Bushcare


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Read The Regenerator BCC Community Conservation Partnerships Program Newsletter.

Then tell your own story about Brisbane’s nature and enter

the Nature Writing Competition (see page 3). 

Your story will be published in The Regenerator, you will win a pack of nature-related books and have the opportunity to attend a nature writing workshop.

Entries close 30 June so get writing.

 

 

By: Michael Fox

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(clockwise) Mik Petter, Wayne Cameron, Ian Walker, Dr. Christian Rowan, Michael Fox, Sienna Harris

Our local MP Ian Walker gave us to opportunity yesterday to brief Dr. Christian Rowan, state Shadow Minister for Environment, about our restoration work around the mountain and the broader Brisbane catchment. We met at the Love Well Project … excellent coffee and an outstanding place to meet with a view over Brisbane City.
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Mik Petter – B4C President and Wayne Cameron – Catchment Manager, represented Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C). Sienna Harris represented Griffith Mates and Alan Moore, Photography Workshop leader, and I represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group.
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Mik and Wayne shared information on the history of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee Inc. (B4C): established in 1997 as a community based social enterprise that provides coordination, support and specialised ecological services to protect, restore and maintain Bulimba Creek catchment in partnership with our members and wider community to build a web of green across the region.

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Particularly significant points were the business like management of B4C which complements grant funding and volunteer contribution with commercial projects across Brisbane and as far as Esk. This combination of financial strength and depth of on ground experience across both technical environmental areas and community engagement allows B4C to provide valuable support for groups like ours: technical advice, legal framework, insurance and bookkeeping.

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Explaining the value of interpretative signs.

The excellent support our five Bushcare groups receive from BCC Habitat Brisbane is complemented by B4C’s support that allows us to source grant funding for printing our popular Walking Mt Gravatt track maps and the interpretative signs which help create a real “National Park” experience for visitors to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve.
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Sienna talked about Griffith Mates, a Griffith University initiative that organises events for students, including Volunteering at Bushcare. A powerful partnership we find ourselves working with students studying engineering, international business as well as the expected environmental science. Listening to students talking about home in Hong Kong or Zimbabwe, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter.
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(l-r) Ian Walker and Christian Rowan

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Alan told us about the 2017 Photography Workshop, our fifth year helping visitors “See the forest in a new way” through the lens of their camera. Each year Alan focuses of a new theme and many participants return each year … so it is important to book early as we have limited numbers.
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Time to get the politicians out to experience this special Conservation Reserve in the middle of the city.
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I explained that the butterfly sign was positioned at the entry to the Summit Track where the natural amphitheatre creates a speed dating site for dozens of butterflies of different species.

By: Michael Fox

Our Griffith Mates partners returned in March to continue their work clearing Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidenses. The Mates started clearing the Lantana in September 2015 and they were very happy to see the native grasses, sedges and vines returning where the weeds had been cleared.

I love having Griffith Mates onsite … there is always a lot of discussion and laughter. This time  put the team to work on clearing Lantana regrowth. This is real get on your hands and knees detail work … not as exciting as the mass clearing done at past events so I was not sure how these young people would go. I should not have worried, as always the Mates amazed me with their commitment and the quality of their work.

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Blues Brothers at work

The Mates even take having fun to whole new levels. These two were bouncing off each other so much I had to introduce them to the Blues Brothers movie.

Lantana Buster Teacher in Action - 25 Mar 2017

A born teacher at work

I have rarely seen someone take such simple pleasure in teaching new skill … in this case how to remove Mickey Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata with the Treepopper.

Lantana Buster Team - 25 Mar 2016

Seventeen Mates, forty hours Lantana Busting. Thank you Griffith Mates.

 

 

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Bush Monsters raring to go!

By: Michael Fox

Heather (Woods) and the Bush Monsters again led the charge for our 2017 Clean Up Australia.

Thirty four participants, including a babe in arms: it is good to see them starting young, and other family groups were broken into three teams:

  • Summit Team – cleaning up the picnic area
  • Road Team – picking up fast food packets
  • Weeding Team – clearing Mother-of- Millions and Asparagus Ferns
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Carl, Jean and future     bush lover

Joe Kelly MP Member for Greenslopes and Matt Campbell joined the Summit Team cleaning up the picnic area.

Thanks to the work of Brisbane City Council maintenance crews the picnic area is generally tidy these days. However, Clean Up Co-ordinator Heather focused the Team on detailed job of collecting pieces of broken glass. It is important to keep the picnic area safe for kids to run barefoot in the park.

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Dolcin Family on Summit Team

I think the Road Team needed a third type of rubbish bag specially branded as McDonalds Rubbish. While the Reserve is much cleaner these days throwing fast food packaging from cars still seems to be a popular sport and the vast majority of drink cups and packets have the famous golden arches brand.

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Family fun on Road Team

I have rarely seen so many happy faces picking up rubbish … must be something to do with being out in the fresh and the trees.

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Amber and Barb more fun on Road Team

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Weed Buster Allegra

I led the Weed Team on the attack to clear invasive Mother-of-Millions Bryophyllum tubiflorum* and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus*.

Mother-of-Millions commonly spreads into our bushland when people dump garden waste and being a succulent this weed can survive and spread rapidly in our dry Australian conditions.

The De Guzman family returned to represent Viridian Energy and specialised as Mother-of-Millions Weed Busters.

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Jenny and Karen Asparagus Fern Busting

Jenny and Karen specialised in removing Asparagus Fern which has spread into the Reserve by fruit eating birds visiting local gardens then flying into the bushland. The Cyclone Two-pronged Hoe is an ideal tool for getting under crown of the weed and pulling it up roots and all.

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Weed Team – (l-r) Allegra, Hennessy, Sandy, Jeamie, Karen, Jenny and Noel

Final count for the event teams was twenty-one bags of rubbish and weeds. Congratulations and thank you for all the hard work!

See you at National Tree Day 30 July.

 

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Mulch Filter along oval fence

By: Michael Fox

This morning was the final Bushcare event for 2016 and the 80 metre Mulch Filter along the Upper Mt Gravatt State School fence is ready to capture water run-off during the summer storm season.

The current dry weather highlights the importance of keeping as much rain water as possible on site to support the bushland restoration. The school oval represents over 10,000 sq metres (one hectare) of rain catchment available for the Buchcare site.

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Composting weeds on site

Natural regeneration of Monkey Rope Vine Parsonsia straminea and Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea is already enhancing the on-site composting of weeds. Slowing the water run-off reduces erosion and allows the water soak in to support the natural regeneration.

It is encouraging to see the native vines setting seed ready for the summer growing season.

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Slender Grape Cayratia clematidea (left)                     Wombat Berry Eustrephus latifolius     

 

 

 

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Jisu fascinated by Elkhorn and Basket Ferns growing on a rock

By: Michael Fox

I introduced Korean student Jisu to our wildlife and native plants in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve while walking to Mt Gravatt Campus.

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Kangaroo on a bus - 31 Aug 2016 lowres

I like my new mum

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Jisu is keen to meet a Koala but neither of us expected to meet a Kangaroo on the Griffith Inter-campus. This youngster was happily nestled into his substitute pouch on the wildlife carer’s lap.

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Citizen Scientists using iPads to check nest box

By: Michael Fox

On Saturday morning our Griffith Mates partners joined us at the National Tree Day planting site for some Citizen Science: doing an initial check on the nest boxes installed in July, to see if any boxes were occupied and meeting some of the local wildlife.

Carl checking Boobook Owl box - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Carl checking BooBook Owl box

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I led the team on an off track adventure to reach the nest boxes. While Carl operated the GoPro camera on the extendable pole the ground crew monitored on iPads using WiFi connection.

Carl became a real professional keeping the tall wobbly pole under control while he lifted the lid on each box and inserted the camera.

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Lantana Busters at work

Not surprisingly none of the boxes had been occupied in the short time since installation. However, it is valuable to get a information on how long it takes before boxes are adopted.

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Then is was back through the bush to the Lantana Busting site.

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Scolopendrid centipede – tail to left

1,600 square metres of Creeping Lantana Lantana montevidensis were cleared and raked into swales on National Tree Day. Now we are doing the detail work of clearing the remaining roots to eradicate this invasive garden escapee.

There is an amazing about of wildlife among the leaf litter as well as in the trees. We disturbed a Scolopendrid centipede which I think Baoyi wanted to keep as a pet. Be careful handling centipedes as they may bite if disturbed or handled. The bite may cause severe pain and associated swelling.

Griffith Mates team - 27 Aug 2016 lowres

Home made cakes a reward for hard work. (l-r) Sophie, Jocelyn, Harry, Baoyi, Carl, Amanda and Dana in front

Centipedes are predatory and will kill and consume a variety of other invertebrates such as spiders, molluscs, many insects, slaters and other centipedes. Prey is usually immobilised by venom injected through the fangs and then torn into pieces by the mandibles and the soft parts are eaten.

All that hard work deserves a reward. Thanks to Mt Gravatt Environment Group member Dana for the home made cakes.

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