In 2020 nature has provided great autumn and winter rains locally, and now spring is absolutely bursting forth in our regional parks. Wildlife of all sorts are on the move looking for places to live and breed after the devastating bushfires of 2019, native plantings are flourishing, and the weeds have taken no notice of the current pandemic!
In other words, life is going on apace while we, like everyone, we have had to make major changes in the way we do things this year. The cancellation of all our volunteer and partner programs combined with the border bubble challenges have required a fresh look at what we do and how we do it.
Here at Parklands, we have been working virtually on planning, management and communications. Unable to run our usual range of community events, we have gone virtual wherever possible; uploading walking routes and highlights, creating a virtual competition for the Riverina Trail running series. Virtual volunteers have been working on research and interpretation projects. Rangers have focussed on the nestbox monitoring and planting jobs that would normally have been part of the volunteer program, with 5000 natives plants successfully planted. We have employed casual staff to assist with the spring surge – controlling weeds, mowing and slashing. At the Community Farm, preparing for spring planting has had to take a back seat as Rangers assist with harvesting for community members unable to cross the border.
We are grateful for the many offers of help from volunteers and the continued support of local businesses. Like many, we breathed a sigh of relief when the new border bubble was recently announced – allowing us to get back to work in the majority of our bush parks and trails. We are thrilled to see positions advertised this week for the regional Working for Victoria teams and look forward to seeing some positive on-ground works happening again.