Friends of Back Creek (FOBC) - Annual General Meeting
Presidents Statement 15 May 2007
The 2006 year has been
punctuated by the progressively debilitating effects of the drought
which has hampered our efforts to complete our revegitation projects.
Membership has remained steady at 25. Proceeds from interest earned,
donations and fund raising activities have increased reflecting community
acceptance of our role.
Ongoing active support
from our local Councillor Heinz Kreutz and our local member for Burwood
Bob Stenhotlz has been much appreciated. The Parks and Gardens department
of the City of Boroondara, in particular Janyce McMurtrie and Adrian
Hotchin are now providing ongoing maintenance by spraying weeds and
occasional tree lopping and removal of rubbish collected by the group.
In the last 12 months the council has also provided the group and local
community with a much needed notice board. Again council also assisted
by provided catering for National Tree Day.
Each year the group thinks
that our involvement in Clean-up Australia day will be the last but
yet again we are surprised by the amount of accumulated rubbish we find
at the end of the day. More than 30 bags of rubbish were filled during
the March 2007 Clean Up day.
During 2006 FOBC published
3 newsletters across 500 households. We conducted 13 working bees involving
320 volunteers. Total contribution of participant time exceeded 650
hours of work. Two schools participated in working bees associated with
Schools Tree day while a growing number of secondary students participated
individually in working bees as part of their environmental studies
curriculum. Local community involvement during monthly working bees
has been patchy with the group tending to rely on regulars to carry
the workload. Participation in the Tree day is as strong as ever. The
drought has meant the ground is less able to sustain seedlings which
have struggled to grow with reduced rainfall. Planting of the middle
section of the pathway was achieved with some assistance from council
particularly with supplementing the watering of seedling during early
phases of their growth. The use of Jute Mat to retain the crumbling
dry soil and retain moisture as well as suppression of weeds has proven
to be a strategy the group will adopt over the forthcoming 12 months.
This year we will attempt to gain greater levels of participation during monthly working bees. With the cooperation and assistance of local residents, the City of Boroondara and Melbourne Water the following was achieved in 2006
The 2007 year ahead:
Fallen Willow trees growing
up the embankments of sections of the creek continue to hinder balanced
growth of our plantings which are now becoming constrained. These will
need to be removed by either Melbourne Water and or Council if further
progress is to be achieved. FOBC will continue to work closely with
both authorities and collaborate with the community to see that our
mutual needs are met. Smarter methods of planting and use of jute mat
will need to be applied across steeper and drier terrain. Now that Melbourne
Water has virtually completed their capital works along South Surrey
Park, the group will push to have a similar capital works program developed
along our section of creek. FOBC will also reach out to residents south
of Toorak Road to assist them to establish a sub group of FOBC that
addresses the revegetation of the Glen Iris section of the creek.
Our goals for the year
ahead will be:
Thank you to our committee
members for their commitment, enthusiasm and support this past year.
Chris Walta our Secretary, John Cott, Jim Breen, Eleanor
Stephenson, Bob Strickland, Barry Gallacher and Rosemary Buchanan.
15 May 2007