By: Michael Fox
Photos: Alan Moore
Sunday morning 31 July and one hundred and thirteen volunteers have arrived for 2016 National Tree Day. So I took one team to tackle the Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses while Sue Jones organised the other team to start the planting. The teams swapped jobs after morning tea.
Lantana Busters hard at work clearing 1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana
Creeping Lantana is a major weed threat in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Lantana competes for native plants for scarce water reserves and nutrients, physically smothers other plant and the chemicals in Lantana have a significant negative effects on native plant species.
The Lantana Busting teams cleared an amazing 1,600 square metres with one group raking the weed into long swales to manage erosion and retain water while others followed up, hand pulling the remaining roots. I explained that once the roots are removed the Lantana can be left piled up without regrowing. Slow, detailed but amazingly effective work. I showed the teams the natural regeneration of native grasses: Pademelon Grass Oplismenus imbecillis and Creeping Beard Grass Oplismenus aemulus, Tufted Scleria Scleria mackaviensis (native sedge) and Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea (native vine). Nature works 24/7 to build on our work and the forest will regenerate naturally if we clear the weeds.
Over with the planting team it was all action, lots of smiles and a big job in hand. This year the team is building on the work from 2015 National Tree Day with in-fill planting of 564 creepers, grasses, shrubs and trees to provide safe habitat and food for small forest birds, including nectar, pollen, insects and seeds. 2016 National Tree Day Planting List
Like last year, this was real cross-cultural event with the Griffith Mates Bushcare Team, Ahmadiyya Muslim Association and Alpha Phi Omega teams returning. This year we welcomed a new team representing carbon neutral energy supply company Viridian Energy Australia. Viridian team members traveled from the Sunshine and Gold Coasts to join us making a practical contribution carbon sequestration to protect our children’s future.
And the kids were there digging in to build their own future. Kids love digging in dirt and look at the skill development! Let’s invite these future builders back for 2017 National Tree Day.
All that hard work deserves some tea and bikkies and time to learn about our native bees from Len Kann.
I show Ross Vasta and his son an Acacia Falcata planted in 2015 and already flowering.
Of course events like this are not possible without the strong support we receive from our local, state and federal politicians. We were pleased to welcome Ross Vasta MP, Federal Member for Bonner and Jo Kelly MP, State Member for Greenslopes.
Ian Walker MP, State Member for Mansfield and Cr Krista Adams, Councillor for Holland Park both wanted to attend but had other prior commitments.
Event supported by:
BCC Habitat Brisbane
Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C)
Planet Ark National Tree Day
Peaks to Points Festival
An amazing event – see Stats below, and importantly it looks like 2017 National Tree Day will be even bigger with all the teams and local community members telling me they want to come back.
115 participants including two BCC Habitat Brisbane team members
- Three groups from 2015 returned this year, one new group and lots of locals
- All fours groups want to return next year when I hope to hold the event at the Summit
273.5 volunteer hours
- 30 creepers
- 230 grasses
- 114 shrubs
- 190 trees
1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana cleared.