Tuesday Bushcare


Katie & Nicole attacking Chinese Elm

Katie and Nicole, from Queensland University of Technology, returned to our Tuesday Bushcare again this week joining myself, Marshal, Michael and Edd to fight off the weed invaders in the gully.

I just had to point Katie and Nicole at the Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis and say “That weed has to go.”

These two will take on any challenge!

ss

s

s

sf

Marshal removing the felled tree

s

x

Marshal chipped in to drag the tree out and trim it so the logs can be used to stabilise the slope.

d

s

Edd chasing Bamboo roots almost all the way to Sydney

g

d

d

Edd, in the meantime, tackled the Bamboo regrowth chasing the roots right up the slope … he thought it was going to lead him all the way to Sydney.

d

d

d

d

d

d

g

d

Thank you Katie

d

d

g

Another thirteen bags of weeds removed as well as Bamboo and a medium sized Chinese Elm … outstanding!

A sad day though as Katie and Nicole leave us. Thank you Katie and Nicole you are going to be inspiring teachers for some lucky students.

(l-r) Katie, Nicole, Edd and Marshal

The Tuesday Bushcare Team removed eighteen bags of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia in three hours this week.

Nature Works 24/7

The Team is only on site three hours a week however when we finish our partner, nature, takes over the restoration work delivering natural regeneration 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We do 10% of the work removing the weeds preparing the area for natural regeneration then nature does the other 90% of the work.

Edd removing weed regrowth

In Zone 13 we are only using natural regeneration:  no replanting or mulching with imported mulch. This reduces the amount of work required (no shoveling mulch or digging hole for plants) and the cost of the restoration (mulch costs about $40/cu metre and plants cost $2 each).

Green Mulching by natural regeneration of local native grasses is reducing weed regrowth, managing erosion and providing food for butterflies. The FWR Group started clearing the Fishbone in November 2010. Just sixteen months later the picture on the right shows the thick covering of Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima minimising weed regrowth in the area cleared by FWR.

Edd Cross joined our team for the first time last Tuesday. However his experience with Conservation Volunteers Australia meant that I knew I could put the detailed work of clearing weed regrowth.

Two butterfly and four plant species restored to Fox Gully

Zornia dyctiocarpa

Natural regeneration has now restored Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras and Australian Leafwing Doleschallia bisaltide butterflies as well as, four plant species including Zornia Zornia dyctiocarpa and Shepherd’s Crook Orchid Geodorum densiflorum, an endangered species in NSW.

Partnering with nature, Fox Gully Bushcare is having a huge impact in restoration of our unique Mountain habitat.

Shepherd's Crook Orchid Geodorum densiflorum

c

d

c

dd

l

(l-r) Katie, Toby and Nicole

Sometimes you meet a person who is just special. Today I was lucky enough to meet two such people. Katie and Nicole are Queensland University of Technology students training to be primary school teachers.With teachers like these two our future is in good hands.

Today was rainy all morning and it was expected it to continue all afternoon. This did not put off these two … the idea of wearing garbage bag raincoats was seen as fun, mud … no problem! This is particularly impressive when you know that Katie grew up in Hong Kong and this is the first time she has actually been in a forest.

I liked these two immediately … especially when Toby my spaniel immediately made friends … however they really won me over when they not only found this tiny snail but also shared my excitement.

Katie and Nicole took everything in their stride, laughed all the time and formed one of the most productive teams we have had in Fox Gully. Between us we removed three wheelie bins of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia clearing another large area of this invasive weed for nature to restore with native grasses, vines and ferns.

(l-r) SITA representative, Cr Graham Quirk, Michael Fox, Rick Burnett CEO Keep Australia Beautiful Qld.

Brisbane Lord Mayor, Cr. Graham Quirk today presented Fox Gully Bushcare with the Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs Partnerships Award.

I was proud to represent our community at New Farm Park for the Awards but a little surprised to when called up to receive the Partnership Award.

I shared our achievements and plans with judges John and Lou Carothers when they inspected our site in May. Clearly our efforts to actively engage community members, community organisation and business groups made a powerful impression.

Judging criteria for the Partnerships Award are:

  • Partnerships that enhance community wellbeing and pride in their community.
  • Partnerships that result in materials and resources for activities to keep the community clean.
  •  Partnerships to manage litter and cleanliness in local facilities, e.g. playgrounds, amenities, car parks and public open spaces.

As a community we are really achieving something special and this award will help us build on our partnerships, strengthen our community and access more resources. We have already received funding approval for the Flora and Fauna Assessment which will look at developing Fox Gully as a wildlife link. We currently have fourteen property owners committed to restoration of their part of the gully as part of our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan. These successes will help strengthen these community partnerships as well as our existing corporate partnerships:

Cr Krista Adams, Sue Jones, Michael Fox, Cr Graham Quirk

Our Mountain was doubly honoured as Sue Jones and I also accepted the Environmental Protection Award for Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

Join our Mt Gravatt Bush Blokes on Tuesday afternoons in Fox Gully and see what the fuss is all about.

Ian with Michael and Paul in background

Ian Walker, LNP candidate for Mansfield, joined the team for Tuesday Bushcare today: removing Fishbone Fern in Zone 13.

I showed Ian the power of natural regeneration and explained the concept of Green Mulching: controlling weeds, erosion and water loss with native grasses.

(l-r) Marshal Paul Michael

Ian was particularly interested in the use of native grasses for bushfire control. Introduced weeds like Guinea Grass Panicum maximum are a major bushfire risk because of the volume of loose dead grass that accumulates. Native Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillimawhich is regenerating and controlling weeds in the cleared area, is also ideal for bushfire control as it is low growing and does not build up large volumes of dead grass as it quickly recycled by Australian insects adapted to the local grasses.

Time for a cuppa and jam donuts. Eleven garbage bags of Fishbone removed today!

Now it is time for nature to take over restoring native grasses, Basket Fern Drynaria rigidula, Rasp Fern Doodia media, Scrambling Lilly Geitonoplesium cymosum  and Soapy or Red Ash Alphitonia excelsa which is a food tree for caterpillars of Small Green-banded Blue butterflies.

One of the powerful things I have learned about bushcare is that if we put in 10% clearing the weeds nature then contributes 90%, working 24/7 doing natural regeneration with local plants and weed control with Green Mulching.