RACV and Landcare Australia partnered in 2016 to deliver the RACV Goldfields Landcare in Action program, which saw close to $180,000 in funding provided to seven projects in close proximity to the RACV Goldfields Resort.
The local environmental projects have directly benefitted local communities in the region and include revegetation, weed removal, riparian protection, soil testing, educational workshops, community events, and upgrades of infrastructure and equipment.
The RACV Goldfields resort employs over 140 people and those staff members will have the opportunity to volunteer at the projects, gaining hands-on experience in natural resource management, and providing assistance to the local community groups involved.
As an example, between 2016 and 2018 volunteers planted over 14,000 native seedlings in the RACV Goldfields in Action program in Creswick. Volunteers also assisted in planting nearly 14 hectares of native seed.
Ullina Landcare Group
Active for 20 years and predominantly made up of local primary producers, the Ullina Landcare Group is working to restore Birch Creek, and has removed exotic weeds, collecting seeds, planting, erecting fencing and installing water tanks and pumps. This long-term project is already seeing an improvement in water quality, habitat for native fauna, and a reduction in erosion.
Upper Mount Emu Creek Landcare Network
Six landholders are involved in this project that worked on the creation of biodiversity corridors, with eight hectares of new habitat created, and a further 16 hectares enhanced. Species in the area include the koala, brush tailed phascogale, growling grass frog and striped legless lizard.
Bald Hills-Creswick Landcare Group
This community group has been eradicating weeds and planting native trees in the area for over 25 years. The group’s project at Park Lake Botanical Reserve is helping restore it to its former glory. Local community groups were involved in the work which included clearing weeds and lining walking trails with native flora.
Wattle Flat-Pootilla Landcare Group
Visitors to Creswick Forest are benefitting from this project, which involves restoration works to Slaty Creek Picnic Ground and the Great Dividing Trail walk. Signed pathways, fencing, and BBQs were installed, weeds removed, and a number of native trees planted.
Upper Loddon and Avoca Landcare Network
The Smeaton Farming for Sustainable Soils Group undertook a project to measure the ability of management practices shown to improve soil microbiology and overall soil health. Intensive tests were undertaken and a soil masterclass conducted, with the aim of increasing the economic and environmental sustainability of production in the district.
Blampied-Kooroocheang Landcare Group
Farmers and landholders work together in this group which has been active since 1988. Pest plant species were actively controlled, including gorse, blackberry and boxthorn, and indigenous plants used to revegetate, including yarra gum, tree violet, and silver banksia.
Friends of Cornish Hill
Working on the restoration of Cornish Hill, this group undertook three projects involving and educating local students, providing hands on experience with native animals and taking part in a ‘River Detectives’ program.