Landcare groups from around the state met at Government House last week for the 2017 Victorian Landcare Awards with many of the top prizes awarded to groups and individuals from the shire.
“We were thrilled with the results,” says Regional Landcare Coordinator, Tess Grieves. “The Mount Alexander Shire was so well represented and really successful at the awards.”
The awards are held every two years and celebrate the efforts of hundreds of individuals, community groups, schools and organisations across Victoria that protect and enhance the natural environment and improve sustainable agriculture.
This year, 85 nominations were received in the 14 award categories, winners in several categories will go on to represent the state at the 2018 National Landcare Awards.
Connecting Country, a community-operated landscape restoration organisation, which also operates as an informal Landcare network across the Mount Alexander Shire, was awarded the Landcare Network Award.
Ian Higgins from Friends of Campbells Creek won the Australian Government Individual Landcare Award for his work transforming Campbells Creek from a degraded, weed-infested dump to a site rich with native vegetation.
Another shire resident, Ian Grenda, was Highly Commended in this category.
Local cactus warriors, The Tarrangower Cactus Control Group (TCCG) received the Fairfax Media Landcare Community Groups Award for their work over the last decade destroying millions of wheel cactus plants and restoring their local environment.
The TCCG was praised for its community-based approach, linking people together and raising awareness throughout the shire, particularly through their monthly field days.
“Winning the award is recognition of the effort we’ve all put in,” says Ian Grenda, who has been with TCCG from the very beginning.
“Groups and individuals from the Shire did well in many categories. I think it’s a great indication of just how active Landcare is in the region. We’re all trying to do something positive for our local environment.”
Also nominated this year were Asha Bannon from Connecting Country for the Young Landcarer Award and Chewton and Winters Flat Primary Schools for the Junior Landcare Teams Award.
Congratulations to all the winners and the nominees.