Boxthorn no match for community enterprise

Boxthorn is a highly invasive weed that poses a very serious threat to indigenous vegetation. Its seeds may germinate at any time of the year and quickly establish a deep extensive root system, making it very difficult to remove without concerted and sustained efforts.

The Princetown Landcare group in Victoria’s south-west decided enough was enough and started to take direct action against Boxthorn infestations in the area. After much discussion, the group:

  • researched, including looking at best practice control methods
  • assessed and mapped infestations
  • networked, created interest and worked towards changing attitudes amongst local landholders
  • obtained funding, and
  • sprayed and burned infestations.

All this work has since been followed by further mapping and regrowth spray works currently underway.

Through these efforts, Princetown Landcare has achieved so much more than it initially expected in terms of addressing the scourge of Boxthorn. Although the group’s work is still a long way from being finished, the project is already seeing positive movement toward a more cooperative, cohesive and caring community that is united by a common issue.

The project’s many learnings include:

  • actively demonstrating just what can be achieved through persistence, and
  • the value of community education, including the ways in which it can feed back into the project.

Story provided by Judy Spafford, Princetown Landcare