SUNRAYSIA residents can play an important role protecting and preserving our region’s natural environment with Mildura Rural City Council’s Bushland Watch Program.

The Bushland Watch Program provides residents with information on the importance of our bushland areas, how to enjoy them, and how to protect them.

Councillor for Environment and Farming Sustainability Anthony Cirillo said the arrival of the warmer weather meant more people would be getting out and enjoying these areas, making it a good time to remember a few simple steps that could make a big difference for generations to come.

“Part of the appeal of our region is the large areas of natural bushland, particularly along the Murray River,” Cr Cirillo said.

“These areas provide our community with important recreation spaces to enjoy and allow visitors and locals alike to appreciate the natural beauty of our municipality.

“However, unless we protect these precious areas, they can quickly disappear.

“So much of our bushland has already been cleared to make way for human activities, and as a result many of our unique plants and animals that were once common in the Mallee are now only found in a few isolated areas.

“To maintain diversity we must look after our region’s plant and animal communities.

“The Bushland Watch Program is a valuable tool in achieving this, helping to protect our native trees, shrubs and grasses from threats, particularly human threats.”

Residents can do their part to help preserve our bushland areas by reporting clearing or lopping of natural bushland, dumping of rubbish and garden waste, rabbits, weed infestations such as African Box Thorn, Spear Thistle, Bathurst Burr and Noogoora.

Other actions residents can take include never driving vehicles off designated tracks, taking your rubbish with you, avoiding driving on muddy tracks and not feeding native animals. Residents can find out more about the Bushland Watch Program by downloading a flyer from Council’s website: www.mildura.vic.gov.au.