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Magnificent Dalhousie Springs – keeps us coming back

Hooray – a successful Working Bee in 2020 – despite Covid!

Lots of hard work but also lots of fun.  15 participants in 7 vehicles left Adelaide on Friday the 24th July to start the working bee at Dalhousie on Monday the 27th July.

The Graders had been busy so it was a pretty good track to Dalhousie (apart from a few bulldust holes to negotiate just to keep us on our toes)

Perfect weather for working during the day and when the day’s work was completed we relaxed our tired limbs in the hot springs ….

38 degrees – so relaxing after a busy day

… before meeting for drinks pre dinner in the comfortable shelter we had set up in the camping area.

We placed tarps around one of the permanent shelters – worked a treat
Induction session

We started on Monday morning with the usual induction session from Frank and this year we also had  Dean Ah Chee (Aboriginal Elder/Ranger) with us as well. Then it was into the work.

Here is what we did

FOS shed – in 2019 we received Federal Government Grant Funding to build a new shed to store FOS equipment in the newly created work compound

4 days to build the shed, install gutters, water tank and concrete the floor. Hopefully if we get more rain we will have a supply of potable water for the next working bee.

While the shed was being built by a core group here are some of the other things that were worked on around Dalhousie

Date Palm removal – looked for juvenile date palms to remove. 

Kingfisher Trail – renovated and replaced trail markers on this walking trail to better define the track to ensure protection of culturally sensitive areas.

Restoration of damaged part of cultural site – A part of the Kingfisher Trail was crossing a culturally sensitive site. The new trail bypasses that part and Dean (Aboriginal Eder) asked if we could replace some of the rocks on the damaged section.

Removal of redundant HF tower and 2 traffic counters

Maintenance of irrigation system at Dalhousie

Dalhousie campground clean-up – removal overgrown vegetation and general tidy up

Day Visitor car park fencing – installed new bollards and wire

Seed collection for future revegetation projects

Dalhousie ruins – general clean-up and maintenance

Remote area depot shed

The last job to undertake was the erection of a Depot Shed within Witjira.

Nearly complete – many hands meant the shed was completed in record time

These are an important part of the infrastructure to maintain the park. In the past few years DEW have fenced the boundary of the park adjoining cattle stations to keep cattle and other non-native animals out of the park. Cattle and other animals like donkeys do enormous damage to the natural vegetation in the park so if we want the natural biodiversity of the park to be maintained we need to control these animals.

The depot sheds are an essential part of maintaining these fences which the Rangers do on a regular basis. When the Rangers go to the remote parts of the park and camp out over several days while they work, it gives them some shelter to live in and store equipment out of the weather.

We had no other jobs to do at this location so all hands tackled the shed and it was completed by Sunday night.

These are some of the tasks left over for next year

  • We need a small trailer at Dalhousie. None of us have vehicles suitable for carting tools around the site so we will source a trailer that will be located there.
  • The new FOS shed needs shelving
  • 3 O’clock Creek – future re-vegetation options
  • Date palm removal – continue work started in 2020
  • Seed collection will be ongoing to revegetate areas
  • Feral cats are a problem in the desert. We are investigating how we can assist in trying to control this pest.
  • Improvement of camping facilities for FOS working bees at Dalhousie

Participants were asked to share some of their photo’s and a small selection follows for everyone to enjoy……