Kaurna Kardla Parranthi

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Pilot Bio-Cultural Burn in Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra (Park 21 West)

*Update - 23 March 2020*

Given the recent restrictions on public gatherings, this project has been postponed with new estimated dates to be announced later this year.

If you were planning to join us for the drop in session on Wednesday 25 March or the community information session on Thursday 26 March, please note that these sessions have now been postponed as per the above.

We encourage anyone with questions to join the online conversation through the Q&A tool below.


Background

Since mid-2019 the City of Adelaide (CoA) has been working with the Kaurna community, Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and other key stakeholders to undertake a pilot bio-cultural burn in a small area of the Adelaide Park Lands.

This project was initiated in response to outcomes from CoA’s Integrated Biodiversity Management Plan 2018 – 2023 and Stretch Reconciliation Plan 2018 – 2021 related to incorporating Kaurna knowledge into management of the Park Lands.


Project Information

On 4 Dec 2019 the Reconciliation Committee recommended that Council supports this project, and this motion was passed by Council on 10 Dec 2019. This project was presented to the Adelaide Park Lands Authority on 5 March 2020.

This project carries significant cultural importance for the Kaurna community, the Traditional Owners of the Adelaide region. The City of Adelaide is proud to be working with the Kaurna community to trial the return of fire to the Adelaide Park Lands.

The trial bio-cultural burn is intended to assist in the ecological management of a section of the Key Biodiversity Area in Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra (Park 21W). The fire will be low in intensity and pose no public health or safety risk to nearby residents, businesses or Park Lands users. The bio-cultural burn will be undertaken by trained members of the Kaurna community alongside DEW fire management personnel.

Pre-burn ecological surveys have already been conducted and ongoing monitoring and management will allow CoA to assess and respond to the effects of the burn.


Questions & Answers (Q&A)

An ongoing Q&A tool is active below. Panel members are: City of Adelaide staff, Representative from the Kaurna Community and Representative from State Government Department for Environment and Water.

Pilot Bio-Cultural Burn in Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra (Park 21 West)

*Update - 23 March 2020*

Given the recent restrictions on public gatherings, this project has been postponed with new estimated dates to be announced later this year.

If you were planning to join us for the drop in session on Wednesday 25 March or the community information session on Thursday 26 March, please note that these sessions have now been postponed as per the above.

We encourage anyone with questions to join the online conversation through the Q&A tool below.


Background

Since mid-2019 the City of Adelaide (CoA) has been working with the Kaurna community, Department for Environment and Water (DEW) and other key stakeholders to undertake a pilot bio-cultural burn in a small area of the Adelaide Park Lands.

This project was initiated in response to outcomes from CoA’s Integrated Biodiversity Management Plan 2018 – 2023 and Stretch Reconciliation Plan 2018 – 2021 related to incorporating Kaurna knowledge into management of the Park Lands.


Project Information

On 4 Dec 2019 the Reconciliation Committee recommended that Council supports this project, and this motion was passed by Council on 10 Dec 2019. This project was presented to the Adelaide Park Lands Authority on 5 March 2020.

This project carries significant cultural importance for the Kaurna community, the Traditional Owners of the Adelaide region. The City of Adelaide is proud to be working with the Kaurna community to trial the return of fire to the Adelaide Park Lands.

The trial bio-cultural burn is intended to assist in the ecological management of a section of the Key Biodiversity Area in Golden Wattle Park / Mirnu Wirra (Park 21W). The fire will be low in intensity and pose no public health or safety risk to nearby residents, businesses or Park Lands users. The bio-cultural burn will be undertaken by trained members of the Kaurna community alongside DEW fire management personnel.

Pre-burn ecological surveys have already been conducted and ongoing monitoring and management will allow CoA to assess and respond to the effects of the burn.


Questions & Answers (Q&A)

An ongoing Q&A tool is active below. Panel members are: City of Adelaide staff, Representative from the Kaurna Community and Representative from State Government Department for Environment and Water.

Hello everyone,

We welcome your questions about this exciting project. We will endeavour to respond to your questions within two work days.

We look forward to answering your questions!

The Kaurna Kardla Parranthi team

Kaurna Kardla Parranthi - Live Q&A

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    Being very keen to restore the biological health of the soil on my Adelaide Hills property I am attempting to apply cultural management practices. https://nativegrassresourcesgroup.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/further-exploration-of-fire-to-foster-a-native-grass-ecosystem.pdf Unfortunately the prohibited burning season rarely allows me the opportunity to conduct a burn. Are you likely to encounter the same difficulty on the Adelaide planes?

    John S Asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for your question and we're happy to hear your interest in cultural management practices.

    Our project has been a long collaborative process between the Kaurna community, the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) Fire Management, and the City of Adelaide. Between the three groups, we have created a project that aligns with Kaurna culture, state fire management guidelines and Council's policy documents. This allows us to burn safely at the best time (which may not actually be within the regular season for prescribed burns). 

    If you are planning to do something similar, we recommend starting a conversation with the Traditional Owners of your land, DEW Fire Management and your local council.

    We wish you all the best with your plans. 

    The Kaurna Kardla Parranthi team

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    Is it still going to happen? Can we expect any rare or unusual pyrophytic plants to show up or has the land been left and used otherwise for too long for any such possibility?

    sarinozi Asked 2 months ago

    Thanks for your question. Yes, we are still planning for this to happen. We are looking at a window of time in March / April 2021 and a new location within the Adelaide Park Lands. 

    It is important to make two points: a) we do anticipate broadleaf exotic plants (weeds) to grow in the space cleared by the fire. We are equipped to handle this influx carefully so that any rare pyrophytic plants are not harmed; and b) we do not expect dramatic changes after one burn – it may take several burns and we are prepared for this. As with most positive changes in ecosystems, they require patience, care and revisiting; there is almost never a set-and-forget solution. We are regularly amazed with the species that have persisted through the establishment and multiple uses of our Park Lands. It is very difficult to know specifically what to expect after the burn but we are very excited to find out.

    All the best,

    the Kaurna Karlda Parranthi team

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    Wasn't cultural burning done to flush out animals? Won't this burn, burn alive and flush out living creatures? That would be terrible. How can you ensure that this won't happen?

    Bentley24 Asked 6 months ago

    Thanks for the great question. When Kaurna people used fire in the past, flushing animals was just one of the objectives and this was to aid the hunting of larger animals like kangaroos, wallabies and goannas. These animals are no longer living in the Adelaide Park Lands but smaller animals, like birds, lizards and insects, do still call it home. We can avoid endangering these animals by carefully considering the timing and method that fire is applied. We are burning in late autumn when we expect some green shoots growing amongst the dry grass, so we don’t expect the fire to get very hot or move quickly; fire will be applied to country slowly and carefully. It will be done this way so animals have enough time to sense the smoke or heat and move away from it to the surrounding grass, including slipping into the many cracks in the soil. In the weeks after the fire, new growth will provide excellent food and habitat for the animals that had to temporarily shift. Please also see this video link where Aboriginal fire practitioner Victor Steffenson talks about animals in these fire.

    - CoA


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    I noticed this is a pilot activity; does this mean that it could be repeated? If yes: 1)what factors would be considered to decide this?; 2)how frequently would it be repeated per year?; 3)where else would it be conducted in the Adelaide Park Lands? Thank you!

    6 months ago

    Hi Minnett,

    Thank you for your great question. Please see our answers below:

    1) What factors would be considered to decide this?;

    - from a biodiversity perspective, we will be looking at how the ecology of the site responds to the fire. We have several monitoring sites within this area and we will check which plants grow back and which require management by our Biodiversity Team. From this perspective, we will need to wait some years before we get solid results.

    We will take this biodiversity perspective into account with our partnership with the Kaurna community to ensure that we get the best outcome from both cultural and environmental viewpoints. CoA

    2) How frequently would it be repeated per year?

    - Cultural burning can be practiced year-round, however it is about using the right fire at the right time. Assuming positive cultural and ecological outcomes, an ongoing cultural burning program is considered good practice. The frequency will need to be mutually agreed between the Kaurna community and the City of Adelaide. CoA

    3) Where else would it be conducted in the Adelaide Park Lands? Thank you!

    - if we continue to undertake these cultural burns, they will only ever take place within key biodiversity areas of the Adelaide Park Lands, of which there are six identified for biodiversity conservation and another area that we use as a community education space. CoA