Friends pull polygala from parks

Friends of Southern Eyre Peninsula Parks members Geoff Ellway and Garry Hollands plant a sheoak to help the revegetation of the Wanna Flats in Lincoln National Park. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Friends of Southern Eyre Peninsula Parks group has successfully received a grant to help remove an invasive weed from Lincoln National Park.

The latest round of the state government’s Friends of Parks Small Grants Program is giving a $5000 grant to the group as it endeavours to remove the Polygala weed.

Secretary Jim Egan said Friends of Southern Eyre Peninsula Parks currently had around 50 members supporting the National Parks team to revegetate its areas, clean up weeds, maintain walking trails and develop campgrounds.

“We support national parks officers and we’ve been going for close on 30 years now,” he said.

“The particular grant we are getting this time is to help us remove a weed called Polygala, a woody weed that has been slowly spreading into the park from the west. It’s a very competitive weed spreading through the park, it’s very aggressive.

“If you’re not careful it will smother the natives out, so we are looking to remove it and restore the vegetation to its natural native state.”

Mr Egan said the money would be used to employ a contractor who will go in with heavier equipment and get into harder access areas.

“They will clean it out a bit and then we can follow after by getting rid of any new or smaller germinations that come up,” he said.

“Polygala is really spread by birds which is an ongoing battle that we want to keep plugging away at.”

Grants will help 41 projects across the state and Department for Environment and Water community and nature partnership director Mary-Anne Healy said the work of dedicated volunteers made a positive contribution to maintaining and improving South Australia’s parks and reserves.

“We are very fortunate to have so many hardworking volunteers who are passionate about improving biodiversity across our state,” she said.

“They give up their time and roll up their sleeves to protect our valuable flora and fauna, which makes visiting our wonderful parks and reserves a more enjoyable experience for everyone.

“These grants ensure their work can continue and we are delighted to support the amazing work of our volunteers.”

For those interested in joining the Friends of Southern Eyre Peninsula Parks, enquiries can be made at the National Parks office on Tasman Terrace or visiting the group Facebook page.