Spring Newsletter 2023

Spring Newsletter Sunshine Reserve

2023 Spring Newsletter

We would like to acknowledge the lands of the Bunurong /Boonwurrung people, traditional custodians of this place known as Ballern Ballern (place of 2 creeks). We pay our respects to the Land, the people, and their elders past, present and emerging and recognise that sovereignty to the land has never been ceded. We promise to walk softly and gently on this land.

Vote Yes

Note from the Field

As we move into the warmer months, we watch the grassy weeds GROW!

Over the last months much of the Naturelinks work in the 5 different areas of the Reserve are focusing on the explosion of grassy weeds. One of our usual suspects include Sweet vernal grass - Anthoxanthum odoratum an exotic from Eurasia and North Africa. We are in a race against time to address before they produce seed. Many of the grasses are at different stages of life and that will determine our method of treatment. When the plant is still in the flowering stage there are multiple options for treatment, slashing, spraying and of course manual removal. Removing these grasses (in the 5 Mornington Peninsula Shire weed management polygon areas) allow space for our indigenous species to have the best opportunity to prosper.

We have also been working in the Upper part of the Reserve. It is deeply encouraging to know the Koalas are still using the Reserve. We have been working on strategic removal of some of the larger woody weeds again to encourage the natural recruitment of the unique species that make up the damp sands herb rich woodland. The springtime flush is here and colour splashes subtly show us her bush jewels.

On 14 September Sunshine was a part of Mornington Peninisula Shire's 'Get to know your local bushland reserve' Spring programme. These walks were delivered by Alden Collins and myself. We facilitated 2 groups and talked history, changes, progress, ongoing issues, plant identification and the key significance this gully plays in the wider landscape. We had great feedback and hope MPS will continue to offer these in future years.

The Bunnies have bred and are increasing. We have highlighted this problem to the MPS natural systems team. Should you become aware of any burrows please use the snap send solve app to log location.

And thank you for joining us at the recent working bee in Upper Sunshine - great to see both long term and new members. We got busy removing fine fuel making room for planting Koala food gumtrees in the October working bee.

Pia Spreen

AGM News

Thank you to all those who attended our Annual General Meeting on 7 October at Mount Martha House.  It was fantastic to see so many supportive faces, celebrate our recent achievements in thanking our wonderful community and outline plans for the year ahead. Our guest speaker Alden Collins presented "Aspects of Sunshine" with spectacular drone footage. He demonstrated how Upper Sunshine reserve is the biolink (biodiversity link) for our local environment, connecting animals, plants, and biodiversity between our Sunshine Reserve bushland, Mount Martha Park, Fairbairn Reserve, Hopetoun Reserve, BERG and the Briars. Awesome presentation Alden, thankyou"  

Our 2023/2024 elected committee is:

Coordinator/Secretary - Angie Fly
Field Officer - Pia Spreen
Treasurer/Membership - Cameron Glover
Events/Social Media - Jessica Schubert-Hoban
Business/Program Support - Jon Fly
Program Support - Tanya Burdett
Newsletter Editor - Kate Reynolds
Education - Sally Fisher
Waterwatch Co-ordinator - Catherine Bartolo

Angie Fly

Save the dates and Stay Connected

Weedbusters 'Pop Up' Event

Saturday 4th November from 9 am @ Mount Martha Shops with BERG. Early bird gets the worm ... we have 50 plants to giveaway. Let's chat about weeds and take home a free native.

Sunshine Reserve Koala Family Focus Event

Sunday 29 October 9 - 11 am Upper Sunshine (meet end Gray Street): suitable for all ages with focus on fun activities to protect koala habitat and safety as we do some strategic planting. Did you know koalas have been spotted here? 

CFA Community Briefing

Thursday 30th November 6-7 pm

Sunshine Reserve (meet 51 McLeod Road): This briefing is open to everyone so spread the word! Mount Martha Fire Brigade (CFA) is giving us the opportunity to learn about fire safety measures, ask questions and connect with fellow community members. Follow our Facebook page for more information.

Pia, Jess and Angie joined the Natural Systems team and 60 volunteers on 16 September at Seawinds, Arthurs Seat for the 20th year of the Friends Group Network Event.

Commencing with a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony, the women were invited first to bath in the smoke which had cleansing properties. It was explained women are viewed as life-givers, leaders, and caregivers so the men follow the women. There was an overall sense of connection to the land we were visiting. 

We were then introduced to Brian Bainbridge a freelance naturalist who inspired us to go on a 'habitat hunt / bioblitz.'   After splitting into groups we explored the Arthurs Seat summit area snapping closeup up photos of spiders, ants, moths, lizards, and other interesting finds. It felt like a treasure hunt for grownups and there was collective enthusiasm as we met the challenge. The photos were then turned into a mini-documentary, which was presented by Brian as he shared his knowledge and observations of our unique collaboration. Finally we were also given a masterclass in iNaturalist, an online social network tool to share biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature. 

If you want to go on your own Habitat Hunt and learn about the treasures hidden in Sunshine reserve download the app to your phone or explore online

Thank you to Hannah Brown and the team at Mornington Peninsula Shire for organising such a fantastic day which was inspiring, informative, and great fun!

Speaking of our environmental friends, congratulations to Friends of Fairbairn Bushland Reserve who were recently awarded the Shire's Sun-Orchid award. They have worked tirelessly in Mt Martha for over 15 years, raising the profile of the Reserve (close neighbours of Upper Sunshine) and positively influencing residents to become more involved in protecting the natural environment.  Spring in Fairbairn brings a flush of colourful wildflowers, indigenous grasses and a diverse array of orchids (in flower now).
Working bees fall on the 3rd Sunday of the month 9 to 11 at the Scenic view playground if keen to get to know Fairbairn Reserve.  

Our Sponsors

Our Sponsors

Please support Bendigo Bank, Warlimont and Nutt and Hop Nation as they support our local bush land and it’s capacity to thrive. We couldn't do our work without them.

In addition to our current sponsors, we would like to take this opportunity to reach out to potential new partners. If you or your organisation are interested in supporting our mission, or you know someone who may be interested, contact us to learn more about the various sponsorship opportunities available. Please call Angie Fly on 0408 188 384.

Walking on Sunshine

This is your Sunshine Reserve and we need your help to protect this unique habitat. If you haven't already done so, become a new member, renew your membership, or make a donation! Our members are key to the preservation of the Reserve and its future. Your $10 membership will help us fund a comprehensive scientific survey over one year to document the flora and fauna in Upper Sunshine. You will also be kept informed on events and the health of the Reserve.

 Step up and Become a Sunshine Reserve Member Today

And don't forget to follow our socials and website to keep up to date with all things Sunshine ... care, connect, explore ... you won't regret it.

We are also grateful to our friends in other community organisations who support us.

Thank you to MPKoala who donated 50 Koala food trees for planting at our working bees. Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation encourage and assist landholders to protect and enhance existing vegetation and highlight how we can all better protect the Peninsula's koala population.

Such associations are growing organically and this 'cross pollination' help our environmental community to thrive.