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The Green Army helps protect Hotham

The Green Army team takes on Mount Hotham

Mount Hotham welcomed the Green Army last week who took the task to weed St John’s Wort and Oxe-eye daisy, and lay seeds near the Swindlers Valley, as part of their Australia-wide program on Monday 30 January 2017.

The group of nine participants worked their way through the valley, with a final count of 16 bags of weed having been removed from the soil.

Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board’s Environmental Officer Bev Lawrence said that the group was the most professional group she had experienced working with through these types of programs.

“They are fantastic, and are doing a really great job and the most professional team of young people I have worked with,” Mrs Lawrence said.

The Green Army have certain project deliverables they need to satisfy, which is based on the funding they receive to do certain tasks over multiple projects.

Bright’s Green Army Supervisor Paul Mock said that the team of participants enjoyed their experience up at Mount Hotham.

“The team is receiving the program quite well, they all have a real direction with where they are going, having previously studied this kind of thing with environmental work, or it’s something that they want to get into,” Mr Mock said.

“Having that direction behind them makes them much more attentive and productive and they have a bit of vested interest, as they know this can impact their futures.

“The variation and different people we meet and making professional contacts in the field is also very valuable and that’s the main thing I enjoy about this program, is being able to offer these sorts of experiences and situations to people who otherwise wouldn’t get the experience.

“The Hotham Resort Management are the project partners we have been working with up at Hotham and they have been absolutely brilliant in the fact that they are very welcoming with everything, no matter what we have achieved at each point they have been very encouraging,” he said.

The Green Army travelled to Mount Hotham last month, prior to work, to survey the site and made sure the risk was minimised when they carried out the project.

Green Army participant Duncan Jaroslow said that he enjoyed his experience up in Mount Hotham as a part of the Green Army team.

“It’s awesome being here, I love specifically Hotham – I love it up here. Its fresh and you can feel the difference in elevation,” Mr Jaroslow said.

“The goal here is to target plant species that we are trying to remove, basically they are invasive species that cause a lot of problems by competing and eliminating native species or causing bad soil erosion and reducing the general soil quality.

“Hotham is distinct from other alpine systems because it’s quite isolated in a way compared to Falls Creek and Bogong, where they are connected by that high plain and so share much of the same organisms, whereas here they are very distinct and so you are going to get a very different variety.

“I think it’s a fantastic area and people shouldn’t underestimate the value of it, especially in the summer,” he said.

Conservation Volunteers Australia is the service provider which represents the Green Army team up at Mount Hotham.

Green Army projects include restoring native vegetation, heritage restoration, protecting animal habitats and regenerating wetlands in urban, rural and remote areas.

For more information about the Green Army, visit http://www.environment.gov.au/land/green-army.

 

08 February 2017