The Ginninderra Catchment Group (GCG) Landcare Program
Ginninderra Landcare is about communities taking informed action in partnership with government, business and other non-government organisations to protect the rural and urban landscape of the Ginninderra Creek Catchment.
Ginninderra Landcarers come together as Landcare and Parkcare Groups across the catchment to address the causes and effects of land and water degradation. They do this by:
- taking practical on-ground action
- educating and engaging the broader catchment community
- contributing to and influencing catchment management policy and investment decisions.
Landcare activities in the Ginninderra Catchment have been happening for well over 20 years, lead by 12 different groups over that time. Major social and demographic changes called for a coordinated, strategic approach to enable Landcarers to implement effective partnership-based projects addressing land and water degradation issues in an increasingly urbanised environment.
This lead to the formation of the Ginninderra Catchment Group Inc (GCG) in 1996 and since then GCG has supported and represented Landcarers working on the Ginninderra Creek Catchment. Currently, 19 Landcare groups are active and attract new membership. With grant funding provided by Federal and State Governments, corporate partners and in-kind support we:
- Employ 3 coordinators (Landcare, Waterwatch, FrogWatch)
- Support the operations of Landcare Groups
- Develop and implement partnership based projects
- Increase engagement opportunities with all catchment stake holders, including schools (see Landcare for Teachers)
Long term goals of the GCG and its Landcare members – see also “Ginninderra Catchment Group Strategy 2000“
- Create ecosystems that accommodate human settlement but reduce the impacts and their effects on environmental systems;
- Restore and maintain large parts of the natural setting in an urban environment;
- Ensure systematic, catchment wide sustainable environmental outcomes from the activities of volunteers.
Some of Our Achievements
Collectively, GCG and its Landcarers are the oldest Landcare movement in the ACT. It has a proud record of achievements in:
- Catchment planning and investment
- Landscape improvement
- Collaboration and influence
- Education and community engagement
GCG was the first incorporated catchment group in the ACT to develop a catchment wide community driven strategic plan. It remains a resilient, comprehensive platform. It not only guides on-ground work, it also enables the GCG to influence catchment management policy and decision making. The action plans derived from the strategic plan are continually updated to accommodate new circumstances, such as the development of a new ACT Natural Resource Management Plan.
GCG and its Landcarers have attracted in excess of $1 million in project funding. Our continuing high success rate in securing project funding is testimony to our delivery and governance capabilities.
We are also taking a leadership role in collaborating with other stakeholder organisations to explore new investment approaches, and to better harness public and private input.
The GCG and its Landcarers have instigated and supported on-ground landscape improvement works in over fifty sites across the catchment. These works have addressed creek corridor restoration, gully erosion control, revegetation, weed control and wetland development. Building on these achievements, we are now leading a range of landscape improvement initiatives to: assist more strategically targeted control of major invasive grass weeds in urban areas; evaluate non-chemical approaches to managing Serrated Tussock; develop better techniques to rejuvenate and extend remnant native grassland areas; and explore “carbon capture” opportunities on grazing lands.
The GCG and its Landcarers have a proud record of “grass roots” volunteering. Together, we have contributed over 20,000 volunteer hours to the
implementation of on-ground projects.
In 1997, the GCG was instrumental in initiating a Belconnen wide campaign, bringing a number of community organizations and businesses together to be awarded the 1997 ACT’s Tidiest Town and National Finalist in the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Town Awards.
Over the past decade the GCG has lead and supported a dedicated and growing band of Waterwatch volunteers (see photo on right, taken by John P. Baker), has expanded its network of FrogWatch volunteers to over 300, and has continually increased the value and credibility of both programs. These, in turn, are integrated with the rest of the Group’s activities.
The GCG and its Landcarers have also consistently engaged in education and skills development, e.g., educational campaigns in stormwater management and urban biodiversity protection, skills training in weed control, revegetation and catchment health monitoring; engagement of over 2500 school students in Waterwatch and other catchment health related activities, and over 300 field days, displays and community forums. Beyond these achievements we are pursuing other innovative education and engagement initiatives including the development of a wetland education facility.
Recognising changing social patterns the GCG and its Landcarers are exploring new ways to involve the broader community including the development of “e-networks”.
Our sustained and creative commitment to collaboration and influence is also a hallmark of our operations. Beyond our continuing close association with other Catchment and Landcare organisations within the ACT, we have developed constructive, mature, collaborative relationships with government at both the political and agency level, with local government in neighbouring New South Wales and with the private sector. Through these relationships we have actively engaged government as partners in the delivery of projects, while at the same time advocating for change on actual areas of catchment management policy and decision making.
The GCG and its Landcarers continue to explore and develop new opportunities for collaboration and value adding. Our strengthening relationship with key sectors of the urban development industry and the recent establishment of the “Bush on the Boundary” reference group are two examples.
“The GCG and its Landcarers are as committed to the Ginninderra Creek Catchment and its communities as we were over a decade ago. We will continue to build on our grass roots heritage, deliver practical on-ground outcomes of lasting benefit and influence policy and decision making. In the year 2017, we are confident we will be able to look back over the previous 10 years with the same pride in our achievements as we have today”.