Environmental leadership in the Adelaide Hills

Article image - Environmental leadership in the Adelaide Hills Roadside native vegetation provides habitat for rare native plant and animal species.

Adelaide Hills Council was a recent finalist in the 2018 Local Government Professionals of South Australia Leadership Excellence Awards for Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability.

The nomination was for their Roadside Native Vegetation Monitoring and Management Program, an initiative of Adelaide Hills Council (AHC) and Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (NRAMLR).

Biodiversity Officer, Renae Eden, said the purpose of the Program was to develop and implement a best practice model for monitoring and management of Council’s Native Vegetation Marker System (NVMS) network.

“Roadside native vegetation often provides the last remaining habitat for rare native plant and animal species, also providing a buffer to protect agricultural areas from weeds.

“The Program enables Council and NRAMLR to proactively identify and treat sites with priority habitat or threatened species, ensuring best investment of resources to support environmental sustainability.

“Community benefits include maintaining the quality and character of iconic native roadside vegetation of the region, facilitating thriving ecosystems, sustainable agriculture and reducing weed-spread through private property and community lands.

“Using the BushRAT methodology to assess each NVMS site gives a detailed dataset for entering into GIS.”

The dataset and an Agreement with NRAMLR outlining the joint approach to NVMS management, feed into a collaborative work plan which prioritises locations, conservation works and allocates resources.  

This ensures activities are complementary, enabling both organisations to deliver strategic goals around sustainability and environment.