Many Mountain Journal readers will know that Hawkweed is a highly invasive plant species which can cause major environmental damage in alpine and sub-alpine areas of Australia if not eradicated early. Parks Victoria organises a series of Hawkweed surveys on the Bogong High Plains each year. If you love the Victorian Alps, the surveys are a great way to do something practical to support the ecological integrity of the mountains.

The following information comes from Parks Victoria:

Volunteer recruitment is now open for the 2016/2017 season of Falls Creek Volunteer Hawkweed Surveys.

Participating in the Falls Creek Volunteer surveys is a great way to help protect the Victorian Alps from this dangerous weed, as well as a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the magnificent alpine environment during the green summer months.

The dates for the 2016/2017 Season are:

Session 1: Monday 12th – Friday 16th December 2016

Session 2: Monday 19th – Friday 23rd December 2016

Session 3: Tuesday 27th – Friday 30th December 2016

Session 4: Tuesday 3rd – Friday 6th January 2017

Session 5: Monday 9th – Friday 13th January 2017

Session 6: Monday 16th – Friday 20th January 2017

What is involved?

Volunteers will be required for one week to survey the Alpine National Park looking for Hawkweed and need to make their own way to Falls Creek the night before the session start date. There is no experience required, all training is provided. Volunteers will just need lots of enthusiasm, a moderate fitness level, a good eye for detail and persistence required to survey the Alpine National Park for at least 5 hours per day walking through sometimes challenging terrain.

An information pack about the surveys and what to bring will be sent a few weeks before the Survey session starts.

Photos of the program can be found at: www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/get-involved/volunteer/hawkweed-eradication-program

What is provided?

There is no cost for being a volunteer on this Project. Bunk style accommodation has kindly been provided by Falls Creek Resort Management. Transport will be provided to and from the survey areas each day. Parks Victoria will be providing catering for breakfast, coffee/teas, morning tea and a group dinner on the last night.

What will participants need to bring?

Volunteers need to provide their own lunch, dinner, cold drinks, fruit and snacks.

How to get involved?

If you, your friends, family or colleagues would like to attend or have any further questions, please contact Yohanna Aurisch via email: yohanna.aurisch@parks.vic.gov.au. Get in quick as places will fill up fast! In your email please let me know the number of participants attending with you and their name, mobile phone and email address.

There is additional information available here.

Yohanna is the Volunteers Coordinator with the Hawkweed Eradication Project, Parks Victoria.