by Anne Stelling, Parklands Albury Wodonga
Now seems a perfect time to take a fresh look at what we do in our everyday lives, to rethink our mindsets, to change our habits and routines. After all, we’ve all rolled with the punches throughout a pandemic as a matter of necessity and found that we can do it.
Have you ever thought about how much of our country is owned privately? By us? According to government data, two-thirds of Victoria is owned privately, with approximately one million hectares of private land in the North East region. That’s a lot of land!
So why leave nature conservation to public land managers? Let’s take on nature conservation, on our own land!
It doesn’t matter how small the little piece of Australia you own or manage is – there is something you can do. From a balcony to a backyard, an industrial lot to a golf course – there is something you can do to help protect, retain or restore our precious and unique Australian nature.
The best and basic first step is to plant local native plants. In pots, in your garden, on your farm, your development, your industrial lot.
Local native plants – indigenous plants – provide food and homes for our unique native pollinators, birds and animals and help our native species to move across the landscape. Cleared land can’t do this. Gardens of European plants can’t do this. Thousands of hectares of single species crops can’t do this.
Planting indigenous plants adds to the amazing benefits we already enjoy from having trees and gardens on our own land; storing carbon, retaining water in the soil, providing shelter and shade, cooling, reducing wind, screening, providing fresh air, beauty and pleasure, helping us relax, adding value to our properties. By planting indigenous, we provide precious links for native species to migrate across our landscape as they need, to find food, homes, mates.
We have in our hands the potential to make, yard by back yard, lot by lot and farm by farm, a huge contribution to the conservation of native species. So why not make your little piece of Australia a little bit more Australian?
There are plenty of resources to help. Get started with the Albury Wodonga Garden Guide , local Councils, local nurseries, Wodonga Landcare, Woolshed-Thurgoona Landcare, Murray Local Land Services and the North East CMA.
Photo by Richard Nunn