North East LandCare | Stanley Group
Nothing new … Just revisited
We are in the process of developing a strategic plan to take us into the future.
The idea is to give us a direction over the next five to ten years with broad plans covering that time frame, with more detailed activities in the shorter period. Detailed plans like this make the submission for funding that more credible and hopefully with greater success (we have been very fortunate over the years, it is becoming harder in these days of government restraint).
They also provide the community an understanding of what we are trying to achieve and to seek input from all. Ok sounds quite good and maybe ambitious, but we have to start from somewhere … but we already have!
There is a brochure available, which was printed some years ago that shows the four reserves making up much of the Landcare activities to date. I believe Genevieve was instrumental in putting it together. Lets revisit it and expand the concept.
- Implicit in the brochure is a series of walking paths through the four areas. Three of them are intact; Higgins Lane I do not believe has formal paths. So lets combine them all into detailed combined walking trails with storyboards at strategic spots showing the flora and fauna.
- We have a small but possibly viable wetlands area in the upper reaches of Spring Ditch. Further on from there is another area of mining which is full of tree ferns. Then there is a stand of shrubbery (sorry I’m not that good with plants), which is worth preserving; it’s full of blackberry at the moment.
- Linking the four reserves together is relatively easy using existing roadways, but would be better with clearly defined gravel paths. See, nothing new just revisited.
Stanley Landcare covers a very large area from down past Lake Kerferd to down past Stanley on the way to Myrtleford.
This could provide us with lots of opportunity, especially walking trails. Why walking trails?
Well we do have an awful lot of interesting things to view, some based upon flora and fauna, some based upon our history and some based purely on mining.
- Flora and fauna I am sure we have enough expertise in the community to identify interesting points around town.
- The history of Stanley is embedded in places like the Athenaeum, Soldiers Memorial Hall, the Cemetery, and various cottages etc. What about the recreation reserve with is old pavilion, the games and sport held there over the years.
- Mining is visible all around, but needs to be pointed out. There is an old stamper in Vickie and Herman’s property (would need their permission to make something of it without trespassing). I am led to believe there are other pieces of machinery hidden away. There are most certainly mine shafts. We also have extensive waterways, tunnels under our very feet.
- And we have a school with history and, as we are about to have access to it, why not add this into the mix?
- Further, let’s not lose sight of our farming activities and our art community. This could be interesting should we want do something about it.
How does this relate to Landcare?
It doesn’t! But Landcare is part of it. It would encompass various committees in the community, and before anyone says it, differing opinions. Hey that’s what makes a community! Once again, nothing new … just revisited.
Wow, have I ever gone past my brief! Let’s face it. We have a beautiful town area and a vibrant community; we should show it off to the maximum. Ok, back to the brief, this is where we are with our plans.
Landcare Stanley Strategic Direction and Plan
This document is a living outline of our visions and the major tasks needed to achieve those visions. It will be added to, expanded and updated as the need arises with a view to considering all input from the Stanley community. This is a first draft based upon initial ideas as expressed at a meeting held on Tuesday 26th August 2014. It is intended to convey the concept of integration of the existing reserve areas as a single continuous recreational area in the township of Stanley for the enjoyment of all.
Past and present residents have achieved a great deal over the years. To their credit what we have today to see use and enjoy is as a result of those efforts. A pamphlet was produced and some are still available today of the township, its reserves and pathways that can be navigated with interest and observation. This pamphlet provides a guide along the way for today’s Landcare Group to revisit, maintain and develop so that the vision from then is carried into now.
The concept briefly discussed at the meeting of the 26th was one of greater integration through all the present reserves and maintenance of significant features such as pathways and bridges.
- The recognition and incorporation of features within the reserves such as the wetlands in the southern end of Spring Ditch, the unique character of vegetation also in the southernmost corner of Spring Ditch.
- Better use of the two dams, also in Spring Ditch by the addition of appropriate vegetation in keeping with the natural environment.
- Higgins lane is a vast area with great interest but almost no facility to walk around and enjoy, as such it is taken over by noxious weeds in many areas.
- This all broadly speaking points towards extending the present pathways into some new areas, all linked as nominated short medium and long walks with various signage detailing significant vegetation and or features along the way.
Concept Ideas and Details
We have four main reserves, each with its own identity and environment. Three of them have formal pathways through them.
- The present vision is to bring them up to the standard originally set (maintenance and renewal).
- We have broad open areas as in lower Spring Ditch, which provides a space for picnics etc. but could benefit from additional benches and other seating strategically placed along the paths.
- We have two dams that have a valuable use in the fire season, but which with some thought could also provide a source of enjoyment with the addition of seating and or picnic tables plus suitable vegetation in keeping with the environment and potential usage.
- Higgins lane needs defined walkways through areas of interest, which become an integral part of the linked tracks through Stanley. This would probably be the longest pathway in town.
- Looking at the state of some of the bridges across Spring Ditch creek they are a risk to users and in need of repair.
- Significant aspects, vegetation, mining activity etc. within the reserves need to be identified and noted with suitable signs. These will add interest to any walk.
Tasks (The Big Chunks)
We must be careful in only talking about significant tasks (projects) for which funding can be applied and the task planned and controlled in its own right. To go too broad will make any funding request impossible and to go into too much detail will result in swamping the small team of volunteers able to deal with a task.
To that end here are some broad chunks:
- Overall map of what the linked reserves will provide (mud map)
- Bridge repair/replacement on Spring Ditch
- Wetlands evaluation (how viable is it? what is needed?)
- Higgins Lane pathways (where, how, why there?)
- Identification of significant vegetation, features, interest within the reserves
- Identification of weed infestations and determination of control
Another ongoing overall task is the need to provide documentation in an ongoing manner reporting what is planned, funded, actual expenditure, actual achievement, and graphical representation (mapping and photography)
This is not an exhaustive listing nor an absolute plan, just some ideas put down on paper to provoke thoughts and input from the community which may be acted upon by the community for the community. Landcare provides a conduit to funding and the implementation of the vision. This strategic direction needs to be owned by Stanley, not just Landcare. Please take on board the ideas and feel free to contact myself with your inputs.