Showgrounds Precinct


Landscape Plan

By Michael Fox

Sue Jones and I joined Mt Gravatt Girl Guides for World Environment Day last Tuesday night, to plant our first Pollinator Link garden. (Pollinator Link is a trademark of Mt Gravatt Environment Group)

Planting Team in action

Guide Leader, Lizi Dyrsdale, approached us at the 2 Millionth Tree planting in February with the idea of partnering in an environmental project. The project has become a real community effort with a grant from the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund supported by Cr

Watering Team

Krista Adams, raised gardens beds designed and constructed by Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, Western Landscape Supplies providing a discount on garden soil and mature Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea johnsonii contributed by Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee (B4C) (relocated from road development site with DERM approval).

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Sue (left) and the team planting butterfly vines

On Tuesday night a team of Girl Guides, parents and friends planted, watered, dug out weeds and removed rubbish.

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Sue Jones worked with one team planting butterfly vines – Running Postman Kennedia rubicunda – caterpillar food plant for Long-tailed Pea-blue, and Waxflower Vine Hoya australis – caterpillar food for Common Crow butterflies.

The Team … dirty gloves and all



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We finished the night with a proud and happy team.

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Oval Woodland Cockroach

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The local wildlife also appreciated our efforts. Our Australian bushland cockroaches are not the home invaders we commonly see. Species like this Oval  Woodland Cockroach live in leaf litter and do a valuable composting job.

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Ringtail Possum

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And a final inspection by this handsome Ringtail Possum.

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Pollinator Link plants were sourced from B4C Native Plant Nursery at Carindale.

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Mt Gravatt Summit

Twenty five volunteers, including a team from Queensland Institute of Business Technology (QIBT) and Cr Krista Adams, joined co-ordinator Kersite Olsson at Mt Gravatt Summit for Clean Up Australia last Sunday.

The team filled 11 recycle bags and 10 general waste bags, as well as, collecting a tyre, chair, metal, etc.

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Mt Gravatt Girl Guides – Showground

Nine volunteers joined co-ordinator Lizi Drysdale at the Guide Hut to Clean Up Mt Gravatt Showgrounds.

We are partnering with the Girl Guides this year to launch the first Pollinator Link between Mt Gravatt Reserve and Bulimba Creek with a pollinator garden around the Guide Hut.

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Roly Chapman Reserve

Brett Simpson led another team for Clean Up Australia in Roly Chapman Bushland Reserve.

It is inspiring to be able to join with other community groups to Clean Up our community.

Kerstie Olsson is Coordinator for our Mt Gravatt Summit Clean Up this year.

Kerstie is a busy professional however she and her children have enjoyed being part of the Mountain Clean Up in the past. So this year she has volunteered to take on coordination.

Why do families like Krestie’s keep coming back to pick-up other people’s rubbish? I suspect that like me they love being in the bush combined with the simple pleasure of working alongside a group of enthusiastic cheerful individuals and, of course, there are always the surprises. Just ask John McCrystal how he felt to look up and see a Koala walking down the road towards them.

Please join the team at Mt Gravatt Summit – 8am to 10am Sunday 5th March and perhaps have a coffee at Echidna Magic Cafe afterwards.

Register online – Mt Gravatt Summit – Clean Up Australia

Alternative Clean Up sites around the Mountain

If climbing a mountain seems too energetic for a Sunday morning you can join:

Galahs Eolophus roseicapillus - Mt Gravatt Showgrounds - Feb 2012

Lizi Drysdale at Mt Gravatt Showgrounds

2012 will see Mount Gravatt Girl Guides and Mt Gravatt Environment Group partnering to landscape the Guide Hut as the first step in our Pollinator Link between Mt Gravatt Reserve and Bulimba Creek. Pollinator Links will bring birds, butterflies and native bees back to suburban backyards.

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Brett Simpson at Roly Chapman Bushland

Roly Chapman Bushland is a beautiful peaceful habitat along the banks of Mimosa Creek. Be quite as you cross the pedestrian and you may see turtles sunning themselves on the rocks.

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Tailed Emperor Polyura sempronius - Acacia Way - Aug 2010

Melissa Harris at Toohey Forrest – Mt Gravatt Campus Residence

Griffith University Mt Gravatt Campus is an important part of the Mountain habitat and home to amazing butterflies like the Tailed Emperor.

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Living on the edge of Mt Gravatt Reserve we often have butterflies visiting our yard. Today I videoed this Cabbage White Pieris rapae feeding on the Thyme flowers in our rose garden.

Michael Braby in Butterflies of Australia describes this erratic flight and feeding behaviour. This butterfly is using his proboscis or haustellum, a hollow straw-like tongue, to feed on nectar. The proposcis in normally kept rolled and extended for feeding.

Southside Community News - December 2011

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Our Pollinator Link initiative, described in my Southside News article, aims to bring more butterflies to suburban backyards.

If you have citrus trees you may find the leaves being eaten by the caterpillars of Orchard Swallowtail Papilio aegeus butterflies.

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In Mt Gravatt Reserve the caterpillars of these spectacular butterflies feed on Crow’s Ash Flindersia australis. 

However if you can be put up with a few chewed leaves on your fruit trees these “bird-dropping” caterpillars

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will grow into this larger caterpillar

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which builds this delicate chrysalis suspended from a branch

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emerging as this spectacular Orchard Swallowtail butterfly we found in the garden this week.

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A Blue Banded Bee – Amegilla cingulata getting nectar from one of our special Bottle Brush Grass Tree – Xanthorrhoea macronema.

It is particularly pleasing to photograph my first Blue Banded Bee today because I am currently writing an article on Pollinator Links for the Southside Community News. Pollinator Links are a form of wildlife corridor that has potential to work in our fragmented urban landscape and they are a key strategy in our Mt Gravatt Showgrounds Precinct Landscape Plan.

Blue Banded Bees are an Australian native bee and an important pollinator of our food crops like tomatoes. Some plants will only release pollen when the flower is vibrated rapidly – buzz pollination.

The importance of these and other native buzz pollinators is highlighted by the fact that the commercial honey bee – Apis mellifera, cannot perform buzz pollination. The Blue Banded Bees website cites significant benefits for crops such as tomatoes, kiwi fruit, eggplants and chillies. Blue Banded Bees are thought to improve yields in Australia by at least 30% overall.

I also managed to photograph one of our beautiful Variegated Fairy Wrens Malurus lamberti. A male in full breeding colour. There was a least one female around but she would not sit still for a photo. These delicate little birds like scrubby areas where they are safe from predators, often Lantana. So part of our bush restoration work is ensuring there is that there is replacement habitat established before we remove large areas of Lantana. As we establish Pollinator Links we aim to bring special birds like these back into our community backyards.

Showgrounds Precinct - click to enlarge

Mt Gravatt forms an inspiring backdrop for Showground events like last Sunday’s Green Heart Fair and the Showgrounds link our mountain heart with our community in a way unique in Brisbane and possibly the world.

The Mt Gravatt Precinct Landscape Plan aims to build those community links as an integral part of the environmental restoration of this important and diverse Australian bush habitat only 10 kilometres from Brisbane CBD.

Click here to download the plan: Mt Gravatt Showgrounds Precinct Landscape Plan – ver 3.0 email

The plan is based on our vision for the restoration of Mt Gravatt and complements the Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan.

Pollinator Links, a key part of the Landscape Plan, will link Mt Gravatt Reserve with Bulimba Creek via the Showgrounds and Jo’s Creek. Pollinator Links are an innovative approach to creating wildlife corridors through the fragmented urban landscape. These urban ecological corridors will allow pollinators such as Sugarbag Stingless, Leafcutter and Blue-banded bees (all recorded on Mt Gravatt) to move between fragmented habitats.  Birds like Grey Fantails and Golden Whistlers, butterflies like Orchard Swallowtails and Tailed Emperor will also utilise these pathways, thereby returning these species to our backyards.

While the environment is the key focus building and maintaining long-term financial and community commitment requires creation of shared value through identification of business opportunities and community benefits derived from habitat restoration. The Showgrounds – Mountain Link Track is one example of shared value creation – creating easier access to mountain walking tracks and opportunities for “King of the Mountain” type tourism events based at the Showgrounds.

Any feedback or ideas for business or community opportunities? Email Mt Gravatt Environment Group