The Monbulk Road Sycamore Maple Removal Project shows what can be accomplished when a number of land users – from private landowners and community groups through to public agencies – work together to achieve a common goal.
About the project
The Project follows several years of communication between groups working together, coordinating and educating the public, which has culminated in a major project to remove more than 500 mature sycamore maples and 300 holly bushes from a 1km stretch of public roadside, public reserve and privately owned property along Monbulk Road.
Working together: partnerships, collaboration and participation
This collaborative effort between the Community Weed Alliance of the Dandenongs (CWAD), Friends of Sassafras Creek (FOSC), VicRoads and the Yarra Ranges Council has also involved eleven private landowners, Parks Victoria and Melbourne Water as project participants.
The Project has led to a greater awareness about the extent of the environmental weed problems in the Dandenongs and the development of strategies to address them.
This Project was funded by a Bushfire Mitigation Grant obtained by the Council, and a Dandenong Ranges Environment and Bushfire Reduction Grant obtained by CWAD.
A number of important environmental and community safety outcomes have been achieved through this project. These include the protection of remnant bushland and biodiversity in the nearby Sassafras Creek Nature Conservation Reserve (Sassafras Creek NCR), and the reduction in both the bushfire fuel load and the risk of trees falling onto Monbulk Road.
Other benefits are that all waste was recycled: either as mulch (which was delivered, free of charge, to a local nursery), or given to a local musician who is making guitars from the salvaged wood.
More than 500 indigenous plants, including local ferns, were also planted.
The relationships that brought the project to fruition have taken time and required effort from individuals in each organisation. Their value however is immense providing the basis for both this and future community weed control, biodiversity and public safety projects. CWAD and FOSC will continue to build on these relationships, and explore new partnership opportunities, to achieve their goals.
FOSC and CWAD will monitor vegetation in the Sassafras Creek NCR to assess the short, medium and long term success of the project. Their findings will help shape future large scale weed control projects.
The Council will also carry out follow-up weed control in the treated area over the next twelve months.
Environmental weed control can be a daunting task. Advice and support for community groups and individuals is available through a number of different organisations including CWAD, the Yellingbo Conservation Area Coordinating Committee, your local council and Landcare.
Full details of the Project Monbulk Road Sycamore Maple Removal Project (PDF) by freelance journalist Jillian Staton