By: Michael Fox

Eleven Clairvaux MacKillop College students and two teachers joined me last Monday to clear weeds in preparation for our National Tree Day planting.

The first of three innovative events organised by Sandra Stadhams: Campus Minister with the theme Revive The Earth. It is an inspiring initiative founded on the words of Pope Francis:

We can change, and we can make a new start. The whole human family needs to work together to care for our planet earth so that we sow beauty, not pollution and destruction. So, let’s put love for the world and love for our neighbours, into action, by living together in harmony, and caring for nature.

The Revive The Earth program utilises the Shared Path Framework “… to go beyond mere surface-experience in our endeavours to develop students who are compassionately engaged human beings.”

The interrelated movements of the Framework are:

Movement 1: PREPARE
Attention of the Heart/Holding Space
How can we ground experiences in the here and now?

Movement 2: PARTNER
Receptive Presence/Connecting
How do we form authentic reciprocal relationships with the communities we are engaging with?

Movement 3: PERCEIVE
Critical Reflection/Seeing Beyond
How do we train the eye to see beyond the experience? How do we use reflective tools that mirror the pathway of incoming information through the brain?

Movement 4: PRACTICE
Reciprocal Intention/Discernment
How can we ensure that students aren’t developing pre-mature solutions to complex community challenges?

Movement 5: PARTICIPATE
Integration of Purpose/Transformation
How can this be placed to animate, orient and innovate a new way of being human and a new way of relationship which is radically open-hearted and transformational.

Leaning to use a hand saw.

On site the Team dived in with a will to subdue a forest of weeds: Guinea Grass Megathyrsus maximus var. maximus*, Cobblers Peg Bidens pilosa*, Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa*.

The team also helped us trial a new tool to remove Guinea Grass by separating the plant crown from roots with minimal root disturbance. The diverse living organisms critical for soil health can be damaged by if the soil is disturbed, so we are working with the BCC Habitat Brisbane team to develop best practice techniques for habitat restoration.

It is also a pleasure sharing basic skills like using a hand saw safely.

I am looking forward to welcoming the Clairvaux Bushcare team back for my own learning. Observing how the students apply the Shared Path Framework will strengthen my skills with community engagement.

By: Susan Jones

Clearing jungle of weeds

Lions’ refurbishment of the Roly Chapman Reserve native gardens is steaming ahead.

A  thick jungle of garden escapees, including Purple Succulent Callisia fragrans, Corky Passion Vine Passiflora suberosa, Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis, Cobblers Pegs Bidens pilosa and Cocos Palms Syagrus romanizoffiana, confronted  the volunteers when they arrived.

Innovative weed removal technique

Lions Team (l-r) Steve, Baska, Kevin, Glen & Shan Ju

The Cobblers Pegs were over a metre high and covered in seeds, requiring careful removal. The Purple Succulent also required careful handling to ensure all fleshy stems and roots were lifted, or they’d resprout. Baska and Kevin hit on the idea of using a small tarp onto which the weeds were loaded, and then lifted off the beds. Meanwhile, the rest of the crew were kept busy pulling weeds for removal.

Perfect weather, plus a great team produced an excellent morning’s work.  Well done, MacGregor Lions and neighbour Liz!

Next working bee:

Midweek – Thursday 17th May from 3 – 5 pm

Monthly – Saturday, 2nd June from 8 – 10 am

Meet on the concrete pathway at the third garden from Hoad Street end.

For details: email – Macgregor.Lions.Secretary@gmail.com or contact John Spriggs on 3849 6479.