Green Adelaide Grassroots Grants 2021/2022

The Club recently applied for a grant through Green Adelaide’s Grassroots Grant program which support projects that contribute to improved management of the metropolitan Adelaide environment and the purpose to work with individuals, volunteers, communities and organisations to create a cooler, greener, wilder and climate-resilient city.

To support this vision, there are seven priorities:

  • Coastal management
  • Water resources and wetlands
  • Green streets and flourishing parklands
  • Biodiversity and water sensitive urban design
  • Controlling pest plants and pest animals
  • Nature education
  • Fauna, flora and ecosystem health in the urban environment

All grants have to contribute to one or more of the following Grassroots Grant objective:

  • Protection and ecologically sustainable management of landscapes and their interconnected elements, in particular, land, soil, water, native fauna and flora
  • Protection and conservation of biodiversity, and restoration or rehabilitation of ecological systems and processes so they are resilient to changes
  • Prevention or control of impacts caused by pest species of animals and plants that may have an adverse effect on the environment, primary production or the community
  • Encouragement of the restoration or rehabilitation of ecological systems and processes that have been lost or degraded
  • Support for primary industries, interest of Aboriginal peoples and resilient communities
  • Provision of information, educational initiatives and support mechanisms to strengthen the skills, knowledge and capacity of people to sustainably manage natural resources

We were successful in our application for the grant for the project “Ecological restoration of The Pinery at Grange”. Over 18 months we will receive $30,000 from the Green Adelaide Grassroots Grant program to help us begin our project. Below is a project brief to simply outline our intentions.

Ecological restoration of The Pinery at Grange

The Grange Golf Club Inc.

PROJECT BRIEF

Background

The Grange Golf Club property covers 110 hectares, and contains over fifty (50) indigenous, remnant plant species.  Amongst the most distinctive and unique features of this site are large patches of remnant vegetation associated with the original Greater Reedbeds and the inland sand dune system of the Adelaide plains, the latter characterised by groves of the Southern Cypress Pine Callitris Gracilis.  The dunes once extended in an almost unbroken line from the Sturt River near Camden to Queenstown.  From his first visit in 1954, Darrell Kraehenbuehl described the “Pinery” as an area that “extended another 4 km north from the Grange Golf Links area towards Queenstown…and almost solely covered with a Callitris preissii [gracilis] Woodland association…” (Kraehenbuehl 1986[1]).  This feature is now restricted to the Grange Golf Course.

At least four native plant communities occurred on the site of the Grange Golf Course at the time of European colonisation, with remnants of each evident today.   The best examples are three Callitris gracilis Woodland sites within the East Course, collectively comprising 1.8 hectares.  The largest and most representative site (0.7 hectares) contains the only surviving population of the Nationally Vulnerable Sandhill Greenhood (Pterostylis arenicola) in the Adelaide Region.  This Project will support the restoration of the largest areas of remnant Callitris gracilis Woodland within the Grange Golf Course including habitat of the Sandhill Greenhood.

Against a trend of declining green space within metropolitan Adelaide, the Grange Golf Course represents 110 hectares of much needed green space, which through the implementation of the VMP and the support of this Project, will contribute significantly to the Green Adelaide vision of “a cooler, greener, wilder and climate resilient city.”  Ecological restoration of the remnant Callitris gracilis Woodland will improve its resilience to climate change.  The Grange Golf Club also recognises the importance of these surviving remnants as the most sustainable means of maintaining non-playing areas, and for their contribution to the landscape character of the Course.

A Vegetation Management Plan for Grange Golf Course (VMP) was approved by the Club Committee in 2020, with the following key objectives:

  • to preserve and maintain the natural biodiversity
  • to integrate climate adaptation in vegetation planning and management, and
  • to maintain and enhance the desired landscape character and visual amenity of the course

Project outline

A key aim of the Grange Golf Course VMP (2020) is to minimise and control the range of factors that contribute to biodiversity loss including the following: foot and buggy traffic, tree work (pruning, felling, removal), indiscriminate dumping of plant debris, irrigation over-spray, careless weed spraying, chemical over-spray from turf areas, fox activity and weeds.  The following environmental weeds are an important management issue in The Pinery: Perennial Veldt grass, Annual Veldt grass, Wild Oats, Rat’s-tail Fescue, Couch Grass, Hare’s Tail Grass, Capeweed, Rooted Catsear, Fleabane, Soursob, Wild Radish, and Coastal Galenia.

This Project will support the ecological restoration work of The Pinery in the Grange Golf Course – three Sites representing the most important tracts of remnant Callitris gracilis Woodland in western Adelaide.

A key project activity will be sensitive, bushcare weeding carried out at each Site.

This work will be complemented and supported by the following activities:

  • Bushland assessments (based on NVC method)
  • Bushcare action plan for the Project sites
  • Monitoring of the Sandhill Greenhood orchid
  • Fauna survey
  • Erecting 400 metres of barrier fencing to control player access
  • Fabricating cages and placement to protect orchids from trampling

Flora assessment and recovery work carried out by TPAG and fauna survey conducted by FNSSA will provide knowledge transfer opportunities for GGC environmental staff through their direct involvement. The erection of barrier fencing will be undertaken by GGC ground staff.

Table 1:  Activity timetable

Sept. 2021 – March 2023 (18 months)

Activity

Start date

Finish date

Service provider

Deliverable

Bushland assessments

September 2021

November 2021

TPAG

Report

Bushcare action planning

October 2021

October 2021

TPAG

Plan

Orchid monitoring

September 2021

September 2023

TPAG

Report

Bushcare weeding

October 2021

September 2023

TPAG

Weed diary

Fauna survey

October 2021

September 2023

FNSSA

Report

Fencing

October 2021

November 2021

GGC

Fence in situ

Orchid protection

September 2021

September 2021

TPAG

Cages in situ

 

Features of this Project

Contribution to Grassroots Grant program objectives

This Project will contribute to the following Grant project objectives, each of which is reflected in the Grange Golf Club Vegetation Management Plan approved by the Club Committee in 2020:

  • Protection and ecologically sustainable management of landscapes and their interconnected elements, in particular land, soil, water, native fauna and flora. 

  • Protection and conservation of biodiversity, and restoration or rehabilitation of ecological systems and processes so they are resilient to changes. 

  • Prevention or control of impacts caused by pest species of animals and plants that may have an adverse effect on the environment, primary production or the community. 


Leveraging other funding sources or provision of in-kind funding

  • In-kind contribution to fencing and site protection (labour and materials) by The Grange Golf Club
  • GGC staff involvement in fauna monitoring eg checking and servicing of trail cams

High level of value for money based on the scale and impact of the project

  • GGC contains the largest and most intact areas of remnant Callitris Woodland in western Adelaide – through this Project their restoration will provide a model or template for re-establishment of this ecological community at other sites in the Region
  • This Project will improve conservation outcomes for an important and regionally unique population the Sandhill Greenhood, a nationally threatened species (refer Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species and Ecological Communities of Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges https://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/c14c8f70-bcec-4d0d-ad51-0769bfb1dfb5/files/adelaide-and-mount-lofty-ranges.pdf )
  • The scale of this Project and its focus on remnant vegetation will help to build resilience to the present and future challenges of climate change

Complements or supports existing programs/initiatives

  • This Project complements and supports the Grange Golf Course Vegetation Management Plan, approved by the Club Committee in 2020
  • In respect of the nationally threatened Sandhill Greenhood, this Project supports the long-term aim of the Regional Recovery Plan for Threatened Species and Ecological Communities of Adelaide and the Mount Lofty Ranges to “reduce the probability of threatened species … of the AMLR region becoming extinct in the wild, and to maximise species’ viability
  • This project addresses 2 of the 7 key priorities for action in The AdaptWest Climate Change Adaptation Plan
  • Protecting our coastal assets and environment
  • Enhancing open and green spaces to cool our urban environment 

Clear timelines, milestones and management of potential risks for the proposed project

  • Project timelines (based on key activities) provided in Table 1 above.
  • Management of risk:

Damage to orchids and habitat (survey & bushcare work):

Minimise no. & frequency of people entering Sites; Conduct fauna survey away from (outside buffer zone) orchid colony at Site 1; Fauna survey to use passive survey methods (e.g. trail cams, tile traps, direct observation Improve site demarcation/fencing at Site 1; Mark or cage plants at greatest risk at Site 1 (orchid colony); GGC Biodiversity Manager to approve & oversee monitoring & survey programs; Education & awareness through GGC eNews, on-course signage, etc.; Review/advocate local golf rule for Site 1 (orchid colony).

Damage to habitat during fence replacement:

Plan low impact method for fence replacement; GGC Biodiversity Manager to supervise fence replacement.

High level of public benefit and supports the local community

  • GGC, as a 110-hectare site of predominantly green space, provides a significant ameliorating influence on the urban heat island effect of the surrounding urban/built-up environment
  • Ecological restoration work will increase populations of indigenous species to commercial-scale seed orchard size that may be available for local community revegetation projects

Utilise strategic partnerships and collaborations

This project will strengthen existing, and develop new, strategic partnerships with organisations that have a focus on conserving Adelaide’s biodiversity, notably Threatened Plant Action Group SA, Field Naturalists Society of SA, Friends of the Tennyson Dunes, Royal Adelaide Golf Club, and Glenelg Golf Club.

How success of the project will be measured

  • Bushland Assessment and orchid monitoring reports
  • Fauna survey report including recommendations for ongoing management
  • Extent of foot traffic and soil disturbance at each Site in response to access control measures

How the project outcomes and outputs will be supported and maintained into the future.

  • A Vegetation Management Plan (VMP 2020), with a focus on biodiversity conservation, was approved by the Club Committee in 2020, and including the key objectives:
    • to preserve and maintain the natural biodiversity, and
    • to integrate climate adaptation in vegetation planning and management
  • Under the Course Superintendent, The Grange Golf Club employs environmental staff including a Biodiversity Manager, dedicated specifically to managing the native vegetation across both courses in accordance with the aims and objectives of the VMP 2020
  • Bushcare Action Plan for The Pinery (Sites 1, 2 & 3) to guide future management under Biodiversity Manager responsibility
  • The Grange Golf Club will maintain strategic partnerships with other organisations with a focus on biodiversity conservation, such as the Threatened Plant Action Group SA and other sand-belt golf courses

Through this grant it will support GEO’s push to maximise the ecosystem function of golf courses naturalisation – allowing more natural vegetation to grow, knowing the wildlife priorities and focusing appropriate actions to protected, rare and other priority species which will see our club minimise direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions to sequester as much carbon as possible in the urban landscape. Through ecosystem enhancement, we can understand the landscape and context, exploring the full potential of the site using natural solutions and best integrating with the surrounding ecology. The grant also contributes to pollution prevention by safeguarding the quality of the environment including air, soil and water and minimising noise and disturbance and avoiding and mitigating the most significant risks. This action is vital to society as a whole and directly related to the future viability and playability of golf itself as we all increasingly witness the dangers of accelerating climate change.

Jessica Abercrombie
The Grange Golf Club

[1] Kraehenbuehl, DN (1986). Pre- European vegetation of Adelaide: A survey from the Gawler River to Hallett Cove. NCSSA

Click on the links below for more information on the grant

GEO and Grant Report

2021 – Green Adelaide Grant Approval Form _000056

GCC_Pinery Site map