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Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Book highlights Border garden examples as "antidote" to urbanisation problem

As published in The Border Mail 30 November 2022

Border residents hoping to make their gardens more hospitable environments for endangered wildlife can now get information specific to the region.

Wodonga Urban Landcare Network has produced a coffee table book 'Habitat Gardens of Albury-Wodonga' to inspire and educate residents on how to make their gardens more wildlife friendly.

Project coordinator Lizette Salmon said the book featured eight local habitat gardens and an additional one on cat enclosures.

"We hope that it motivates people to start thinking of their gardens as a place of refuge for native animals," she said.

"As animals move through the landscape they need stepping stones to stop for food, water, shelter, breeding purposes and the problem we have in the world is that urbanisation and land clearing have resulted in a real shrinking of the available habitat.

"But gardens provide a real antidote."

The books are not currently available for purchase, Wodonga, Albury, Lavington, Beechworth, Yackandandah, Rutherglen and Tallangatta libraries have a copy of the 40 page book and the online copy can be accessed through the Wodonga Urban Landcare Network's website.

Wodonga Library staff member Meaghan Brown expected there to be strogn interest in borrowing the book.

"Gardening books and getting information is very important to people, but also having things with that local knowledge," she said.

"We get a lot of people who ask "but what will work here? What can I do in my back yard?" and having a book that shows actual examples from local people is really important."

The 'Habitat Gardens of Albury-Wodonga' book has been supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority's Bush for Birds project through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.

NECMA's project officer Marina Murua said urban gardens could provide valuable habitats for wildlife, such as the Regent Honeyeater and the Swift Parrot.

"These nationally threatened birds are two of the 51 threatened animal species listed in Albury-Wodonga that benefit from urban conservation measures and wildlife gardens," she said.

"Even solitary trees can provide vital resources and stepping stones through the landscape."

The project was also supported by the Rotary Club of Albury-Wodonga Sunrise Inc, Rotary Club of Albury West, Rotary Club of Wodonga West and Rotary Club of Belvoir-Wodonga.

Caption: Marina Murua, Lizette Salmon and Meaghan Brown pose with a coffee table book 'Habitat Gardens of Albury-Wodonga' which is available from Albury, Wodonga, Indigo and Towong council libraries and online. Picture by James Wiltshire

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