At a recent Westpac Mt Gravatt luncheon to recognize local volunteers, Branch Manager Paul Dennett presented Nancy Hodge with a ‘Community Champion’ certificate for her work with Mt Gravatt Environment Group.

Nancy has propagated hundreds of local native seedlings which she has then assisted us to plant.    She is a regular volunteer at group working bees and our annual Clean Up Australia Day event.

Congratulations Nancy, on your award!

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Fox Gully Bushcare is a finalist in the 2011 Keep Australia BeautifulSpotless Suburbs Award.

Fox Gully Bushcare, located on the southern face of Mt Gravatt, is one of four communtiy bushcare groups working with Mt Gravat Environment Group on restoration of this unique pieces of Australian bushland.

Reaching the finals of the Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs competition is recognition of the strength of our local community, the important role of sponsoring organisations and the quality of the BCC Habitat Brisbane program.

Hon. Kate Jones, Minister for Environment and Resource Management joined us today at the Summit of Mt Gravatt to share our vision for restoration of this special part of our community.

L-R Hon. Kate Jones, Helen Schwencke, Michael Fox, Hon. Phil Reeves

Phil Reeves, local member and Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport joined myself and butterfly expert Helen Schwencke of Earthling Enterprises, hosted our Environment Minister.

Like most visitors Minister Jones was blown away by the beauty of the mountain which recalled her days of walking the eastern slopes of Mt Cootha as a child.

Our discussion covered everything from public toilets at the Summit, to habitat consolidation and wildlife corridors linking the Reserve with Mimosa Creek Precinct and Roly Chapman Reserve. The Minister asked about Koala sightings: Fox Gully and Rover Street Bushcare sites, also behind houses in Mountain Street. Also discussed were the species diversity with Echidnas and two hundred and fifty-four native plant species, as well as, the need for nest boxes to support Squirrel & Sugar Gliders in a forest with only a small proportion trees over one hundred years old.

The reality of flood recovery priorities means that government funds, for bushland restoration in the Reserve, will be limited in the short-term. However, Mt Gravatt Environment Group is currently revising our five-year Strategic Plan, so it was encouraging and valuable to be able to brief the Minister on our vision and plans for the Mountain habitat. The Minister was particularly impressed with our efforts to build relationships with Griffith University and corporate sponsors like ANZ Bank, which will help with some short-term projects.

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The visit by BOIC (Butterflies & Other Invertebrates Club) reported in our local Southside Community News.

Correction and apology: BOIC President’s name was incorrect. My mistake: I provided the wrong name to the journalist.

Ross Kendall of Butterfly Encounters is currently BOIC President.

Join Mt Gravatt Environment Group (MEG) for Clean Up Australia Day 2011 and help clean up the habitat of some of our special animals.

Sunday 6th March 2011,  8 – 10 am.  Meet at the Echidna Magic Cafe on the summit.

Access via Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive (UBD 201:B2).

Click to Register for Summit Cleanup.

Mt Gravatt Reserve is home to koalas, echidnas, fireflies and forty-five species of butterflies.

Clean Up Australia Day is an opportunity to experience this unique bushland and improve the habitat for our wildlife.

Two large pile of weeds have been removed so it is time for a cuppa with the Geutrude Petty Bushcare team. Around the table today are Judy, Ian, Sarah, Nancy, Brett, Morag, Susan and Mannix.

It is always interesting to sit down with the team at Geutrude Petty. The range of experience around the table is extraordianary. Today the group included a retired business owner, an expert in breeding frogs, an envrionmental restoration professional, Meals on Wheels volunteers and a person who hiked into the Stinson wreck to clean up and carry out rubbish: a 35 kilometre treck climbng 1040 metres.

Gertrude Petty restoration is creating an amazing picnic opportunity you normally only find in a national park outside the city. Our Australian wildflowers are often small and easily overlooked. Visit Gertrude Petty virtually any time of the year and you will find amazing flowers. The Native or Ivy-leaf Violet Viola banksii are flowering at the moment.

The Gertrude Petty team meets 8am to 10am last Saturday of each month and 3pm to 5pm every Wednesday. For details/contacts see 2011 MEG Calendar.

Mycena lampadis Luminous Mushroom

Fireflies now glow-in-the-dark mushrooms!

 

Same mushroom under torch light

Carol, who sent the firefly photos, called me late the other night inviting me to see the glow-in-the-dark mushrooms in their gully. Extraordinary, spooky and a very very special experience: walking thought the dark with the only light these amazing fungi.

Seeing these luminous mushrooms during the day they look like just another delicate white fungi.

The Springbrook Research Centre has information on bioluminescence.

The Mountain continues to surprise and delight. Listen to my interview with Kelly Higgins-Devine: 612ABC Drive.

See more of our amazing mushrooms: read my article on Forest Fungi.