Isolation offers opportunity to appreciate nature
THE new year has proven to be a rough one for members of a local landscape conservation group, with natural disasters and now a pandemic preventing its plans.
A community-based, not-for-profit organisation, Lockyer Uplands Catchments Inc, is involved in landscape conservation in the uplands of the Lockyer Valley.
Though their planned activities have been repeatedly set back by bushfires, heavy rain, bushfires, and now self-isolation, members have been making the most of their free time.
"A number of members say they are making good use of extra time at home to get on top of weed management and general maintenance on their properties," LUCI President Diane Guthrie said.
"Isolation has also afforded time for members to appreciate the amazing abundance of various species of butterflies that are around at present, thanks to earlier rains this year, as well as the nesting preparations of some bird species."
Diane encouraged locals to take advantage of their additional time stuck at home to explore the outdoors, and familiarise themselves with their non-human neighbours.
LUCI's goals are to educate landowners on native flora and fauna, and encourage better land management strategies to improve animal habitats in the region.
This work is carried out through workshops, citizen projects, monitoring of threatened species, conservation projects, and much more.
Many of these activities have been temporarily put on hold, but people can still get involved from the comfort of their own properties.
"Our Conserving Native Grasses in the Lockyer workshops, which received an LVRC grant, will be rescheduled to later in the year," Diane said.
"Community members who are interested in this project can start contributing to workshop materials, the creation of a native grasses herbarium, and a field identification booklet by photographing or pressing grasses they think might be native. Photographs can be sent for identification by an ecologist as well."
Though most members are in self-isolation at the moment, Diane said they're eager to get back to work as soon as possible.
"We look forward to resuming our community conservation and monitoring threatened species activities as soon as public health officials advise," she said.
For more information on LUCI and their activities, visit their website, or contact Diane by email.