Holbrook A Finalist In Landcare Award

February 21, 2000 The Southern Weekly Magazine

The Holbrook Landcare Group will be one of 88 finalists in 11 categories competing for the 2000 National Landcare Awards on March 2.

Held every two years, the 2000 Landcare Awards will be staged at the Melbourne Convention Centre. This year's awards held on the eve of the first international Landcare Conference will have the theme -Taking Landcare to the World'.

It will showcase to the world, Landcare's grass roots approach to the environment - an approach driven by the community which has succeeded in implementing solutions to many environmental problems.

When the Landcare movement started in Australia in 1989, the aim was to have 2000 groups by the end of 1999 but has been so embraced by Australians that there are now nearly 5000 groups.

The awards will recognise the best Landcarers Australia has to offer - the 88 finalists will be a great inspiration to landcarers and to those not yet involved.

Landcare Chief Executive Brian Scarsbrick said the Holbrook Landcare group has done terrific work. "They have 173 members which is 80 percent of the area's landholders. They are currently improving habitat for birds that eat harmful insects and have been doing terrific educational programs. "They are a great example of the strength of Landcare," he said.

Holbrook Landcare co-ordinator Catherine Hulm said the National Landcare Awards will be an exceptionally exciting event for the Holbrook community. It's good to see small rural communities holding their own against the better resourced bigger areas.

After winning the state award in 1999, the group which started as Holbrook Trees on Farms - have a history which parallels the history of Landcare.

In the early 90s the group focused on salinity demonstration sites, pasture trials, concrete fumes and tree planting for shelter belts and habitat improvement. This was followed by sub catchment plans and recharge plantings to manage rising water tables in the mid 90s. In response to serious dieback problems the group began a three year research project into die-back.

The group has now formulated a detailed land and water management plan to co-ordinate activities over the entire district involving all parts of the community.