Posts Tagged ‘conservation’

Stalls at the Maker Festival, Photo – Peter Storer

Samford Village is located in semi-rural Queensland northwest of Brisbane, Australia. It is adjacent to state forests and close to the North and South Pine Rivers. Several majestic mountains of the D’Aguilar Range enclose the surrounding valley, creating a place of great natural beauty.

Within the village community, the Samford Commons is emerging as a world class, innovative and exciting showcase for sustainable living. Under the direction of its skilled and committed Board, this not-for-profit, community owned company works with local entities and government agencies. These include creative artists, writers, photographers, schools and environmentalists. The fundamental mission of the Samford Commons is to create a place where new possibilities are nurtured that enable its residents to build a sustainable and resilient future. Multiple focus groups form innovative projects that showcase sustainable living, and one fine example is Millen Farm.

Community farmers at work on Millen Farm, Photo – Peter Storer

Since the appointment of farmer, Arran Heideman, Millen Farm provides a vehicle for urban farming education through workshops in permaculture, aquaponics, organic farming, poultry and bee keeping. As Mr Heideman commented, “Farming is becoming a thing of the past whereas it should be a thing of the future. Millen Farm will contribute to this future; demonstrate a better way of producing local food; educate the community on sustainable farming practices, and act as a training ground for young farmers. It is a way of re-establishing the worth of the farmer in our society.” An adjacent community garden is also in the pipeline. Samford Village members meet here to garden, to yarn about their patch or the season, swap their produce, or do some shopping at the weekly farmer’s market.

The Samford Commons unique School of Sustainability has become its classroom without boundaries. The ESTEAM programs: Entrepreneurs, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, lie at the core of its offerings. In addition, Millen Farm, learning trails, an arts precinct, festivals and the new Community Library all feed into this. Local schools are participating and are now part of a consortium of community members, business people and organizations.

A quiet nook at the Community Library

The recently opened stage one of the Community Library is available for sharing donated resources in a comfortable space for study and reading. Staffed by local volunteers, it occupies several rooms in the Blue Hut and has space for small group meetings and discussions. The Samford Writers’ Group meets here for its monthly meetings while folks gather to swap or borrow books, have a chat, or listen to story time.

Many interesting topics have yet to be explored so a visit to the Samford Commons home page on the web will provide further information. Across the top are a row of tabs and of special interest are the Education Topics featured under the Learn and Grow tab. Peter Storer has beautifully photographed a gallery of flora and fauna found throughout the Samford Valley. With all these local opportunities available to the residents of Samford Village, our community has become a great place in which to live.



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(Artesian Spring at Egdbaston Reserve, photo by Wayne Lawler, used with permission)

The Australian continent is home to exotic flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Despite our small population, the rise of mining, timber and agriculture has created a need to preserve and protect large tracts of pristine bush land. Like many other places in the world today, our country finds itself in the midst of a bio-diversity crisis. Habitats shrink, species disappear and our climate is changing drastically—not always for the better.

As a new focus and program was urgently needed to offset this situation, Bush Heritage Australia appeared on the scene. In 1991 Bob Brown initially purchased several hundred acres of old growth forest in Tasmania, to save it from logging. Using prize money from an environmental award as a deposit, he sought donations to acquire the remaining funds. This initiative secured the beginning of the Bush Heritage program. Its long term vision is to protect more than 7 million hectares of prime land, water and wild life by the year 2025.

In practice, Bush Heritage usually acquires land that features remnant native vegetation, and offers habitat for endangered wildlife. This land is sourced and then acquired through a purchase, gift or bequest. Upon securing land of outstanding conservation value, it is then cared for in a way similar to that of national parks. In this model, the land is legally protected with the intention of safeguarding it forever. Partnerships are also built with other like-minded landowners, and our Aboriginal people, to manage important areas of their land for conservation.


(Australian bustard, threatened species)

Bush Heritage Australia focuses its activities within five ‘Anchor’ regions. These were selected for: outstanding conservation values, the condition of the land and the fact that they contain species that are found nowhere else. The Anchor regions cover part of every Australian state. Bush Heritage management teams include experienced planners, professional ecologists, and ranger/managers on the ground. A large group of volunteers also provides support in every aspect of this conservation work.

One of the most significant artesian springs noted for its global bio-diversity, is located in Queensland’s Edgbaston Reserve. Formerly known as Edgbaston Station, it lies 140 kilometres north-east of Longreach. Here water from the Great Artesian Basin travels hundreds of kilometres beneath an arid surface environment to feed isolated springs. Within these water-blest areas, the evolution of many distinct species continues to thrive. Spanning the Mitchell Grass Plains and Desert Uplands, Edgbaston protects 27 regional ecosystems, two of which are listed as ‘endangered’ while six are ‘of concern.’ All of this land is protected now through the work of Bush Heritage and the generosity of its many Australian supporters.


(Name unknown, threatened species)

Visit the Bush Heritage website to learn more about the work being achieved on behalf of our unique and beautiful Australian environment.

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magnificent tree –
so many years
to reach maturity
so few moments
to be felled

Australia celebrates National Tree Day on Sunday, the 28th July this year. Visit the website to view the activities planned for this day. http://www.treeday.planetark.org

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