Over three days, the course will train participants to identify almost all Victoria's wild species of grass, plus some species in related families such as sedges and rushes. It covers the ecology, management, propagation, horticulture and growth requirements of grasses. It also explains how to read the landscape and manage vegetation well through an understanding of the grass species present and their relationships with other flora and fauna.
There will be two identical streams, each with up to 16 students - few enough to allow individual attention for novices through to botanists. One stream meets on Tuesdays, December 4, 11 & 18; the other stream on Wednesdays, December 5, 12 & 19. The hours are 9:30 am to 5:30 pm.
Half of each day is spent indoors, tutorial-style, and the other half is outdoors. In the first week, we meet at Melton Library in the morning and a native grassland at Toolern Vale in the afternoon. The following week, the morning will be outdoors in the Dandenongs (Montrose) and the afternoon will be at Arrabri Community House in Bayswater North. Half of the last day will be outdoors at Bungalook Conservation Reserves in Kilsyth South and the other half at Arrabi Community House again. There will be a break during 1-2 pm to have lunch and make your way between venues.
"The grass course is inspiring and informative. Graeme provides a broad introduction into the world of grasses (as well as valuable knowledge to those with more experience) and provides a diverse range of activities for hands on learning. An absolute must for anyone interested in native grasses. Even if you weren't that interested in grasses before, you will be after the course."
– Greg Waddell, native vegetation consultant
Places in the course are strictly limited. A random ballot will allocate positions after giving priority to people who missed out last year (so no-one has to wait more than one year). The results of the ballot will be announced by 19th October 2018.
No payment is required until you receive an offer of a place in the course, then $580+GST = $638 or $495 concession. That includes extensive course notes and identification keys. Payment must be by direct credit or cheque.
For more details, visit www.biosphere.net.au/training.