Geographic focus: Aranda Bushland and Aranda Snow Gums Nature Reserve.
Regular Meetings: The committee meets on the fourth Thursday of each month. The AGM is in mid-January and is followed immediately by our “Post-Christmas” lunch party.
Regular Activities and Working Bees: We meet on the first Sunday of every month, from 9 am to noon (or 8:30 to 11:30 am in the summer months) for a work party. Activities include planting, monitoring, fence removal, erosion control, weeding and socialising over our delicious morning teas.
Postal Address: PO Box 376, Jamison ACT 2614
About Us: Friends of Aranda Bushland is an enthusiastic and dedicated ParkCare group, started in 1990 and constantly refreshed by the arrival of new members. A wide variety of activities is undertaken, reflecting the interests and expertise of the members, and the needs of the local area.
The group was formed when a group of residents, concerned about overgrazing on the western slope of Aranda Bushland, pushed for its resumption into the Aranda reserve. In 1992 the group turned its attention to the welfare of the Snow Gums in the eroded 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 Woodland and the discovery of the endangered Swansonia recta, resulted in its being listed for special protection. It has now been resumed by the Parks and Conservation Service for future inclusion in the Canberra Nature Park.
One on-going task of the group is a woody-weed eradication program, begun in 1992 with the removal of large hawthorns and honeysuckle in the Aranda Bushland, and continuing with the eradication of hawthorn and briar in the South Aranda Woodland, 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 Gum seedlings were planted at the eastern end in 1998 and at the western end in 2006. Grasses and Lomandra have been planted in several areas.
Monitoring and experimentation is also an on-going process. We have a number of experiments in progress on the effectiveness of our weed control and planting methods. We conduct twice-yearly step-point monitoring, and measure the diameter of all our snow gums regularly. We also participate in the annual ‘Vegwatch’ survey organised by Sarah Sharp.
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 lodgement of dried herbarium specimens and slides in the public access section of the Australian National Botanic Gardens herbarium.
A revised edition of Our Patch was released in 2007.
The ‘Frost Hollow to Forest Walk’ was developed to promote awareness of the uniqueness of the area, which encompasses a sequence of different habitats and vegetation patterns. It has informative signs and our website www.friendsofarandabushland.org.au has much additional information.
Our latest project (in 2017) is the restoration of badly eroded areas in the Snow Gums site, by protecting the edges and constructing leaky weirs in the floor of the gully.
We are fortunate to have a very dedicated core group of workers and a steady flow of new members. You are welcome to join us.