Three Friends of Parks groups were awarded for their outstanding conservation and community engagement projects at the 24
th Annual General Meeting of Friends of Parks last month.
Friends of Parks groups work closely with DEWNR and play an important role in maintaining national parks across the state.
Innovation Award – for a new or different approach to activities with an on-park biodiversity management outcome.
Friends of Shorebirds SE received the award for their Tracking Grey Plovers from the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary to the Arctic Breeding Grounds Project.
In the past three years, Friends of Shorebirds SE captured, banded, leg-flagged and fitted satellite trackers to 10 grey plovers, with financial support from Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges and the Australian Government.
This was the first time a South Australian volunteer group used this type of technology to improve the understanding of international migratory birds, and other similar groups are now following suit.
The project was also a great example of Friends of Parks groups working with other community groups and stakeholders in a biodiversity management project.
Habitat Restoration and Protection Award – for protecting, restoring, or monitoring native plant communities and eco-systems, including pest plant control, re-vegetation or bush care.
Friends of Black Hill and Morialta were awarded the prize for their work on the Third Falls Track Project.
The project began in 1994, and has resulted in the entire Third Falls Track, an area of about 35 ha, now being woody weed free.
This area of Morialta Conservation Park is an important conservation area, with stringybark and pink gum associations and a blue gum riparian zone, providing a breeding area for yellow-tailed black cockatoos and supporting declining woodland birds such as white-browed scrubwrens, tree martins and scarlet robins.
Community Engagement Award – for communication, interpretation or education work to inform the South Australian community about parks and reserves.
The Walking Trails Support Group was recognised for their free Flinders Ranges Walks app, providing interpretation for self-guided walks in the Flinders Ranges.
The group spent 18 months developing the app in response to more than 25 years of field observations and feedback from visitors in protected areas.
The app builds on interpretive leaflets available at trailheads and the Walking Trails Support Group’s website.
The McLaren Shield
The Walking Trails Support Group also received the prestigious McLaren Shield for their Flinders Ranges Walks app.
The judging panel felt the free interpretive app for visitors to the Flinders Ranges was very innovative, a proactive solution to real feedback that identified visitors’ needs and was a difficult achievement in such a short space of time.
Friends of Black Hill and Morialta Parks President Liz Milner with State Member for Fisher Nat Cook
Friends of Shorebirds SE Secretary Maureen Christie and State Member for Fisher Nat Cook