Celebrating over 60 years of Landcare work in Kingborough

3rd Aug 2022 | 

Kingborough has a rich history of community Landcare. Cr Flora Fox has reflected on her time as part of the Kingborough Landcare Advisory Group and as councillor, taking us through the history of this beautiful landscape.

Image: Flora Fox planting a tree in 1983 with son Ben at age 5 

The Kingborough Landcare Advisory Group (KLAG) was formalised in 2005, after decades of community initiatives- including the Windsor Gallery, Kingston Garden Club, and the first Council Reserve Management Plan Tasmania had seen- the Boronia Hill Reserve Management Plan. Today, KLAG represents over 24 Landcare Groups in the Kingborough region.

Image: Flora Fox with granddaughter aged 3 in 2011 at Conningham Beach. 

KLAG's work has paid off- in 2010, their consistent lobbying resulted in the council including environmental management in their budget, and employing 2 weed care officers. The 2022/23 budget includes $1.3 million to environmental management. 

"One of the reasons Kingborough is such a wonderful place to live is because we can walk out the door to get some exercise, with so many magnificent tracks and reserves to choose from,"  Flora said.   And it's clear what she means- the well looked after reserves in the Kingborough area provide recreational space for many residents. Flora said the reserves and walking tracks in the local area resulted from the long-term vision of residents and Council. 

KLAG is continuing their great work, with the North-West Bay River Track to be expanded soon.

Congratulations to KLAG, whose efforts have ensured that current and future generations can enjoy the Kingborough landscape for years to come.  


Following Words from the Cr Flora Fox, Kingborough Landcare Advisory Group 

One of the reasons Kingborough is such a wonderful place to live is because we can walk out the door to get some exercise, with so many of magnificent tracks and reserves to choose from. Our foreshore walks, from Taroona to Bruny Island are iconic. Tracks like Whitewater creek provide the best of both worlds, linking rural and suburban areas, connecting homes with schools, shops, and work, though beautiful natural reserves along the river to the sea.

Councillor Flora Fox, currently in her 35th year on Council, said, “these tracks and reserves resulted from the long-term vision of residents and Kingborough Council. With their vision, reserves such as Boronia Hill and Tinderbox Hills provide spectacular public open spaces for residents to enjoy”.

As a young girl in the late 50’s I often walked with my sister through the bush across the hills from Blackmans Bay to Kingston. There were very few houses behind Blackmans Bay, and we enjoyed the water and mountain views, the wild-flowers, and native birds. We visited the library and shops at Kingston Beach.

The only grocery shop in Kingston, near the Kingston Beach Hall, was owned by the Walton family. Hannah Walton was a very progressive lady for her time. She donated a house in Windsor Street to the community, to be used as a co-operative gallery. Here, local artists and craftspeople could display and sell their paintings and produce.

I joined the Windsor Gallery co-operative in 1980 and took my turn on the committee. I sold my homegrown pumpkins and potatoes, displayed in my home-made baskets made from garden materials. The co-operative formed the Kingston Garden Club and we regularly organised flower shows in the Kingston Hall.

The original members of the co-operative became less able to manage the gallery, so we decided to sell Windsor Gallery. The proceeds were divided between several community causes, but the bulk of the money was donated in trust to Kingborough Council, to be used to acquire land and manage the bushland on Boronia Hill. In 1994 The Boronia Hill Trust provided seed funding for a Federal grant, which paid for the employment of Council’s first Bushcare Officer. This enabled Council to prepare the Boronia Hill Reserve Management Plan, the first Council Reserve Management Plan in Tasmania.

Another Windsor Gallery member, Nancy Tringrove donated a large piece of land on Tinderbox Peninsula to Council, to create the Tinderbox reserve which has recently expanded along the ridge towards Mount Louis.

The North-West Bay River track will soon provide trails for walkers, horse, and bike riders through native forest along the riverbanks. This project started in 1988 when I was elected to Council and as farms along the river were being subdivided, I advocated for the creation of riparian reserves.

In 1999 Council formally established the North-West Bay River Catchment Committee.  With Federal funding, Council employed a project officer to create Australia’s first Council Catchment Management Plan, resulting in weed removal and improved community access to the river.

In 1996 many volunteers had evolved into Landcare, Bushcare and Coastcare groups, from Taroona to Bruny Island. We got together regularly for mutual support, and in 2005 we decided to formalise as the Kingborough Landcare Advisory Group (KLAG) Incorporated. This allowed us to receive and dispense grants for our member groups.  KLAG lobbied Council, State and Federal governments for support and funding.

In 2010 KLAG’s lobbying resulted in Council budgeting for environmental management and employing two weed care officers. Council’s 2022/23 budget includes $1.3M for environmental management.

KLAG’s Tracks and Trails Forum of 2005 resulted in Council forming a Tracks and Trails Committee. Subsequently, Council developed a strategy to manage existing trails, new trails, and missing linkages.

Council’s booklet “Kingborough’s Tracks”, (now in its 6th edition) was initiated by KLAG. It lists 42 tracks, ranging from short easy strolls to full-day challenging walks, with some suitable for horses, mountain bikes and dogs. Many of these tracks are maintained by KLAG members, assisted by Council.

Today Kingborough Council has 24 Landcare groups.

The Kingborough Landcare Advisory Group held a workshop last week to review our achievements over the last 30 years, and to plan for the next 30 years.