2020 has been a year like no other. We were horrified as communities in south east Australia were ravaged by bushfires in summer, then by winter the world battled a global pandemic.
Within the PPWCMA, we had to adapt to the changing circumstances quickly and create new opportunities that benefited our communities and environment.
Thank you to all of partners for their support and dedication throughout the year, and for continuing to help us deliver excellent environmental outcomes and community services.
Please note that we are closed from Friday 25 December 2020 and Sunday 3 January 2021.
Farms2Schools - it's a wrap!
Since July 2020, the PPWCMA has been working with local farmers to deliver Farms2Schools. This agricultural education program connected primary and secondary students with farms and agricultural businesses, to highlight the diversity and importance of agriculture around Melbourne and the potential for farming to be a rewarding career choice.
The PPWCMA has been proud to deliver Farms2Schools over the last six months. The program originally intended for farmers and students to meet in person via excursions and incursions, but coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions hampered this approach, so the program was delivered primarily through online learning.
Much has been learnt by the farmers, teachers and students involved in the program, as well as by the PPWCMA in planning and delivering it. With 98% of schools recommending Farms2Schools, it's clear that an ongoing program of this type would be embraced by the community, and the PPWCMA would enthusiastically take up any funding opportunities that would enable the program to continue.
Farms2Schools was supported by the Victoria Government through the Working for Victoria initiative and employed three full-time staff for six months through the economic downturn associated with coronavirus (COVID-19).
The PPWCMA expresses their thanks to Camille Coleman, Osman Sobrie and Narelle Debenham for their outstanding work throughout the program. Camille, Narelle and Osman have shared their reflections on delivering Farms2Schools over the past six months.
To help teachers continue their lessons around sustainable agriculture, these resources have all been compiled and are free to access. They include some great websites, videos and activity sheets, as well as interactive tools.
An ecosystem services activity sheet as well as a Farms2Schools virtual farm excursion are also on the way. Subscribe to this enews to be notified when they are available.
The PPWCMA is pleased to present its Annual Report for 2019-20.
The Annual Report outlines our performance against the strategic targets in our Corporate Plan and is an opportunity for us to update key stakeholders about our progress, as well as highlight our achievements and challenges.
There's lots of great data and project updates contained within the report, so we encourage you to take a look.
Each year, the PPWCMA publishes a Landcare Report Card, which details the breadth of environmental volunteering across the region, based on data from the Victorian Government's Landcare Group Health Survey.
The report card shares key statistics, as well as stories of the achievements Landcare groups and networks, friends groups and collaborative projects, and highlights the return on investment the Landcare and environmental volunteering sector provides.
The PPWCMA Agricultural and Environmental Works Crews have had a busy month, working hard to rejuvenate many of the region’s iconic tourist attractions in preparation for visitors, including Werribee Park Mansion and the 1,000 Steps.
After their initial training and induction period, the work crews spent a few weeks undertaking works for Parks Victoria and have now moved onto works requested through the EOI process.
Grow West is excited to announce that they're partnering with 15 Trees, Gardens for Wildlife and Moorabool Shire Council, for the 2021 Grow West Community Planting Day, which will be held at Kel Shields Flora Reserve in Bacchus Marsh.
The six hectare site, located in the township of Bacchus Marsh, forms an important urban biolink, connecting the escarpment with the Werribee River, which runs through the town.
Farmers are increasingly being asked to document the biodiversity assets on their farm and publish a farm biodiversity plan. To make this process easier, the PPWCMA has developed a farm biodiversity template.
The template and supporting documents will step you through how to do a stocktake of what natural assets already exist on your farm and document actions to put in place.
Landcare and community environmental groups in the Werribee or Maribyrnong catchments have the opportunity to undertake a cultural heritage activity with Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation in 2020-21 at no cost to their group.
The Landcare Farming Program will be delivering a series of workshops on carbon footprint and/or natural capital schemes in 2021, including in the Port Phillip and Western Port region.
Expressions of interest are currently open for farmers that are interested in attending the workshops. Participants will receive tailored reports for their property and help benchmark current practices across Australia.
In 2019, the Victorian Government engaged with farmers, community members, industry, local government and stakeholders to test criteria for protecting agricultural land around Melbourne. They have considered the feedback and developed a consultation paper, which is now open for public comment until 5 February 2021.
VEFMAP is a large-scale, long-term monitoring program designed to assess ecosystem responses to changes in flow regimes in Victorian rivers that receive environmental water. Monitoring for the program commenced in 2007 and the stage 6 (2016-20) report has recently been released by the Arthur Rylah Institute.
Nominations are now open for the General Jeffery Soil Health Award for any individual farmer, land manager, extension specialist or educator making an outstanding contribution to improving soil health in Australia. Applications close 31 March 2021.