Community embrace ponds

An enthusiastic group of local residents came together this month at the Munro Hall to learn more about the Protecting Our Ponds project.

The meeting included presentations outlining the work being done on this rare local waterway system known as the Chain of Ponds. The group then visited a Stockdale property to inspect the work being done with landowner John Boyd.

Paula Camenzuli, Strategic Planner with West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA), said the aim of the project was to protect and rehabilitate the Chain of Ponds through work in key areas.

“By collaborating with landowners like John to fence, plant trees, reduce erosion and control weeds and pest animals, we can protect and restore the ponds,” explained Ms Camenzuli.

“Presentations at the meeting gave people the opportunity to learn more about the aims and the methodology of the project. The group asked plenty of questions and there was room for a lot of discussions.

“Visiting John’s property then gave everyone an opportunity to see the results for themselves, as well as hearing directly from a fellow farmer,” continued Ms Camenzuli.

“John discussed his initial reservations about being involved in the project and how his thinking has changed, particularly as he saw the benefits of the work that has been done on his property.”

Ms Camenzuli said the meeting was a great success and feedback from the attendees was very positive. “One person said it was one of the best community info days they’ve ever attended. Others emphasised how worthwhile the Protecting Our Ponds project is.

“It was wonderful to see so much support and enthusiasm from the community. I also want to thank Jen Dunsmuir and the Munro Hall Committee team for the superb morning tea and lunch they prepared for us.”

The Protecting Our Ponds project focus areas include the Perry River, Providence Ponds, and the Sandy, Middle, California, Paisley and Fiddlers Creeks.

Healthy ponds not only look beautiful, but provide a home for threatened plants and animals, such as the Golden Bell Frog and Gaping Leek-orchid.

For more information visit www.wgcma.vic.gov.au.

The Protecting our Ponds project is supported by West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Victorian Government’s Our Catchments, Our Communities Program.

fenced off pond
A fenced off pond on John Boyd’s Stockdale property
Landowner and forum organisers
Landowner, John Boyd with forum organiser Paula Camenzuli and WGCMA’s Rod Johnston