The Red Gum Gully Bushcare group provides invaluable care for the Cedar Avenue Reserve. Discover how this group of volunteers used a Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant to provide nature education to visitors of the reserve.

The Red Gum Gully group of volunteers gather around signage at Cedar Reserve

Cedar Avenue Reserve also known by locals as Red Gum Gully is a beautiful space for walks and connecting with nature. The Red Gum Gully Bushcare group meet every month to care for the area by enhancing wildlife corridors through linking habitats and providing sanctuary, food, water and nesting places for many animals, birds and insects. They also encourage regeneration of remnant species through the management of introduced species.

In partnership with Green Adelaide and City of Mitcham, the Red Gum Gully Bushcare group facilitated the design and installation of informative signage throughout the reserve. We caught up with Sally Smith, a volunteer with the group, to find out more about how a Grassroots Grant enabled nature education and connection through this innovative signage.

Why is this grant project important?

The project - a collaboration between the bushcare volunteers, Green Adelaide and the City of Mitcham – was all about sharing environmental information with the wider community.

Signage established in Cedar Avenue Reserve now plays an important role in demonstrating to the community that the reserve is cared for by dedicated and passionate people.

Two people view the signage at Cedar Reserve

How did the grassroots grant help?

The grant provided the finances to produce and install the signage, ultimately providing nature information to visitors of the reserve.

Volunteers liaised closely with the Green Adelaide team on the Aboriginal acknowledgement for the signs.

“It was very important to our group that the signs acknowledge and pay respects to Kaurna traditional owners,” Sally Smith said.

The group produced and installed three interpretive signs within the reserve, and a series of smaller plant identification signs, complementing points of interest like park benches, an interpretive history table, and an insect hotel.

“One of the signs provides an overview of some of the endemic and remnant species we are regenerating within the reserve,” Sally said.

“We think this will help improve general knowledge of native plants in the area, and demonstrate how beautiful they are. We hope the signs encourage more people to consider growing natives in their own gardens. We'd love our community to consider native species (especially those of local provenance) for their garden, in order to provide habitat and food for local animals, as well as being climate resilient options.”

Another sign implemented by the group focuses on the creek within the reserve, and describes the importance of healthy waterways.

“Imagery on the sign shows the difference between the landscape when the volunteer group started providing landcare more than 20 years ago, and what it looks like now. The improvement demonstrates a powerful positive difference that can occur when we work in collaboration to protect our environment,” Sally said.

“The signs also introduce our bushcare group and the activities we undertake,” Sally said, “We are hoping that this might inspire others in our community to become involved.”

Close up of a sign in the reserve which reads Acacia pycnantha Golden wattle

Do you have any words of advice for future grant applicants?

Sally said that a wealth of resources from Green Adelaide made it easier to prepare the application for their signage.

“I would highly recommend that you attend the grant workshops for tips, but also to make connections with the Green Adelaide team and have that chance to meet with them face to face,” Sally says.

“Also, the application process is bigger than just what you want to achieve, it is about considering the broader impact of your project. It is important to get organised early and request project sponsorship or letters of support from key partners as soon as you can. This will make your application as strong as it can be.”

If you’d like further information about Red Gum Gully Bushcare Group (including volunteering!) you can visit the website here.

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