Prom Coast Ecolink
15 Dec 2023
🌿 That's a wrap! Happy holidays 💫 A heartfelt thanks for embracing and encouraging our work from the very beginning.
A note from the chair
Welcome to the first edition of the Prom Coast Ecolink newsletter—where we keep you up to date with South Gippsland’s newest environmental group. As you are one of our very earliest supporters, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for embracing and encouraging our work from the very beginning.
It’s been a whirlwind of a year—one in which we’ve seen our group grow from a tiny bud of an idea about connecting people to nature, into a blossoming environmental organisation that is initiating and partnering in research and monitoring programs, hosting events to bring people closer to their local landscapes, and taking a lead role in the wider Gippsland biolink network.
None of this would have been possible without financial support, and I’d like to thank both Ecolands Collective, for their tireless behind-the-scenes work, and the Victorian Government’s Volunteering Innovation Fund for the generous grant that really allowed us to get going, and focus our work on an important but neglected part of our local landscape—the spectacular Hoddle Range.
Already, we have surveyed flora and fauna in the Hoddle Flora Conservation Reserve, and have several more projects in the works. We believe this area has great potential to serve as a vital wildlife corridor for a range of unique Australian species, including koalas and lyrebirds.
But before we get into the thick of what’s been happening over the last few months and what you can look forward to in 2024, let me introduce myself and the team properly. We are a group of locals from around Fish Creek who have banded together to help look after our natural environment through collaboration and connection. We come from all walks of life, working together to support the biodiversity of our region and focusing on strengthening our community, caring for and enjoying this remarkable part of Gippsland. If you’d like to know more about us, our mission, goals and values, please take a moment to read our Strategic Plan. If you’re keen on joining the team and supporting our work, please get in touch via our website and don’t forget to follow us or on social media to keep up to date with our exciting 2024 events @promcoastecolink
Wishing you a safe and peaceful festive season and a joyful summer.
Chair, Prom Coast Ecolink
SAVE THE DATE
Bee Buzz: Citizen science at Dividing Creek Farm Honey.
Join Matt for an exclusive tour of his state-of-the-art ecologically and economically successful honey farm. Matt's farm produces quality organic beef on his farm’s hills and honey from the lush, forested gullies.
When? Sunday 17th March 2024, 10am to 12pm (numbers are strictly limited, bookings open soon)
Where? Dividing Creek Farm, Fish Creek
Understanding Fish Creek’s bats
Join Ericka from Microbats of Melbourne as she shares her love and encyclopaedic knowledge of these fascinating little animals!
When? Saturday 13th July 2024, 10am to 12pm
Where? Fish Creek Hall
Putting pen to nature: Nature journaling at Tarwin River Forest
Join Stuart as he guides us around the fascinating Tarwin River Forest, rich in Nature Journaling material. Whether your interest is in magnificent, towering trees, graceful ferns or tiny orchids and fungi ... you are sure to find inspiration. Our team of artist tutors will also be on hand for ideas and tips.
When? Saturday 19th October 2024, 9am to 12pm (26th October as backup)
Where? Tarwin River Forest
OUR 2023 RECAP
Hoddle Flora Reserve ramble
On 7 October, ecologist Tim Bowler guided an intrepid band of walkers through the Hoddle Range Flora Conservation Reserve. Tim completed a Flora and Fauna Survey of the reserve prior to the walk for Prom Coast Ecolink and the tour took in many of the rare and threatened species he identified.
It was a wonderful opportunity to take a peek inside this hidden gem—which is not usually open to the public—and with no designated paths or tracks to follow, we simply meandered along the rugged terrain, following landforms and animal trails. This tiny little pocket of Parks Victoria land includes wooded gullies lush with tree ferns, ancient messmates, thickets of grass trees and stretches of heathland. The soundtrack for the walk was birdsong and an occasional koala growl.
Despite the beauty of the land, it was sobering to see the damage being caused by deer and goats in the reserve. Prom Coast Ecolink is currently working with Parks Vic to monitor the feral problem, as a first step to controlling their numbers.
A big thank you to Lindsay Williams for access over his property and to Parks Vic for their collaboration and support through their Volunteering Innovations Fund.
Putting pen to paper
In late October, artist Melina and ecologist Peter took a group of excited local botanical-artists-in-the-making on a wonderful wander around Hoddle Flora Reserve for the Prom Coast Ecolink Nature Journaling event. It was a fun and fabulous morning sketching our natural environment and the beautiful things—big and small—that inhabit it.
Everyone had a terrific time drawing burrowing crayfish, tree ferns, eucalypts, wildflowers and koalas while taking in the natural beauty of this magical spot in the Hoddle Flora Reserve. It was a unique and inspiring way to connect with nature and great method to disconnect from the stresses of everyday life—many thanks to everyone who joined us for this special event!
Thanks also to Melina and Peter for their knowledge and expertise, and of course a massive thanks to Parks Victoria who made this event possible through their Volunteering Innovations Fund.
A stroll with Pat
Members of Prom Coast Ecolink and the Gippsland Threatened Species Action Group recently spent a fascinating November morning at Pat O’Malley’s biodiversity-rich property nestled in the foothills of the Hoddle Range.
We meandered past tree ferns, beside streams, through open woodlands dotted with orchids and along hillsides with ancient trees and stunning views. We had a remarkable number of flora and fauna experts to help pinpoint everything along the way—from tiny lichens to towering eucalypts. The walk was punctuated not only by birdsong, but also by exclamations of delight at natural treasures we discovered.
Pat's stewardship of this property over the past 20 years has nurtured the areas of remnant native vegetation and extended them through planned planting and fastidious weed control. He showed us an aerial photo of the property taken some years ago and it was inspiring to see what had been achieved since then.
Thank you to our host Pat and to the volunteers from Prom Coast Ecolink and Gippsland Threatened Species Action Group who gave us this wonderful experience.
Join our Community!
Join the flock at Join our community | Prom Coast Ecolink – it’s fun and it’s free!
And, if you're still looking for a meaningful Christmas gift, why not donate to Prom Coast Ecolink?
Every little bit helps and your financial support can make a massive difference to our work - you can donate to Prom Coast Ecolink via our homepage here!
Prom Coast Ecolink is on iNaturalist!
iNaturalist is a citizen science tool that is changing how data is being gathered for biodiversity research. It is becoming increasingly widely accepted also for higher-level biodiversity decision-making.
Latrobe Valley Naturalists recently had Thomas Mesaglio (PhD student at the University of New South Wales School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Science) speak about the exponential growth of iNaturalist over the last ten years, with a particular focus on the platform in Australia. Watch an interview with Thomas here and submit your observations in South Gippsland via this link.