New lead for Landcare Network

September 24, 2021 BY

Bronwyn Merritt. Photo: SUPPLIED

BRONWYN Merritt has been appointed the facilitator of Geelong Landcare Network.

With a background in natural resource management, she also brings experience working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne to her new role with the “umbrella organisation.”

“Geelong Landcare Network includes eight Landcare and friends-of groups,” she said. “It’s my role to coordinate and facilitate all of the projects.”

On behalf of the Network last week, Ms Merritt spent a full day conducting site assessments for an E-DNA platypus research initiative.

“This stands for environmental DNA. You can take a sample of water in any waterway, send it away to a company for testing and they’ll see whether there’s the DNA of certain species in it.

“We’re searching for platypus, and whether there’s an absence or abundance. It will be great to have some baseline data on where platypus are in the Barwon region,” she said.

“Hopefully on the 10th of October, we’ll have volunteers conducting citizen science platypus surveys for us.”

Another major initiative that has Ms Merritt’s attention is the Victorian Volcanic Plains project, seeking to protect sections of the remnant basalt grassy woodlands or temperate grasslands in the Shire’s south by engaging landowners.

“They’re the two main projects we’ve got running at the moment, and are always putting in for grants to get more funding,” she said.

“But one of the key things I want to achieve is getting to know our area, all of our Network groups, what the issues are, and how I can help all of the groups achieve what they want to.”

For the past six years, Ms Merritt has had a career break, enjoying life as a stay-at-home mum.

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