VicTrack Grants supports revegetating the Stanhope-Girgarre Rail Trail
The Girgarre/Stanhope Land Protection Group, in north central Victoria, is a farmer based group focusing on local salinity and revegetation issues. In 2019, they received a VicTrack Landcare Grant to revegetate 3km of barren weed infested land with the goal of providing the final link in a north/south wildlife corridor between the Rushworth State Forest and Girgarre.
Located next to the main road, the land was an eyesore and the project aimed to improve the aesthetics of the district as well as becoming a model for landholders to emulate. It was envisioned that revegetation using plant species indigenous to the area would provide wildlife habitats to encourage indigenous fauna and that the project would inspire a new generation of children to connect with their environment and the community.
Working in collaboration with nine local groups and 90 volunteers, this project has gone from strength to strength with VicTrack continuing to fund the Stanhope-Girgarre Rail Trail Revegetation Project in 2020 and 2021.
This project began with the removal of old fencing, and a new boundary fence erected between the site and adjoining lands to ensure stock exclusion. With the site secured, extensive weed eradication was undertaken through the spraying of Briar roses and Bindii. Monitoring is helping keep these invasive species under control.
Two small areas of Grey Box were planted to connect to the established green corridors either end of the site.
In May 2021, a planting day was held with direct seeding of trees indigenous to the area being laid down on the western side of the walking track. Ultimately, this will provide the foundation for a green corridor between the two towns, a canopy for future understory plantings and shade for rail trail users.
According to the Stanhope-Girgarre Land Protection Group, “Cooperation, clear vision, leadership, support, and committed volunteers have been significant factors for the success of this project.
“The grant program has been the most important component and we thank VicTrack and Landcare Australia for the opportunity to develop a project with lasting benefits.”
In May 2021, a planting day was held with direct seeding of trees indigenous to the area being laid down on the western side of the walking track.