(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

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(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

September 2010 the FWR Group joined our Wednesday Bushcare and started on the daunting task of clearing the huge area of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia, from the gully. See  my post: Business Goes Bush in Mt Gravatt

Wednesday Bushcare this week will return to that site to remove any regrowth of Fishbone. When I inspected the site to assess the work required, I was so blown away by the extraordinary natural regeneration occurring, I had to do a quick review.

Cindy, Tessa, Virginia, Luke and Mike

Removing Fishbone fern can be a fiddly frustating job: digging out every nodule then carrying the loaded tubs to the top of the slope. Every part of the fern has to be removed from site to reduce risk of re-infection.

In this situation it is great to have a group who can share some fun. “What are these strange nodules we keep digging up?” Cindy is from Busan, South Korea. Tessa,Virginia, Luke and Mike are part of the FWR team.

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The team also removed Easter Cassia, Chinese Elm and Ochna.

Virgina proved quite adept with the new Treepopper provided by our sponsor BCC Habitat Brisbane.

Seeing results is a key factor in motivation for a volunteer bushcare workforce. The Treepopper delived results on the day, making easy work of these, normally hard to remove, woody weeds.

Nine is the biggest team we have had for Wednesday Bushcare and at the end of the afternoon the results showed. The thick green border of Fishbone shows how much has been removed to create this clear ground.

That same area is now covered

Ottochloa gracillima Graceful Grass

in a thick growth of Ottochloa gracillima Graceful Grass which is supressing weed growth as well as providing caterpillar food for Brown and Orange-streaked Ringlet butterflies.

Hybanthus stellarioides Spade Flower

There has been some regrowth of Fishbone fern and some infection with other weeds however the most striking change is the extraordinary natural regeneration of the native grasses, herbs and ferns. Herbs like the unusual Spade Flower Hybanthus stellarioides are now appearing in this area where they were not found before.

Drynaria rigidula Basket Fern

The Basket Fern has also benefited from the weed removal with fresh new growth appearing and outgrowing the invasive Fishbone.

Visiting this part of the site and seeing the native plants restoring the habitat is a real boost.

So I hope you can join us this week for Wednesday Bushcare in Fox Gully.

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.

Fox Gully Bushcare has been named B4C Bushcare Group of the Year for 2010. I was very proud to accept this award from Cr Adrian Schrinner at a ceremony the B4C Southside Sustainability Centre.

Considering Bulimba Creek catchment covers 122 square kilometres, about 10 per cent of Brisbane’s area and home to 120,000 people being named Bushcare Group of the Year is a real achievement!

Thank you to all who have pulled out weeds, carted mulch, planted, watered,  delivered Updates or simply shared words of encouragment.

Thanks to our sponsors: FWR Group, Southside Sport & Community Club, Officeworks – Garden City

And particular thanks to Brisbane City Council:

  • Kate Flink and BCC Habitat Brisbane team who provided valuable advice, equipment, plants, mulch and patiently carted away truckloads of rubbish removed from our site.
  • Cr Krista Adams who supported our application for a BCC Environmental Grant allowing us to continue and expand our community education.

I’m looking forward to an even more amazing 2011 with FWR Group already locked in to join us for four Wednesday Bushcare events, the ANZ Fox Gully Team is planning to come back, BOIC will be visiting for a guided tour of our habitat restoration and our Green Tree Frog repopulation will be into its second generation.

If you receive the Southside Community News you will have read my article on the FWR Group visiting Fox Gully … otherwise see below.

FWR (Four Walls and a Roof) Group is a clever team of individuals who help companies find real profit opportunities in looking after the community and envirionment.

David Cooperrider, interviewing a long time management hero of mine Peter Drucker in 2003, reported the following exchange:

“Can social responsibility also be profitable?”

Drucker, then 93, smiled and laughed at my misdirected enthusiasm—he told me I was asking the wrong question. It’s not whether social responsibility can be profitable to business, he said, but rather how profitable business can make social responsibility. That day, he declared to me something we should all remember:

“Every single social and global issue of our day is a business opportunity in disguise.”

BizEd july/august 2008

FWR Group is Peter Drucker’s words in action. I am honoured to have this team working with us restoring our amazing bushland.

Southside Community News - http://www.southsidesportsclub.com.au