Geographic focus: Aranda Bushland and Aranda Snow Gums Nature Reserve
Regular Meetings: Our only formal meeting is our AGM on about the second Tuesday in February each year. The committee meets on the first Monday night of each month.
Regular Activities and Working Bees: We meet on the second Sunday of every month from 9am to 12:30 pm at either Aranda Bushland or the Aranda Snow Gums for a work party. (or 8:30 am to 12 noon in summer months). Please contact us on 0405357914 to confirm.
Contact: 0405 357 914
Postal Address: P.O. Box 376, Jamison ACT. 2614
Friends of Aranda Bushland is an enthusiastic and dedicated Parkcare group. It has retained its core of members from 1990 and attracts a continuous flow of new members. The secret to its success lies in the wide variety of activities it undertakes to reflect the interests and expertise of the members, as they relate to the needs of the local area.
It was formed when a group of residents, concerned about overgrazing on the western slope of Aranda Bushland, pushed for its early resumption into the Aranda reserve. In 1992 the group turned its attention to the welfare of the Snow Gums in the soil erosion paddock off William Hovell Drive, as the old trees had been killed by spraying. An application was made for Heritage listing and in 2006 it was listed on the Heritage Register.
Concern for the welfare of the adjacent area area of the Rural Lease known as the South Aranda Woodlands and the discovery of Swansonia recta resulted in it being listed for special protection in the Labour Party’s election manifesto in 2004.
We would like to see it incorporated into Canberra Nature Park.
The on-going work of the group is a weed eradication program, begun in 1992 with the removal of large hawthorns and honeysuckle in the Aranda Bushland, and continuing with hawthorn and briar removal in the Rural Lease adjacent to the bushland and a large variety of herbaceous weeds in the Aranda Snow Gums Site.
Rehabilitation of the Snow Gums site was possible after fencing the area and Snow Gums seedlings were planted at the eastern end in 1998 and at the western end in 2006. Grasses and Lomandra (matrushes) have been planted in several areas.
As part of the agreement with the Rural Lessee to have access between the Aranda Bushland and the Snow Gums we offered to work toward the eradication of woody weeds in the land adjacent to the Aranda Bushland. We are continuing this work in the South Aranda Woodland.
Monitoring and experimentation is also an on-going process.
In 1992, a project to identify and photograph all the flora found in the Aranda Bushland was launched. It culminated in the publication of Our Patch, a field guide to the flora of the ACT. and the lodgment of dried herbarium specimens and slides in the public access section of the Australian National Botanic Gardens herbarium. (A new revised edition of Our Patch is expected in 2007.)
We have a number of experiments in process on the effectiveness of our weed control and planting methods.
The Frost Hollow to Forest Walk was developed to help in awareness of the uniqueness of the area showing the sequence of different habitats and vegetation patterns. It has informative signs and our website www.friendsofarandabushland.org.au has much additional information.
Frequent guided walks in the Aranda Bushland and Frost Hollow to Forest Walk are conducted by members.
Our latest project is to endeavour to hasten the restoration of badly eroded areas in the Snow Gums site and we have a Landkeepers Grant to work in collaboration with Greening Australia and the Rural Lessee to achieve this.
We are fortunate to have a very dedicated core group of workers and a continuous steady flow of new members. You are welcome to join us.