(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.

Fox Gully Bushcare has been nominated for the 2011 Keep Australia BeautifulSpotless Suburb Award.

No, we have not suddenly become a suburb in our own right; there is an award under the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION category. See the 2010 winners.

Fox Gully and Mt Gravatt Environment Group were also both nominated for the 2010 awards.

It is great to receive the recognition of  a nomination even if we do not win the award. However, I welcome any ideas, thoughts and/or testimonials I can use in preparing for the judging next Wednesday.

Winning the Environmental Protection category section of Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs will be valuable public relations supporting our community education activities, strengthen our ability to access grant funding for projects and allow us to give wider acknowledgement to our corporate supporters:

If you have taken part in one of our planting days or events, what did you enjoy?

How has our work restoring this two hectares add value for you?

What comment do you have about my wildlife articles in Southside Community News?

Please comment here or email megoutlook@gmail.com

2011 will be a busy exciting year for Fox Gully Bushcare.

FWR Group returns on Wednesday 9 February. With four visits scheduled for 2011, I am confident the Fishbone Fern will be completely cleared and the native ferns thriving again in Zone 13.

BOIC (Butterflies & Other Invertebrates Club) is visiting in February for a guided tour of our restoration work. An honour and an excellent opportunity to tap into some expert critique of our work.

The ANZ Fox Gully Team is returning to continue restoration of Zone 8. Now that the Purple Succulent has been removed we will work back up the gully clearing Easter Cassia, Camphor Laurel, Creeping Charlie and removing any weed regrowth.

Stage 3 restoration of Zone 14 will include removal of remaining weed trees and continue the firebreak planting with load fuel load native grasses.

At the other end of the site, in Zone 15B, removal of Singapore Daisy and replanting with frog and butterfly friendly Lomandra hystrix and restoration of Coin Spot Treeferns.

We will also be working with BCC, Transport & Main Roads and other property owners to re-establish the wildlife corridors between Mt Gravatt Reserve, Mimosa Creek and Roly Chapman Reserve: Fox Gully – Wildlife Corridors At a micro level we are starting to directly repopulate the wildlife in the gully with the first generation of Green Tree Frogs Litoria caerulea released.

Our Wednesday Bushcare starts again next week on Wednesday 12 January. Please consider joining us for some weed removal … restore the bush and yourself at the same time.

Bushland restoration is already having a visable impact on the abundance of wildlife in Fox Gully.

Work by the ANZ Fox Gully Team has resulted in the second Koala sighting in the gully. This male Koala was photographed last week in a Tallowwood preserved on the property of Jason and Tash Olson-Seeto. Another Koala was photographed behind Sam Bilton’s house in November. The ANZ Team have removed over eight cubic metres of the invasive weed Purple Sucullent allowing free movement of Koalas down this wildlife corridor.

Yesterday I found this cicada, a Black Tree-ticker, while clearing weeds in Zone 15.

The cicada had just shed its old shell ready to grow a new larger shell.

I estimate this photo was taken fifteen minutes after it had shed its old she

ll. The wings are still wet and folded.

Eleven minutes later the wings are dry and the cicada is moving around freely.  However its new shell is not yet dry and its colour is still pinkish not the rich brown that will develop.

Our Korean Homestay student,  Cindy (Suhyeon) helped me identify this cicada as a Birrima varians – Black Tree-ticker by examining the embryonic body markings and vein pattern in wings.

This morning there were between ten and twenty Imperial Hairstreak butterflies – Jalmenus evagoras, flying among the Acacias in Zone 7. Zone 7 was cleared of building rubbish and weeds then replanted with Brisbane Fringed Wattle and Black Wattle in October 2008. Acacias are the laval food plant for the Imperial Hairstread, so now, just sixteen months later our planting is supporting a thriving Imperial Hairstreak population. I was even able to capture two butterflies mating.