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President's Report

Paul Farmer | Published on 12/30/2022

President’s message

Another year is nearly over, and it’s a good time to reflect on the year. The group continues to remain active across all three Parks, and there is a long list of weeds tackled by our volunteers.

This year (2022) has seen over 2000 hours of on Park work, and for those of us with a ‘weed eye’ it’s easy to spot the difference that each of our Projects make.

I was weeding along Colonial Track this morning, and some walkers stopped to chat, and once again we (that’s all of us!) received a big “Thank You” for our ongoing efforts.

This year the Committee set a broad goal to reinvigorate the Amber’s Gully/Free a Tree Project. This is one of our long term Projects, and it was felt that it needed a bit of help. It sits in the headwater of Amber’s Gully where farming and grazing stopped about 50 years ago. We now see a complex and patchy mosaic of pioneering grassland plants amongst the remnant Eucalyptus, Banksia and Causuarina. The restoration aim is focused on removing the woody weeds (Erica and Olives) to create a low maintenance area.
The map of the site was updated (see map attached) and with agreement that we should work from the ‘top down’, in the better bush/grassy woodland, we set ourselves 6 worksites. We identified that in addition to the ongoing volunteer sessions, we could complement this with Contractors engaged through Grants or our own Donations. 
Ambers Gully project map
A total of 200 hours of work on the ground was completed. The main areas of work included hand grubbing the Erica, and basal spraying of Olives. In total, habitat restoration was undertaken across approximately 4.8 hectares of the Gully this year. Of note, across about 4 hectares, a low maintenance area has been created where only low numbers of woody weeds remain, and this area can now be quickly and easily patrolled for a few years and flagged for formal review in 2025. 
Erica Control work in Ambers Gully
The Friends of Black Hill and Morialta are part way through our planning for 2023, and the Amber’s Gully Project/Free a Tree Project will remain a significant project for us. Taking on board the lessons from this year, we are planning to move onto the adjacent areas, and expand the low maintenance area that has now been established.

This is just one of the many stories about the Parks, if you have a story to share please do not hesitate to contact John at
Thanks again for you support during 2022.

Paul Farmer
Friends of Black Hill and Morialta