, NCCMA, Dja Dja Wurrung, and Parks Victoria to develop a woodland bird conservation project for the Box Ironbark East biodiversity hub. If successful, Connecting Country will be the lead organisation for this exciting project which will include activities to reduce threats on both public and private land. Our fingers are crossed!

Attendees at the 2014 Community Education Program learning about soils. With funding from the Norman Wettenhall Foundation we can continue to educate and engage our local community.

Funding from the  Norman Wettenhall Foundation’s Small Environmental Grants Scheme will allow Connecting Country to continue to provide our popular community engagement program that includes:

  • educational events about biodiversity conservation in an agricultural landscape,
  • monthly Nature News articles in the Midland Express,
  • provision of on-line educational resources and blog posts, and
  • partnerships with other organisations and agencies to implement additional educational events.

A huge thank-you to the Norman Wettenhall Foundation for their on-going support. We are so pleased to continue delivering useful information and events to our local community.

Last week, Connecting Country staff and some of our treasured volunteers attended a session facilitated by Geoff Park and Anna Roberts from Natural Decisions. This workshop gave us the opportunity to incorporate local information and knowledge into an update of our Woodland Bird INFFER assessment and Action Plan.  This project enables us to utilise expert advice, our monitoring data and experience from completed on-ground projects in this planning process.  Funding for the update was provided through the North Central Catchment Management Authority Contingency Fund and means Connecting Country and project partners will be ‘project ready’ for potential future funding.

Asha will be helping groups to increase their knowledge and capabilities with funding from the NCCMA.

Finally, Asha Bannon, our Landcare Facilitator, is getting ready to roll out the “Landcare Adapting to Change” project which is funded through the NCCMA’s Landcare Network Grant. Asha and Bonnie Humphreys, Connecting Country’s botanist, will be working closely together to build the capacity, knowledge and skills of our local groups.  The project has two main objectives:

  1. To assist groups with plant identification skills, establishing local weed priorities, future project development, mapping, and determining appropriate species lists for planting.
  2. To increase the knowledge and capability of groups to address landscape management issues associated with cultural heritage, climate change, land use changes, and the increasing threats of weeds and pest animal species.

Thanks to the North Central Catchment Management Authority for their ongoing support for Connecting Country for these two projects. We are looking forward to continuing to work with the local community to improve the natural environment in the Mount Alexander Region.

 

2017 Mount Alexander Shire Council Community Grants Program- Now Open!

Posted on 18 January, 2017 by Connecting Country

The Mount Alexander Shire Council Community Grants Program provides support to local community-based projects and initiatives that align with Council’s goals and priorities. The council has notified us that the current round of funding is open for applications from 16th January 2017 and closes at 4.00 pm on 17th February 2017. These grants through council can be a great assistance to community groups  in our area.

Information sessions are being held to give groups an opportunity to discuss their applications with Council representatives:
– Tuesday 31 January 2017, 10.00am – 11.00am, Maldon Neighbourhood Centre
– Tuesday 31 January 2017, 4.30pm – 5.30pm, Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine
– Wednesday 1 February 2017, 10.00am – 11.00am, Ray Bradfield Room, Castlemaine

Online applications can be made for the council grants via SmartyGrants once the funding round opens.

Download the Program Guidelines.

Council has also let us know that a Microsoft Word version of the application form is available for those unable to complete the application online.

For more information about the Community Grants Program, or for a Word version of the form, please call council on 5471 1744 or email grants@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

 

 

Last chance for direct seeding through Connecting Landscapes

Posted on 29 September, 2016 by Connecting Country

Direct seeding success at a property in Taradale

Direct seeding success at a property in Taradale

For the past five years Connecting Country has been incredibly fortunate to be running our Connecting Landscapes Across the Mount Alexander Region program. Funded through the Federal Government, it has allowed us to support 75 landholders  undertake revegetation across 357 ha and the control of weeds and rabbits across an additional 1,349 hectares, plus additional bushland enhancement measures such as protective fencing and grazing change within all areas.  We’ve also coordinated dozens of education events and continued our biodiversity monitoring surveys for birds and phascogales.  Now is your last chance to get involved with the on-ground works aspect of this fabulous program. To meet our targets, we are looking for one or two new properties to undertake revegetation projects of at least 5 hectares (12 acres).

These subsidized revegetation projects would be organised and implemented by Connecting Country and its works crew. The plants used would comprise locally occurring wattles, eucalypts and other understory species. Using a process called direct seeding, they are planted as seed with our specialised equipment. We encourage all expressions of interest from landholders within the target area (see map below). If we cannot help you this year or through this program, we will keep your details on a database in case of future opportunities.

Bonnie explains how direct seeding works

Bonnie explaining how direct seeding works to landholders.

Contact us now to get involved! Alternatively, talk to your neighbours if you think they might benefit. To find out more about our on-ground works process and to access an expression of interest form, CLICK HERE.  For more information contact Jarrod or Bonnie on 5472 1594 or email jarrod@connectingountry.org.au.

Landholders who have already undertaken projects can expect Jarrod and Bonnie to be undertaking some follow up visits in the coming months to see how things are going.

‘Connecting Landscapes’ is just one of several, although the largest, projects that Connecting Country currently runs. While this particular program finishes up mid next year, our other programs such as hosting Asha (our landcare facilitator) and stewards for woodland birds will continue and there are many other exciting opportunities in the pipeline.

We are currently in the process of considering the future direction of Connecting Country and we encourage you to attend our AGM to help us explore the possibilities. Click here to find out more about the AGM. We are also currently running an on-line survey at the moment and would appreciate your input, click here to complete our on-line survey.

The target area for Connecting Landscapes.

The target area for our Connecting Landscapes revegetation program is shown in blue.

 

Grants for gorse

Posted on 22 June, 2016 by Connecting Country

Gorse-plant

Need some help to remove gorse?

The Victorian Gorse Taskforce (VGT) with the support of the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources is seeking project proposals from community-based organisations. In 2016/2017 the VGT will consider projects under a Small Grants Program, up to $5,000 (GST exclusive).

The VGT will consider funding projects that can demonstrate delivery of the goals of the Victorian Gorse Control Strategy 2014-2019 and a community-led commitment to long term gorse control.

CLICK HERE to view application form and CLICK HERE for the guidelines/eligibility to apply.

Applications open Monday 20 June 2016
Applications close Friday 12 August 2016

 

Two Grant Opportunities for Sustainable Ag and Volunteers Due Soon!

Posted on 30 November, 2015 by Connecting Country

There are two grant opportunities currently available which are due in the next week – so you need to act now if you are interested.

Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Round 2015-16

This new grant programme has been announced by the Australian Government called ‘Sustainable Agriculture Small Grants Round 2015-16’.  Grants of between $5,500 and $55,000 (GST inclusive) are available.

The programme objective are:

  1. To increase the capacity and knowledge of farmers and fishers to productively and sustainably manage Australia’s natural resources.
  2. The adoption of appropriate management practices that will increase the production or improve product quality while maintaining or enhancing the natural resource base.

A range of activities may be eligible, including:

  • field days workshops, conferences
  • demonstration events or workshops
  • training or skill development sessions
  • community information or education sessions
  • development of decision-making tools
  • development of new information channels within the current knowledge system
  • conducting surveys.

Being a new programme, it is particularly important to have a good read of the guidelines and FAQ’s. Click here for the application, guidelines, and FAQ’s.

Applications close 2.00pm, Monday 7 December 2015

Strengthening Communities – Volunteer Grants 2015

The Australian Government is inviting organisations to apply for Volunteer Grants through an open process under the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering sub-activity. Funding is expected to be offered to around 5,700 organisations as a result of this process, with grants to be paid by 30 June 2016.

Volunteer Grants enable community organisations to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to purchase small equipment items to assist their volunteers, assist with the reimbursement of fuel costs incurred by volunteers (and transport costs for volunteers with disability who are unable to drive), and contribute towards the cost of training courses and background screening checks for volunteers.

Click here for more information and to download an application form.

Applications close at 2:00pm, Wednesday 9 December 2015  

 

Volunteer Grants 2015 are OPEN

Posted on 18 November, 2015 by Connecting Country

The Australian Government is inviting organisations to apply for Volunteer Grants through an open process under the Strengthening Communities – Volunteering sub-activity. Funding is expected to be offered to around 5,700 organisations as a result of this process, with grants to be paid by 30 June 2016.

Volunteer Grants enable community organisations to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to purchase small equipment items to assist their volunteers, assist with the reimbursement of fuel costs incurred by volunteers (and transport costs for volunteers with disability who are unable to drive), and contribute towards the cost of training courses and background screening checks for volunteers.

Click here for more information and to download an application form.

Applications close at 2:00pm, Wednesday 9 December 2015  

 

Spring brings new opportunities with Connecting Country

Posted on 14 September, 2015 by Connecting Country

As winter comes to an end, so does the planting season for revegetation.

Jarrod Coote out checking the growth of one of our direct seeding sites.

Jarrod Coote checking the growth at one of our direct seeding sites.

It’s been a busy few months for the Connecting Country team, who have been planting and direct seeding indigenous species on private lands around the Mount Alexander Shire. Our work aims to creating better links for wildlife movement between the existing important habitat areas.

This year brought a new team of crew members – Lauren, Ned and Jason. The crew, which turns over each year in order to make the opportunity available to as many local people as possible, have been focused on planting, weed and rabbit control and the installation of protective fencing – while also receiving formal and in-house training in a range of natural resource management techniques.

‘Often the diversity is there in the landscape ready and waiting – we just need to give the seeds a chance. Fenced off land allows not only the trees to establish and grow, but also those bushes and ground herbs and grasses that are such important wildlife habitat’ says Alex Schipperen, team leader of the works crew.

‘The beauty of this program is that we have funding available to partner with landholders and create habitat solutions that suit the landholder, and have great outcomes for biodiversity. Bringing areas of native vegetation onto a property also increases productivity by providing shade and shelter for stock, and increased protection for crops, so it’s a win-win situation.’

With the winter rush over, the team are now starting to plan the next round of projects. Land owners across the region who would like to see if their property is well placed to become part of these projects are encouraged to get in touch with Jarrod, Bonnie or Mel at the Connecting Country office on 5472 1594 or send an email to jarrod@connectingcountry.org.au .

This project has been supported by Connecting Country, through funding from the Australian Government.

 

Mount Alexander Shire Community Grants

Posted on 27 August, 2014 by Connecting Country

Each year Mount Alexander Shire Council allocates funding to support a range of local community-based projects and initiatives through the Strengthening Our Community Grants Scheme. The funding round for the 2014-2015 financial year opened on 22 August 2014, with applications closing on Friday 26 September 2014 at 4pm.

There is a Sustainability & Natural Environment category as part of the grants scheme. In this category there are grants up to $3000. Applicants are asked to address one or more of the following themes:

  • Climate change, greenhouse & energy
  • Land & biodiversity
  • Urban development, planning & sustainable transport
  • Waste & resource efficiency
  • Water

The Council’s Environment Strategy Action Plan (4.6MB download) sets out specific objectives against the above themes.

More information and the application form can be found on the MAS website.