Fresh Blog

News as it happens - discussion; views; topics; information

Amongst It—the experimental project in nature connection

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Amongst It—the experimental project in nature connection that DEWNR is running, alongside Conservation SA the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI).

Amongst It is aiming 1) to catalyse new projects that connect people to the nature that surrounds them everyday, and 2) to make visible the myriad ways in which South Australians are already connecting with those environments.

Over the next six months, we're supporting a series of small projects that do either of these things, and have opened up a set of grants to help fund people to run events or activities that connect people to nature in unexpected and creative ways.

I've attached our project overview to give you a taste of what we're up to. Do you think you might know some folks who would be interested in being involved by running an event, activity or creative installation before May 2018? More info is also available at our website,

Kind regards,


Amongst It - 2018 Amongst It - 2018 (3864 KB)

A new app, Discover the Flinders Ranges, is now available

Ashleigh Coombs - Sunday, November 12, 2017

A moment to savour, the app, Discover the Flinders Ranges, is now available from both Apple Store and Google Play.

If you are unsure,the Apple Store suits iPhone and iPad, while the Google Play is for phones and tablets using Android.

You can download for free right now from either of the URLs:

We are greatly indebted to Bob Geary for achieving this milestone. Without his willingness to share his IT knowledge and skill, and his preparedness to devote more than 800 hours of his time to this project, the app would never have been developed. It is a unique contribution made by volunteers to benefit a national park and the people who visit it.

Bob is the first to acknowledge the support provided in the app development by a number of other members. These include Julie Owen, Peter and Robyn Trezise, Athol Jackson, Meredyth Geary, Helen Monterola, Terry Krieg, Anthea and Carl Hudson, Victor Gostin, Frank Williams , Tony Bott, Jan, Dave, Carmel and Maria. Publications of tours by Tony Bott provided much of the material used in the tours included in the app. If we add to Bob’s time, the hours these folk contributed to the project, we have well in excess of 1000 volunteer hours.

Already there are intentions to add further to the app over time with more tours and more guides. We are keen to include Adnyamathana culture and tours, and information about campgrounds and other park features too.

We hope that you enjoy looking through the app and finding time to use it in the park.

Please take every opportunity you can to tell relatives and friends that the app is available, and encourage them to download it then visit the Flinders Ranges.


Vince Monterola

Make nature your first choice these school holidays

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, July 14, 2017


Make nature your first choice these school holidays

Brave the wintery weather and connect with nature these school holidays.

Whether it’s visiting one of South Australia’s 300 national parks and reserves, taking a road trip along the coast and exploring the beach, or enjoying the fresh air from the comfort of your own backyard, there are plenty of ways to immerse yourself in the great outdoors.

Scientific evidence shows that spending time in nature has significant benefits on physical and mental health. For children, unstructured outdoor play is vital for their development, including their health, happiness and wellbeing.

So these school holidays, consider how you can incorporate nature into your plans. Head to the Good Living blog for some simple ideas to help you connect with the environment, including:

Don’t let winter deter you – rustle up the kids, pull on your wet-weather gear and get into nature.

The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources is a custodian of public parks, gardens, heritage places and crown lands for their intrinsic value and for people’s benefit and enjoyment now and into the future.

Authorised by Sandy Pitcher
Chief Executive
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources


Time to place your Trees For Life seedling order!

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Trees For Life seedling orders - NOW OPEN

It is amazing what can be achieved when people look after the land they love. The Hermann Family are an inspiring example, showing what people working with nature can do with a little support.

To hear their story click here

Or view this on Facebook at:

The Tree Scheme ordering season is OPEN 1 May - 31 July. Late orders will be accepted until 30 August with notice.

Find out more about the Tree Scheme and view the list of species available to order in your area here:

or contact us: (08) 8406 0500,

Discounts are available for small community groups, schools and landholders affected by the 2015 Pinery fires on application.

If you liked this story, or would like to see more transformations like this please SHARE this video and tell others about the Tree Scheme.

Together we'll continue to make this State look great.

Vicki-Jo Russell

Revegetation Services Manager - Trees for Life

Square Tailed Kite monitoring

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear Friends of Black Hill and Morialta,

I have been part of a group of people monitoring a Square Tailed Kite nest in the Northern Mount Lofty Ranges for the last two seasons. There has also been a nesting pair in the Belair area. This season there have been reports (including photos) of Square tailed Kites at Anstey Hill, Black Hill and Athelstone. Last week I photographed one hawking in Sinclair Gully on the boundary of Morialta. I have discussed these sighting with others and we believe there is a resident pair in the Black Hill - Morialta area. I ask that while you are out working in or enjoying the parks you keep an eye out for these magnificent birds. They are usually seen wheeling over the tree tops in forests but other birds attacking them can also give away their presence. Any Kite sightings in the Mount Lofty Ranges can be sent through to me at the email address below. It will help us to develop a better understanding of the distribution of these birds. This in turn will be used to ensure their habitats are protected. As an example, scheduled prescribed burns have already been changed to allow for the nest sites we know about.

I attach a recent photograph for identification purposes.


Danny McCreadie


Snake Awareness Courses

Ashleigh Coombs - Thursday, November 17, 2016

Please find attached details about three upcoming Snake Awareness Courses:

Aldinga Bay Surf Lifesaving Club (Norman Road Silver Sands)

Date: Wednesday 7 December 2016

Time: 9.30am - 1pm (Morning tea provided.)

Para Wirra Resource Centre (Para Wirra Conservation Park)

Date: Thursday 8 December 2016

Time: 1pm - 4.30pm (Afternoon tea provided.)

Belair Volunteer Centre (Belair National Park)

Date: Sunday 11 December 2016

Time: 1pm - 4.30pm (Afternoon tea provided.)


Please contact Deborah to register your attendance.

Deborah Furbank

 Volunteer Program Coordinator
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges

M: 0428 680 538


Snake Awareness Course Snake Awareness Course (366 KB)


Ashleigh Coombs - Monday, August 08, 2016

by Brenda Westlake

Ten years ago, the onlyGoodenia albiflora(white goodenia) known to exist between Kingston Park and O’Halloran Hill were a couple of weak plants along a cliff path above the Brighton Caravan Park, a patch under trees east of the Hallett Cove Railway Station and another patch south of the O’Halloran Hill Fire Station. It is believed the O’Halloran Hill plants are the only ones to have survived.

A member of the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park, who discovered these colonies of Goodenia albiflora, and recognised their uncommon status, took cuttings and spread them in the Park at Hallett Cove and around the district. At that time, he was working closely with the nursery staff of the City of Marion, and so gave them several plants, from which they propagated. Since then Council have included them extensively in their native gardens. The most notable use is at the new Cove Civic Centre at Hallett Cove, where the 2016 Friends of Parks Forum will be held in October this year. Other nearby councils now include them in their plantings as well. They make a good drought-tolerant addition to a home garden. In summer, the plants die back, but sprout and spread the following year. However, they will not survive the fungus caused by organic mulch.

It is the aim of the Friends of Hallett Cove Conservation Park to make the park a refuge for endangered, threatened, vulnerable rare and uncommon plants from nearby. We have also successfully saved Myoporum viscosum (sticky boobialla)from near extinction in this district, as well as protecting other remnant plants like Acacia victoriae, Adriana quadripartita, Dichanthium sericeum (silky blue-grass), Eremophila longifolium (weeping emu bush), Lycium australe (Australian boxthorn) Maireana rohrlachii (Rohrlach’s blue-bush), Scleranthus pungens (prickly knawel) Sida petrophila (rock sida) and Solanum simile. Maireana aphilla, Teucrium racemosum (grey germander) and Gonocarpus mezeanus (heart-leaved raspwort) are treasured remnants from within the park.

One of the patches of Goodenia albiflora in Hallett Cove CP

We invite you to come to the 30th Friends of Parks Forum, to be held from 14-16 October 2016 at Hallett Cove, and see what else we have accomplished in the district. Hallett Cove is not only renowned for its geology.




FREE Certificate II in Tourism (nature-based)

Ashleigh Coombs - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

FREE Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Certificate II in Tourism (nature-based) (August to November 2016)

Attention volunteers and job seekers,

Are you interested in working in conservation and tourism? Maybe as a bushwalking tour guide, a National Parks information officer, or a scuba instructor on the Great Barrier Reef?

TAFE SA is offering job-seekers a chance to improve their literacy, numeracy and employability skills whilst studying a nature-based Certificate II in Tourism at the TAFESA Adelaide City Campus.

This Certificate II in Tourism is flavoured with nature-based tourism to provide you with an insight into this exciting and vibrant industry, which is ranked among the top travel motivators for international visitors to Australia. You will get a chance to learn about Australian nature-based tourism ‘hot spots’ and important industry information to help you start a career in the tourism and travel industry.

As part of your study, you will have support with language, literacy and numeracy to help prepare you better for employment and further study opportunities afterwards. Other benefits of the SEE course include improved confidence and ability to engage in the community.

To apply, job seekers should contact Centrelink for a referral to the SEE program.

For more information about this SEE course, please read the attached flier or contact TAFE SA on (08) 8207 8805 or (08) 8207 3922.

Kind regards,

Rachel Godoy BASc, Dip Travel & Tourism, Dip VET, Cert IV TAE


Tourism Events Travel


Campground Hosts Newsletter - Feb 2016

Ashleigh Coombs - Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Campground Hosts Newsletter - Feb2016

The latest edition of the SA Campground Host newsletter, with some interesting stories, great photos and information.

We always appreciate your feedback, and would especially appreciate any contributions for our next edition – photos, stories, interesting experiences, would be really welcome.

Hope to hear from you soon.



Lynn Newman
Community Volunteer Programs Coordinator
Community Partnerships and Volunteer Programs Unit | Regional Coordination Branch
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources
P (08) 8124 4841 | M 0467 777 972

Nature Play is coming to a Park near you.

Ashleigh Coombs - Friday, December 11, 2015


Park of the Month - Nature Play SA

Who is Nature Play SA

Nature Play SA is an incorporated not-for-profit association established to increase the time South Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors in nature. We are a collaborative organisation working with partner groups to encourage the SA community to value nature play as an integral aspect of a healthy childhood. We recognise that play involves creativity, imagination, discovery, curiosity, exploration, getting dirty and above all having fun. Our aim is to make outdoor unstructured play an Everyday part of today's childhood. To achieve this vision we, with our partner organisations, aim to empower the South Australian community with the confidence, commitment, passion, and enthusiasm to get their children and communities outside to reinforce the importance of spending unstructured time outdoors in nature.

What is the Park of the Month initiative ?
Nature Play SA have teamed up with DEWNR to feature a Park each month with the aim of raising the profile of the Park, getting more families onto Parks, and providing incentive for children to engage in nature play. As part of the initiative we will be highlighting the Park of the Month in a number of ways:

  • Blog: Nature Play SA will visit the Park of the month and meet a local friends member, a ranger, and if possible a family to explore the park, take photos, and write a blog on what may appeal to families.
  • 20 things to discover-posters: A list of 20 things to find in the Park will be developed in conjunction with the ranger and friends group. The list will be double-sided and include plants and animals (5 of each), places to see (5), and other natural things (5 and may include geological/historical features). Each thing to find will have a photo and short family-friendly description which will follow the formula of name, interesting fact (that families can relate to) and where to find. Rangers and Friends Groups will be involved in the selection process and will also be asked to provide photos under a Creative Commons license. Several photos will be taken on the trip to the Park by a NPSA rep.
  • Event flier and promotion: Nature play SA encourage Parks staff/Friends to run an activity, or activities, to encourage families to experience the Park (activities in the past have included nature walks, reef rambles, fungi forays, heritage walks). If the Park does run an activity we will compile the information into a flier. Required information is time, meeting place, name of event, how to register, and some background about the Park itself.
For further information contact Jason Tyndal at

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