If anyone ever says that running a Landcare group is predictable or boring, well, I think they’re wrong! We’ve certainly had a year of highs and lows, with some big hits, and some big wins.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the highlights and low-lights of 2016:
• Our Annual Fox Shoot on Valentine’s Day was a great success again!• The Welcome Sculpture was unveiled at Lake Ewlyamartup.• Jill and Adrian Richardson were finalists in the GSDC Medal awards for their contributions to Landcare, both on their own property and in their roles as Landcare leaders.• At the end of June we found out we were unsuccessful in a large grant bid to maintain operations for the next three years. We had to make major changes to our operations, including scaling back staff and opening only four days a week.
Needless to say, we were worried about the future!!• Despite these cut-backs, remarkably, we were still able to deliver 12 projects, which included 90,000 seedlings, erecting 26.5km of fences, supporting 27 landholders, coordinated up to 5000km of roadside spraying for Bridal Creeper across 8 shires, as well as community plantings at Lake Ewlyamartup and the Coblinine Reserve, and several busy bees at Piesse Lake.• QFH Multiparts CRT Katanning showed support and confidence in Katanning Landcare through a sponsorship arrangement, providing a $40,000 annual contribution to a Productive Landcare Demonstration project over the next three years. Keep watch in 2017 for some amazing things happening with this project looking at whole-of-landscape management.
• Ella went on maternity leave and she and her husband David had a beautiful baby boy, Quade.• Jill Richardson won the National Landcare Leader/Facilitator Award at the National Landcare Conference, and Ella Maesepp won the National Young Landcare Leader Award as well. It was a huge result for Western Australia!• Jill Richardson retired re-purposed her time allocation, and a new employee, Katie Rigg was brought on for two days a week as our new Finance Officer. We certainly miss Jill’s bubbly laughter and fabulous hugs, her guidance and intimate knowledge of the whole industry!• Katanning EcoWeek was once again well-received and ran at least 20 events, including the very popular Veggie Garden Open Day, Photo Competition, and Waste Reduction Shopping Tour.• Funding for the Lake Ewlymartup flushing channel was announced, bringing a collective grin to all of those who have worked so hard to get this funding through. Though the project will not be managed locally, we are confident that Wheatbelt NRM will handle the project with high regard and professionalism.• We received a year’s supply of fuel through sponsorship from Great Southern Fuels, which we are most grateful for!
• Things really took a major up-swing at the end of the year, with the announcement of $199, 414 received from State NRM Office for the next 2 years.• Our Chairman, Scotty Newbey, and his wife Rebecca, welcomed their first child, Evelyn, into the world.• We had a lovely celebration of our year at Lake Ewlyamartup with committee, friends and family.
• Sadly, we lost one of our dear friends and avid Landcarers, Dave Garnett just this past week. Dave and his family hosted a school planting this year to increase habitat for red-tailed phascogales on their property, despite Dave being unwell. His commitment to Landcare and to his family and friends will be remembered by all who knew him.
So, what can we expect from Katanning Landcare in 2017?
• Lots and lots of planning. We’ll be really focusing on setting up our programs for the future, getting really clear on what we want to accomplish and how we are going to make them happen.• Even more collaboration, working with the Shire, landholders, volunteers, and other agencies to make all of these things happen.• Loads of work on our website and looking at ways we can offer high quality services to the community while ensuring long-term financial stability of our organisation.• A few new faces in the office to help bring these activities to life, and expect a call-out to you, our supporters, for guidance, advice, support, or a helping hand when we need it.
And Happy New Year!
We will be closed from Friday 23rd December 2016, reopening Monday 9th January 2017.