Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta Incorporated

 

The Friends of the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden Port Augusta, Incorporated

NEWS RELEASE: 29-06-1999

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President

John Zwar

Ph (08) 867 0324 ah

Secretary

Gwen Leane

Ph (08) 8643 6191

Treasurer

Alison Daw

Ph (08) 8642 2748 ah.

Tradesperson / Gardener

Bernie Haase

Ph (08) 8641 1443 ah
Ph (08) 8641 1049 w

NEXT EVENT : Annual General Meeting SATURDAY JULY 17th 1999.

The July meeting is our AGM and following a short business section including reports and election of officers, features Martin O’Leary as guest speaker Martin is a Technical Officer at the State Herbarium in Adelaide and one of his areas of special interest is the genus Acacia His presentation will cover Acacias of the SA Arid Zone including some undescribed species from the Gawler and Flinders Ranges. Before moving to the Herbarium, Martin worked in the Adelaide Botanic Garden’s Home Garden Advisory Service, and at Black Hill on various projects. This will be an interesting follow on from Dean Nicolle’s presentation last year on Eucalyptus.
We may also have a brief presentation from Christian Birkle, (a student of Dr Ursula Ewald of the University of Heidelberg in Germany who was our Guest Speaker at the AGM last year). Christian is spending the year studying at the University of Melbourne, Geography Dept. and is keen to visit the AALBG during a visit to SA where he will be under-taking voluntary environmental work at Bookmark near Renmark, and possibly at the Arid Recovery Project near Roxby Downs.
As this is our AGM please consider making appropriate nominations to fill vacant positions on the committee.
The meeting will commence at 1.OOpm in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room (Note the earlier time). Afternoon tea and coffee will be available after the meeting for a small fee. As the Garden closes at 4.00pm at weekends the afternoons activities will finish by that time.

GARDEN LOCATION The AALBG’s main entrance is off the Stuart Highway (Woomera Road) approx. 1.5km north of the junction with the Eyre Highway at Port Augusta West. Follow the entrance road into the garden to the car park (about 1.2km). Besides the Bluebush Cafe, the Visitor Reception Building houses a fine interpretive display, a large range of Australian made gift items and books in the shop (ideal gifts), and toilet facilities as well as the adjoining WMC Herbarium Meeting Room. Why not arrive early, visit the Garden and enjoy lunch in the Bluebush Cafe before the meeting?

LAST MEETING the guest speaker was Katherine Moseby, Project Coordinator of the Arid Recovery Project near Roxby Downs who gave an informative presentation of this exciting project, including details of the recent reintroduction of Stick Nest Rats to the large vermin free site. Other reintroductions of locally extinct species are proposed. Dr John Read who has also been closely involved with the Project since inception was present and spoke briefly about land management issues at Olympic Dam and surrounding pastoral lands including sustainable harvesting of kangaroos, and a camel farming trial. This was an interesting and challenging afternoon. Congratulations to Katherine and John, other workers and many volunteers on the remarkable achievement in a relatively short time.

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BIRD WALKS in the AALBG for the next year.
The Port Augusta Bird Observers Group in conjunction with the Friends have set the following dates for bird walks in the Garden: Sunday July 4th 1999 at 7.30am Sunday Sept 5th 1999 at 6.30am Sunday January 2nd 2000 at 6.00am Sunday April 2nd 2000 at 6.00am. Enquiries: Bernie Haase. (Sundays were chosen for the walks rather than Saturdays as a number of interested people have work commitments early Saturday mornings).

Previous Page - Plant Portrait. Friend Horst Weber from Dublin, Ireland who has visited the Garden and spent time in the Flinders Ranges has produced Plant Portraits in English (and German, for international visitors to the Garden), on some of the plants in the Garden. The second of these featuring Acacia tetragonophylla, "Dead Finish" is reproduced on the previous page, unfortunately not in colour. The original colour versions are most impressive. Once all texts have been checked the Plant Profiles will be printed by the Friends and available from the Garden. The production of a booklet featuring the Garden and including these plant profiles is currently being considered by some Friends. Thanks Horst for this assistance and involvement in the Garden from afar!
(addition for webpage: Text and images of this plant portrait will be placed in these webpages)

Committee Meeting: A brief committee meeting will be held in the WMC Herbarium/Meeting Room at 11.00am on Saturday 17th July, before the AGM at 1.00pm.

Next Meeting: September (date to be finalised)

Whilst details have not been finalised, it is hoped that our guest speaker will be a representative of Bushland Conservation Pty Ltd., a company with 45 shareholders who do not expect financial rewards, but instead get the satisfaction of knowing they are taking a practical step towards conserving high quality remnant vegetation. This group has successfully purchased and preserved high quality remnant vegetation on Kangaroo Island and in the Tothill Ranges in the Mid North. The meeting may be on Sunday 5th September, following the bird walk in the Garden that morning, but firm details will be publicised in the next News Release.

Volunteer Tour Guides are still needed. Guided tours of the Garden conducted by trained Friends volunteer guides have proved popular and the few trained guides have been kept busy, though numbers have dropped slightly in June. More helpers to spread the workload would be a great help. Visitors pay for the tours (Adults - $4.50, Seniors - $3.50 and Children - $2.50), with 80% of the money going to the Friends. Daily tours are offered at 930am with two to fourteen visitors participating most days. Groups who book tours generally arrive by bus and visit in the afternoon, with one tc three such groups visiting most weeks. Most participants of tours have been impressed and guides have received very positive feedback. One group from Sydney recently considered the Garden tour a highlight of their trip. Our thanks to guides Fay Poole, Anne Stefanovic, Chris Nayda and Peter Elliott. If interested in finding out more about being a volunteer guide, you may like to talk to Fay Poole or Anne Stefanovic to find out what is involved - Phone 8643 6192 for Fay or 8642 6899 for Anne.

AALBG PROGRESS REPORT by BERNIE HAASE, 3.5.1999 to 22.6.1999

During the last seven weeks steady progress has been made. Plants propagated for winter planting are gradually being planted throughout the Garden. Records are being updated and plant name labels will soon be made and installed.

Acacias have been planted as host plants for Quandongs and Sandalwoods in the Research Area as part of a trial being conducted by the Australian Quandong Industry Association to determine the most suitable host species for commercial plantings. More Acacia species are to be propagated and planted as part of the trial along with selected Quandongs.

An extension to the Boardwalk Garden has been planted and fenced off. Annual beds have been weeded and sown with seed, so I am waiting to see how well they germinate and grow. The heat bed in the propagation unit is being used to propagate eremophila cuttings for sale at next years Eremophila Festival.

Rabbit, fox, feral cat and kangaroo numbers have been reduced. Some boxthorns and a large volume of buffel grass have been removed, but there is a lot of buffel grass to remove yet. Prison labourers have almost completed clearing buffel grass from inside the boundary fence, but there is a lot outside the fence and in the Research Area to be cleared.

Frost has damaged some plants again this year, but trials using guards to protect tender plants have proved successful, though labour intensive.

Vandals have been very active in the Flinders Redcliff area. The pedestrian gate was damaged, information sign damaged, the lookout sign broken, the fish information sign destroyed and the rubbish bin wrecked. All damage except the fish sign has been repaired. The barrier gate at the railway line embankment was destroyed by someone with mechanical equipment, and has been repaired. The tractor has been fitted with a hydraulic valve to facilitate use of the tip trailer.

Site tours are offered daily by trained Friends volunteer tour guides. Another guide has commenced, but more are required. Quentin has left the Garden to work in the Parks and Gardens Section and changed places with Stewart Giles, who is now working at the Garden.

A bird watching walk is being held on the 4th of July at 730am. The Bird Observers Group will be guiding groups around the Garden, and a BBQ breakfast will be provided by the Friends for $5.00.

A Friends tour is being organised to inspect Brenton and Carolyn Zubrinich’s cut foliage and flower farm near Stirling North, and then to Brian and Fay Powell’s garden at Endilloe on the 11th September.

That’s all for this report. I’m sure there will be a lot more in the next one.

SUBSCRIPTIONS. Friends will see on the address label of their newsletter a date. This date shown indicates when their subscription is due. If for instance subs were paid on Feb 16th 1998, the date on the label will show 2/16199 (This American system of month first, day in the middle and year at the end may be confusing so hopefully this note is helpful). If two years were paid in advance the date shown will be 2/16/00. If though subs were last paid on Feb 16th 1997 the date shown will be 2/16/98 (indicating subs are a year overdue). Should you have any queries about this system or if you find an error, please contact Secretary Gwen Leane.

Friends cloth badgeFRIENDS LOGO CLOTH BADGES. Morry Vile has attractive cloth badges featuring the Friends logo in colour. They are just over 3" (85mm) diameter and can be sown on shirts, jackets etc. They sell for $2.50 each. Sales: contact Secretary Gwen.

Friends of Gold Coast Botanic Garden. Kate Herkes, former federal committee member of the Garden Club of Australia, who visited Port Augusta for the GCA Convention almost 6 years ago, is now a member of the Friends of the Gold Coast Botanic Garden, and wrote to John Zwar seeking information on botanic garden development. This group is promoting the development of a botanic garden in their region, (as our Friends did 15 years ago). Information and advice to assist this new group achieve their goal was sent, along with best wishes for a successful outcome.

NOTES FROM THE BOARD

  • A planning meeting to determine the next areas to be developed at the Garden is to be held on 13th July.
  • A representative from the Botanic Gardens of Adelaide to be invited as Dr B Morley will be absent.
  • Prison labour is being used when available to full advantage - weeding, mulching and some other tasks.
  • A seed and plant collecting trip to the far western mallee and Nullarbor planned for August.
  • A Visitor Survey document has been prepared to seek comment from visitors to the Garden.
  • Further corporate sponsorship for the Garden is to be sought.

Issued 29.6.1999 by John Zwar President, The Friends of the Australian And Lands Botanic Ganien, Port Augusta Inc., P0 Box 2040 Port Augusta SA 5700. Ph (08) 8671 0324 ah, Facsimile C/- (08) 8671 0179.

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