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BAG Newsletter - November 2020

Updated: Feb 15


THIS is only the 3rd BAG Newsletter for 2020. What an impact the dreaded Coronavirus has had (and continues to have) on many countries around the Globe. Notwithstanding the unimaginable trauma and hardships many people in overseas countries (and Melbourne) are experiencing, we, the protected “species” in South Australia, must surely be considered “the lucky ones”.

As I am preparing this Newsletter, looking out the window at our colourful lush gardens, one could be excused for thinking ‘all is right with the World!” If only that were true!

The recent cancellation/postponement of major S.A. events has met with some anticipated adverse reactions from the devoted fans. In the current circumstances, considering the restrictions on international travel, these decisions were almost inevitable. Just about every sector of our daily lives - from sport, entertainment, education, weddings and funerals, Church attendance et al has been impacted in some way or another.

Fortunately our dedicated BAG Members have been able to continue in their ongoing chosen pursuits – as some of the articles in this Newsletter illustrate.

On behalf of the BAG Committee I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and rewarding 2021

Best wishes

Geoff Bartlett

BAG Secretary and Newsletter Editor Email:


7.00 pm @ Blackwood Memorial Hall, Studio Room 21 Coromandel Parade, Blackwood

GUEST SPEAKER: Elizabeth Close

ELIZABETH is a Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara woman from the APY Lands in Central Australia. Now based in Adelaide, Elizabeth's arts practice has evolved from canvas beginnings to now also include large scale public art and digital design. Elizabeth's work is a unique and distinct fusion of contemporary and traditional Aboriginal Art, using vivid warmth to convey the landscape of the APY while also drawing upon sociopolitical themes of identity, forced removal policies, loss of culture and intergenerational trauma.

Elizabeth has recently completed public art works around Blackwood .The wall under the Blackwood Station pedestrian overpass and the wall alongside the Precious Cargo Early Learning Centre on Shepherds Hill Road are two examples of Elizabeth’s works.

The meeting will also include our AGM featuring:

We encourage anyone who is community-minded and feels they have something to contribute, to nominate for a position on the General Committee.

We invite you to join us at this rare public meeting to end our year.


LAST Saturday BAG volunteers gathered in the Memorial Hall and prepared Red Bows packs for sale to residents and traders – to tie on their letter boxes, trees, car ports, shop veranda posts etc. This will the 19th year the streets of Blackwood and surrounding areas have been adorned with these festive bows.

Due to increased concern regarding the recycling of plastic material, this year’s packs will be different, in as much as the packing in plastic freezer bags has been abandoned. The same amount of material (enough to make two large bows) will now be available in rolls – held together by a strong reusable rubber band.

Packs will be available from Monday 16 November at:

  • HABITAT Blackwood (Drakes Supermarket S/C);

  • FAIRLEYS SHOEX (Woolies S/C)

  • SAM DULUK, MPs’ Office (Young St)

COST IS STILL ONLY $5.00 per pack.

This year, more than ever with the cancellation of our usual Christmas events, we encourage you to spread the Christmas spirit by tying a Red Bow or two around your property. All proceeds go towards community projects.


This exciting concept is really gathering pace now, Many local artists have been approached and are showing great enthusiasm. Quite a few panels have been painted already and some BAG volunteers are about to prepare the Stobie poles - prior to installing the artwork. It is anticipated that the first section of Shepherds Hill Road (adjacent Wittunga Botanic Garden) will be completed by Christmas.



NEXT WORKING BEE – SUNDAY 6th DECEMBER commencing 9.00 am

THE gardens are all looking rather “specky” right now but some pruning will be required to enhance and maintain the overall appearance. The BIG garden is well shaded with the eucalypts, and, considering there is no irrigation to this area, the plantings look very healthy. The bush path may need another layer of wood chips.

ALL STATION GARDENS VOLUNTEERS (Coromandel and Blackwood Stations) are invited to join us for ran “End of Year BBQ Brunch Celebration” in the Station- master’s rear yard - commencing at 11.00 am approx. (after the Working Bee).


THE final Working Bee for 2020 at Coro Station will be held THIS SATURDAY (7th ) commencing 9.00 am. We will be concentrating on pruning shrubs and slashing the long grass in the Station precinct. And it looks like being good working weather!

ALL WELCOME – As usual all gardening tools, gloves, visi vests will be provided.

Coro Station volunteers are invited to attend the end-of-year break-up “brunch” at Blackwood Station on SUNDAY 6th December commencing around 11.00 am.


IN late September BAG was contacted by a local Businessman to see if we would be interested in cleaning up the verge gardens in front of My Foot Doctor premises (on the corner of Gulfview Road) The verge was overgrown with weeds. A team of keen BAG gardeners worked away for 3 days clearing all the rampant weeds in that section plus the verge garden bed in front of the Fire and Rescue Australia premises.

New plants were sourced and planted and the whole area was then covered in cottage mulch. BAG was reimbursed for all out of pocket expenses. This is a great example of BAG’s motto ……. “working for your community”.


LAST month BAG garden volunteers undertook to upgrade the triangular garden bed at the Trevor Terrace entrance to the Shared-use Trails and “Old Farmhouse” site in Blackwood Hill Reserve. A concerted effort was made to remove all the invasive weeds (including he stubborn kikuyu grass!) and the old weeper-hose irrigation system was replaced with pop-up sprinklers. Stepping-stones (slate pavers donated to BAG by a Craigburn Farm resident) were also laid to facilitate easier access to the 25 y.o Lions bench seat and the dog water bowl under the tap.

Mitcham Council kindly provided the fill-in native plants and chipper mulch and have also agreed to slash the long grass around the commemorative table/mock-ruin cottage walls which will further enhance this local historic site.


BAG was originally created back in 2009 when a couple of residents considered the whole of Blackwood looked neglected - and nobody seemed to care! In June 2010, the Main Road planter box idea was conceived and since that time volunteers have spent countless hours maintaining them.

Our special thanks must go to Joan and Adrian Beech who keep a strict eye on their watering requirements, pruning and plants replacement.

In 2013 BAG planted extra Glory Vine climbers down the Bendigo Bank walkway, installed balcony wire on top of the poles and repainted the poles in Blackwood’s burgundy colour. More work is planned for this walkway.


HOW often these days do we hear this message…. RECYCLE . REDUCE . REUSE? But, how many of us still choose to ignore this blatant contamination of our precious environment? Think this photo of 8 wheelie bins in Blackwood recently, illustrates the point. Used card- board cartons were stuffed into three General Waste and three Green Waste bins. Surely we can do better than this.

Have you ever wondered ……

  • What happens to the material in your YELLOW waste bin?

  • Is it REALLY being recycled?

  • What do the RECYCLING NUMBERS mean

  • Can THIS be recycled?

If so, make sure you attend this INFORMATION SESSION to get these, and other questions, answered.

BLACKWOOD LIBRARY Wednesday 18th November 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm

The session is FREE, but Bookings are essential. For further Booking information log onto the Mitcham Library Service website: For recycling information contact Megan at East Waste


Are YOU bushfire ready? Do you stay and defend OR leave early?

THE November edition of The Blackwood Times devoted a full page (Page 8) on this very important topic - for Hills residents in particular. A “Bushfire Survival Plan Workshop” is being held THIS SUNDAY 8TH November 9.00 am to 1.00 pm in the Blackwood Community Centre. For further info, please check out the BT on-line or get a hard copy from one of many Blackwood shops.

AS the last few days have suggested the “Bushfire Season” is not far away! NOW is the time to clean up all that winter growth around your property. Mitcham Council is offering local ratepayers FREE drop-off days at their Lynton Green Organics Drop Off Facility, Beagle Tce, Lynton on November 7, 16, 21, 30 December 5 and 14th; January 16th and February 6th., 2021 from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm.


ON Tuesday 29 September BAG Committee Members were invited to join State Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs, MP., on a guided tour of Wittunga by the Director of the ABG, Dr. Lucy Sutherland. It was a most enjoyable experience on a perfect Spring day. The Garden looked superb and Minister Speirs was suitably impressed. Some of the key points raised by Minister Speirs and Dr. Sutherland included:

  • The OPENING HOURS will be extended to 6.00pm during Winter and 7.00 pm during Summer (from the current 4.00 pm close) to allow increased use of the Garden

  • The SOUTH-EASTERN ENTRANCE at the Fern Road and Sherbourne Road corner will be significantly upgraded to make it more attractive and negotiations will be undertaken to improve visitor/tourist access by train. The Minister supported BAG’s idea of improved signage including something in the southern garden area visible to train commuters.

  • The NATURE PLAY SPACE will be developed – with the first stage to be done over the next 6 months.

  • Other elements of the Master Plan will continue to be undertaken including the deck overlooking the lake, increased plantings and information boards in the garden.


Traffic at the infamous roundabout came to a brief stand-still last month when a couple of ducks wandered onto the roundabout from the Save the Children Fund corner …… with nine day-old babies in tow! A couple of local girls managed to herd them to a safer location and then –miraculously, out of nowhere, a wildlife Carer from Mt Gambier appeared and was able to capture the flock, place them in cages and escort them all back to Wittunga. Great stuff.



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