Embracing the art in coastal conservation


Participants in a unique weed mask-making workshop learnt about invasive weeds as part of the Lorne Sculpture Festival.

Organiser of the workshop and artist Ange Leech said the unique activity encouraged participants to engage in coastal conservation through creativity.

Artist Ange Leech collecting weeds on the Lorne boardwalk.

“This creative workshop encourages community awareness about weed removal, and it’s a fun way to offer an activity with an environmental focus,” she said.

 “This creative workshop encourages community awareness about weed removal, and it’s a fun way to offer an activity with an environmental focus.”

Ms Leech said the artists had been involved in working bees with local volunteer group LorneCare which had inspired them to become involved in environmental protection.

“Tea Tree, Flax and other weeds commonly found in the Lorne area were harvested for the workshop with the help of LorneCare and will be used to construct the masks,” she said.

An  example of one of the masks made at the weed mask-making workshop

Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC) Conservation Officer Georgie Beale said that while Tea Tree is an Australian native, it is not indigenous to the Surf Coast.

“Non-indigenous plants out compete indigenous plants and leave no room for them to grow and this also reduces habitat for local fauna,” she said.

“Another example of a non-indigenous plant is the Bulbil Watsonia Watsonia meriana var. bulbillifera, which is a common weed in the Lorne area.

The Watsonia plant which is commonly found in the Lorne area.

“Many don’t realise that plants like these are a problem, or how easily they spread into other areas and at what cost to the environment,” she said.

Ms Beale said community members could help to stop the spread by looking in their own gardens.

“Spring is an important time for weed removal as the ground is soft and weeds have not yet begun to seed or if they have the seeds are yet to mature and become viable,” she said

“Spring is an important time for weed removal as the ground is soft and weeds have not yet begun to seed or if they have the seeds are yet to mature and become viable.”

LorneCare volunteers and artists involved in the weed mask-making workshop were harvesting weeds from the Lorne area for the workshop.

More information about common weeds can be found on the GORCC website www.gorcc.com.au.

The Lorne Sculpture Festival is being held from Saturday 15 October until Sunday 6 November.

This column is brought to you by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee.

For more information about the Lorne Sculpture Festival and coastal conservation have a look through these links:

LorneCare

Lorne Sculpture Festival

Common weeds

Have you attended the Lorne Sculpture Festival or one of the weed-mask making workshops?

Have you noticed any of the weeds mentioned above in your garden? Let us know!

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