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JBCG chairwoman Una Bell, JBCG vice chairwoman Gwyn Dean and ERCMP coordinator Karen Warner at the start of Jane Brook in Mount Helena.

Ecological grants save bushlands

By Melissa Sheil

A DEDICATED group of volunteers have received two significant grants to help with their important ecological work.

Jane Brook Catchment Group (JBCG) were successful in obtaining two state Community Stewardship Grants, together worth almost $60,000, to rehabilitate the ecological corridor along the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail from Mount Helena to Sawyers Valley and removal of damaging foreign weeds in John Forrest National Park.

JBCG chairwoman Una Bell said they are thrilled to receive the funding as it helps ensure the continuing health of the local environment.

“It’s about biodiversity, as when you have these foreign weeds and grasses encroaching on the bushland, the local stuff can’t compete, and the entire ecosystem established around the native species collapses,” she said.

“Sometimes when I look at these huge areas we cover, I’m quite overwhelmed by the amount we have to do, so getting these wonderful grants for contractors to help are invaluable.”

The projects will be undertaken in conjunction with the Shire of Mundaring, several Friends groups, the Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council and overseen by the Eastern Region Catchment Management Program (ERCMP).

JBCG vice president Gwyn Dean said Jane Brook, the Heritage Trail and John Forrest National Park are all very important sites.

“The Jane Brook catchment is of vital importance to the Swan River and work carried out at the top of the watershed flows downstream” she said.

“John Forrest is a huge park with all sorts of incredible biodiversity and the Heritage Trail is traversed by hundreds of people, so without this work, weeds could encourage bushfire, ruin the native species and damage this pocket of biodiversity.”

Other local groups successful in receiving the grants include the City of Kalamunda (bushfire mitigation and Kalamatta Way Reserve), Parkerville Children and Youth Care (Clutterbuck Creek revegetation), Nature Reserves Preservation Group (awareness of brush-tailed phascogales) and the Shire of Mundaring (Broz Park).

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