Salinity and change
Salinisation is a powerful process. Salinity can kill plants and destroy expensive infrastructure. Crops and pastures cannot grow, brick walls crumble away. Across the Wagga Wagga region people have responded in various and creative ways to the phenomenon of salinisation. As salinity changes human perceptions and actions, places change too.
People, salinity and change
People shape places. How we see and talk about land influences how we engage with it. Problems like salinity have been exacerbated by the ecological changes made across the Wagga Wagga region since settlement in the 19th century. Careful and innovative responses by people to the phenomenon of salinisation reveal shifting understandings and perceptions of land.
Graeme Willis is the third generation of his family to run Willis Bricks. Salinity now threatens his livelihood.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Willis Bricks
Salinity outbreaks near their farm have led Graham Strong and his family to think and farm differently.
Flo Grant, a Wiradjuri elder, manages a living-skills and cultural learning place. '... we've all got to work together to heal land and preserve our water, because we build for the next generation.'
Related Pass the Salt stories: Wiradjuri Yalbalingada
Salinisation of some low-lying parts of his property has led wheat and sheep farmer Max Chamberlain to propagate and plant tens of thousands of trees and shrubs.
WAGGA WAGGA URBAN LANDCARE GROUP
The Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare Group has been an essential part of community responses to salinity in the Wagga Wagga region for more than ten years.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Emblem Park
Places, salinity and change
Places tell stories. The patterns and particularities encountered in places reveal entangled histories of land, people and other species. Crumbling brick walls, salinity scalds, gardens of Indigenous plants and signs explaining salinisation speak of the various and shifting ways people have imagined and engaged with land across the Wagga Wagga district.
At ErinEarth, Sisters from the Mt Erin convent are exploring how to live in a more sustainable way.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Sister Carmel Wallis
Once a popular sporting venue, South Campus is now unused due to the effects of salinisation.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Monitoring bore no. 9
At Willis Bricks, repeated firing and cooling of kilns has hastened the corrosive effects of salinity.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Graeme Willis
At Arcadia, the Strong family have developed innovative approaches to living with salinity. They share their ideas and knowledge through regular field days on the property.
As part of teaching young Wiradjuri people living skills at Wiradjuri Yalbalingada, Aboriginal elders are establishing a native plant nursery.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Flo Grant
Since discovering salt scalds appearing on part of their property, the Chamberlain family has propagated and planted tens of thousands of trees on Narua to lower the watertable.
Objects, salinity and change
Objects have histories. As salinity reshapes places and draws responses from residents of the Wagga Wagga district, a diverse range of objects record and tell these stories of dynamic interaction between land and people. On close inspection, objects reveal rich histories of changes brought by salinity to places and to human perceptions and behaviour.
UNSUSTAINABLE THIRST ARTWORK
Unsustainable Thirst offers an artistic interpretation of the relationship between salinity and the history of European settlement.
This t-shirt came out of DancePlant events where people planted trees all day and danced all night.
Related Pass the Salt stories: Graham Strong
The Groundwater map indicates areas at high risk of salinity. It was issued by local Council as one of its public education salinity initiatives.