Access & Environment Officer report May 2019

As announced by the VCC President on 6th May    https://vicclimb.org.au/2019/05/access-environment-officer-announcement/  I have resigned from my my position as Access & Environment Officer. Today will be my last day although I will be seeing the project launch of the Central Gully Walking Track Repair through on Saturday June 8th.

This hasn’t been an easy decision to make especially as I leave in a challenging time for Access, but after 11 years in the job, it’s time for a bit of self care, and also for someone else with a fresh heart and head to journey through the next couple of years that the Grampians access issues more specifically, will require. Best wishes for the new Access officer.

This will be my last report. It won’t contain much about the Grampians access – there will be more updates coming out about that soon. Instead it is just a few things I have also been working on with some great volunteers.

CliffCare website

The new CliffCare website is currently being built by Brett Williams of Sidetrip Productions. This is definitely the website I have wished for many years. Easy to navigate, great educational information, advocacy history and current campaigns. Here is a screenshot – stay tuned for the launch sometime in the near future.

cliffcare website screenshot

 

Education

Now that the CliffCare Education Project poster campaign Access is No Accident has launched, further efforts can be put into discussing the issues at length. One of my last tasks to do today is put together some small packs that will be sent to the gyms that contain the Access is No Accident posters, CliffCare posters CLF3 Poster A4_1.0 and postcards, and a gym copy of a great publication – Aboriginal Heritage identification guide. This guide was developed by Parks Victoria’s culture and heritage branch. It is used by Parks Victoria employees as well as other agencies and groups that may work on Parks Victoria managed land. As the climbing community regularly engage in working parties in the parks, being aware is an important part of being a volunteer. Alongside this requirement for understanding the volunteer work, this booklet is a great opportunity for the climbing community in general to read up and understand a little more about Cultural Heritage and how it is more than rock art.

Aboriginal Heritage Identification Guide -1

Aboriginal Heritage Identification Guide

You can also find this for download on the Education tab – Indigenous Cultural Heritage
https://cliffcare.org.au/about/education/indigenous-cultural-heritage/

Many thanks to Parks Victoria for supplying hardcopies and allowing us to provide the pdf for access. This will eventually reside in the education portal on the new CliffCare website but it the meantime you can access it on the current website as noted above.

Central Gully Walking Track Repair Project Launch Date – Pick My Project.

After the successful win in the State Government ‘Pick My Project’ grant programme and all the usual paperwork and permits required –

The launch date is now confirmed – Queens Birthday Weekend – 8th June, 2019.

The project now needs one of the most important contributions in order to get it up and running. You.

We need bodies to help move some rocks down the track so that stonemason extraordinaire Walter Braun, can work his magic. All you need is an hour or so to spare, some closed toe shoes and that’s it.

We will meet at the top of Central Gully at 9.30am  for some launch festivities and then onto a little rock transportation. Please drop CliffCare a line so we can estimate numbers. cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

Many thanks for the funding provided by the Victorian Government through Pick My Project.

And that’s about it – As always lots more to say, so many works in the pipeline but I will be passing that onto the next person now.
Thanks to many for their support over the years and best wishes in the access space.

Over and out,

Tracey Skinner

Green Photo Background Environmental Protection Poster

Project Launch – Upper Central Gully Walking Track Repair Project 2019

The launch date is now confirmed – Queens Birthday Weekend – 8th June, 2019. That’s only 2 weeks away.

We’ve had a few hiccups but we are now rearing to go.

The Pick My Project – Upper Central Gully Walking Track Repair Project now needs one of the most important contributions in order to get it up and running. You.

We need bodies to help move some rocks down the track so that stonemason extraordinaire Walter Braun, can work his magic. All you need is an hour or so to spare, some closed toe shoes and that’s it.

We will meet at the top of Central Gully at 9.30am  for some launch festivities and then onto a little rock transportation. Please drop me CliffCare a line so we can estimate numbers. cliffcare@vicclimb.org.au

Many thanks for the funding provided by the Victorian Government through Pick My Project

Green Photo Background Environmental Protection Poster

PICK MY PROJECT – UPPER CENTRAL GULLY WALKING TRACK REPAIR PROJECT

We need your help! Your voting help. Pick My Project.

For everyone who visits Mt Arapiles, you would know that getting people to the top and bottom of the mount via tracks, whether to access climbing locations or taking time out for a walk can have an impact on the environment. CliffCare/VCC and Friends of Arapiles have been working over the years in collaboration with Parks Victoria to create tracks that will last a lifetime, for the community to enjoy for many lifetimes. We have one more project to do in order to create an amazing loop walk with views of the Wimmera and a hardened stoneworked track. The only place in the Wimmera to see these views. A sustainable track for a community of generations to come, a place of peace and quiet enjoyment, for wellbeing and pride of community.

We need your help in voting to win a grant to pay for this project. Upper Central Gully Walking Track. Please register for an account and vote for our project. What to do:

1. Create an account.
2. Choose Natimuk as your location. You can change the location on the website by clicking the little pin at the top of the page.
3. Shortlist the Mt Arapiles-Upper Central Gully Walking Track Repair Project. You can choose 3 projects to shortlist. They will all need to be in 50kms of your location choice. You don’t need to live in that location.
4. Verify your phone number and submit your vote. Please remember to verify your phone number or the vote won’t count.

Please spread far and wide to all your friend and those who love Mt Arapiles.

You are allowed to choose and shortlist 3. Please vote for Central Gully Walking Track
Visit here https://pickmyproject.vic.gov.au/rounds/pick-my-project/ideas/mount-arapiles-upper-central-gully-walking-track-repair-project
Voting closes on 17th September, 2018�

PLEASE SPREAD FAR AND WIDE
Thanks!

IMG_1856

Walter Braun, Stonemason. Walter has been working tirelessly on many of the tracks at Mt Arapiles. We need your help so he can build another section of track that will create a complete loop walk of Pharos Gully and Central Gully.

Queens Birthday Annual Planting Event 2018

What the….? A year already! The Annual Queens Birthday Planting (Campground Revegetation Project) event at Mt Arapiles is only 10 days away. You’ve done it before and you know it’s a good time to be had. Playing in the dirt, building mud castles, sprinkling mulch and easing those baby trees into the ground. It’s like a big love fest for future greenery. Get loved up and roll on up. There is also a VCC club trip happening to coincide with it.
https://vicclimb.org.au/…/queens-birthday-weekend-tree-pla…/

What are we planting this time?
20 White Cypress Callitris glaucophylla
10 Port Jackson Pine Callitris rhomboidea
20 Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina stricta
20 Yellow Gum Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp leucoxylon
3 Wallowa Acacia calamifolia
All gathered seed from Mt Arapiles and grown by Ollie Sherlock

reveg poster june 2018

Central Gully Repair Project Work Day

This coming Saturday 5th May!

WOD. None of the other Workouts of the Day give you warm fuzzy feelings, or brownies for that matter. Rock up, haul a rock or two, feel pumped, eat a brownie, go climb. Or sleep. Whatever. Let’s do this people! (said in a deep, yelly and authoritative voice. But still a friendly voice:-)

 

central gully working bee 5th May

Access & Environment Report December 2017

Last Access officer report for the year.
Discussions are still ongoing with regards to the Black Range issues. As I noted in previous reports, this has thrown the discussion much wider than just the Black Range. Cultural heritage and how climbing may impact sites, is firmly on the table. This throws up many questions without as yet, answers. These questions are not just limited to climbing but obviously our focus is trying to provide some answers and sustainable options for climbing to co-exist with cultural heritage in the parks. And the Grampians is the top of the list when it comes to climbing and bouldering sites. And top of the list when it comes to cultural heritage. Especially around rock sites. As the sport of climbing and bouldering becomes more and more popular, the growth of gyms in the city increases and the push to get more people outdoors enjoying recreational pursuits – one of the biggest questions is ‘With rock a finite source, and climbers an infinite source, how do we manage this?’ For some, on either side of the table, maybe the answers are very simple – stop the recreational activity and on the other side continue the recreational activity as always. These are both the easiest options in many ways, but neither of them are fair nor sustainable in the long term. The middle ground or somewhere thereabouts is where we need to get to but this won’t be easy. There are a myriad of other queries and issues within the bigger question and these all need to be discussed. In the new year, I am aiming to ramp up these discussions and to get the climbing community asking themselves the harder questions. And coming up with some solutions that are agreeable to the majority.

One of my difficulties with this, is capturing feedback and collating it, and on some kind of platform that requires minimal management. There are numerous avenues such as CliffCare website, Chockstone, Facebook, theCrag that I visit regularly to gather info from the climbing community. But this can be very time consuming and fragmented. Any suggestions as to a platform that could work better in order to present topics and discussion on this subject to the wider climbing community would be great.
In the meantime, throw the question around in your head, discuss with your fellow climbers and come up with some starting point thoughts.
This Parks Victoria community update just arrived with some words on the issue GNP Community Update December 2017

Plenty Gorge Draft Master Plan is now out for community feedback. We have been in communication with Parks Victoria since the beginning of this and it’s good to see that climbing is to be considered. The particular area where climbing used to occur was under private hands and it was eventually banned by the private landowner. It is currently in the process of being handed back, to once again be public land. Once this has officially taken place, we will be able to engage in proper discussion with PV.  It would be great if people from the climbing community provide some feedback on this. The link for feedback is below. The area is Middle Gorge. Any positive words with regards to including climbing in the future of the park once acquisition is in hand, would be great. And for those that are into mountain biking, this is also a good chance to be involved in the future of the park.
http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/plenty-gorge-park/plans-and-projects/plenty-gorge-park-master-plan

The photos below show a few moments in the last 2 working bees in Central Gully, Mt Arapiles. Great progress being made getting a decent pile of rocks down the track for Walter to work on. One more working bee to go before the end of the year. This next one is being run in conjunction with a trip so check out the VCC trip calendar if you are wanting to join the trip. Otherwise drop me a line or just rock up. 9.30am 16th December. Meet at the top of Central Gully. Wear closed toe shoes and bring water. Simple as! Think of it as a big Christmas present to the Mount.
Great work all and many thanks for your support in Access work. See you all in the new year.
Tracey Skinner – VCC Access & Environment Officer.

This below wasn’t included in my report for Argus but was in Argus as a small photo essay from Michael O’Reilly on the memorial bench that was burnt in the Northern Grampians fires and it’s replacement. A thoughtful piece that not only shows the bench and plaque replacement for the climber who died at Summerday but also the new growth of the bush. Kind of works well together and I thought it worth showing.