Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group
The Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare Group works on Larrakia Country in Darwin. The Group collaborates with NT Parks and Wildlife in planting, weeding, watering, and fuel reduction to protect the plants.
The Reserve is a favourite place for locals and attracts thousands of interstate and overseas visitors. People come for sunsets, the bush, and the wildlife. Notably, sea turtles nest on the beach and migratory shore birds roost nearby. The Landcare Group concentrates its efforts on two distinct sites, one near the mangroves and monsoon forest, and the other located in the dunes by Darwin Harbour.
In 2023 the Group successfully organised two clean-ups along Sandy Creek, each attracting over twenty volunteers. On both occasions they collected hundreds of kilograms of rubbish. This is a very popular annual event because the rubbish stays out of the creek, the mangroves and Darwin Harbour. This is imperative to keeping the sea and beach safer for sea turtles, crabs, dugongs, dolphins, and birds.
During May, Landcare volunteers collaborated with park rangers to conduct a controlled burn at the revegetation site. This reduced the fuel load and helped protect the young trees from arson.
Casuarina Coastal Reserve Landcare had fourteen working bees and numerous site visits to care for the trees this year, with an estimated 560 volunteer hours invested in caring for the Reserve.
Sadly, in recent years, many of the iconic Casuarinas in the Reserve have been killed by fires lit by arsonists, so this year the Group contributed to a major replanting of Casuarinas that was organised by park rangers. The Group is doing its bit to restore some of the habitat needed by the resident wildlife and appreciated by visitors.
The Landcare Group is working in partnership with Parks and Wildlife on the “Adopt A Spot” project to control Gamba Grass outliers in the Reserve. It is also managing a weed spraying program to reduce fire fuel loads across the Reserve and this is funded by the NT Government’s Community Benefit Fund.
Deb Hall said “Our group has made a difference to the Reserve in a good way. It’s exciting to see the birds at the sites, like Bush Stone Curlews nesting right in the middle of our revegetation site.
Landcare has its own rewards, we enjoy being by the sea working together with likeminded people doing our bit to look after the local environment. New volunteers are always welcome.