Friends of Birdsland has undergone several iterations since its beginnings in 2014. Three of the original members of Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group which founded the group remain, caring after the frogbogs near the Environment Centre and organising the annual autumn Birdsland Mini-Beasts Festival with assistnce from Yarra Ranges Council and Melbourne Water. Members of the original group are looking at forming a Family Gardening Group which will meet to look after the veggie garden which now boasts a wicking bed. The area is perfect for families wanting their kids to enjoy gardening and all the bushland amenities. If you are interested in being part of this group, please contact us via this website.
Friends of Birdsland, established in June, 2014
The group meets at the Birdsland Environment Education Centre (BEEC) on the last Sunday of each month from 10am to 12 noon.
Convenor is Vicki Boyle ph. 0437-465-642
FoB is a small group auspiced by the Southern Dandenongs Landcare whose office is housed in the Education Centre. Currently, the aim of the group is to improve amenity around BEEC by maintaining the indigenous plant display gardens, the aboriginal food, medicine and fibre plant garden and the display food gardens behind the centre. Friends groups evolve over time depending on membership and circumstances so the Groups' aims may change to incorporate other tasks, for instance, there is a remnant orchard behind the farmhouse which interested members may like to redevelop. The site is steep but safe and children are very welcome
The Birdsland Recreation Reserve is a 75 hectare reserve which houses a Melbourne Water retarding basin. Melbourne Water and Yarra Ranges Council jointly manage Birdsland. The official address is 271 Mt Morton Road, Belgrave Heights but part of the reserve is located in Tecoma. The little Hazel Vale Creek empties into Monbulk Creek 150 metres from the Birdsland entrance The Birdsland MasterPlan, an initiative of Yarra Ranges Council, is currently being prepared with input from the community. You will notice the new pedestrian boardwalk at the entrance which will allow people to cross the creek from the external carpark without having to negotiate McNicol Road.
The Southern Dandenongs Landcare Group is working to protect and enhance all local waterways and all of the creatures dependent on them. Monbulk Creek is our major creek and runs through Birdsland providing a vital link between the upper reaches of the creek at its headwaters in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, the Lysterfield Valley, Lysterfield Lake Park and Churchill National Park. SDLG has been the recipient of two grants which have enabled the restoration work visible at the entrance to the reserve. Yarra Ranges Council is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of these works in partnership with Melbourne Water.
The local community is encouraged to participate in activities which will help protect and preserve Monbulk Creek, particularly our platypus population which dwindled during the drought. Community members can participate in Waterwatch monitoring, especially macroinvertebrate (waterbugs) counts; visual platypus monitoring programs, guided walks and talks, swale making, streamside plantings. We also have an annual 'Mini-Beasts Festival' in autumn each year.
Other activities include removing environmental weeds, planting of indigenous native vegetation at various times during the year but particularly for National Tree Day in July and educational workshops.
The Southern Dandenongs Community Nursery is located next to BEEC and sells indigenous plants. Volunteering at the nursery is a good way of familiarising yourself with local plants and meeting others who care for the local environment.