By: Michael Fox

Our Koalas becoming a tourist attraction for Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:

13606847_767028560104984_2973688824007759815_n

Levi “Eagle Eyes” Koala 

“Today my son and I went for a walk through the Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and headed on down to Fox Gully to look at your handy work. It’s looking great including all the nest boxes around the area. On the way back I gave my ‘eagle eyes’ son, Levi, a challenge to spot a koala. To my great delight within a minute or two he succeeded! I have attached a photo – not a great one as it was very high up – look for the bump in the second fork up! Thank you for inspiring me to improve my own garden (kookaburra box is up and fingers are crossed!) and for everything that you do for nature.”

Michelle Fatur

See Koala adventures Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve

 

Advertisements

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

In February, Mt Gravatt Environment Group proposed an alternative approach to tree clearing on the mountain: Restoring Unique Scenic Outlook Below is a copy of the Letters to Editor section of Southern Star – June 9, 2010. Click on image to enlarge for reading.

MEG is already working closely with BCC Habitat Brisbane on restoration of four Mt Gravatt bushcare sites and has expressed interest in restoration of the Mt Gravatt Outlook. However, as a volunteer organisation with limited resources our activities are critically dependent on careful planning and co-ordination with other Mountain stakeholders: allows elimination of rework and other unnecessary work. While we provided detailed comment on the 2008 Draft Land Management Plan, we have not yet received a copy of the Interim Land Management Plan which we understand is currently being used to support decisions such as tree clearing on the summit.

Our Mt Gravatt Outlook has featured on ABC Breakfast with Spencer Howson this morning.

Please have a listen and post your thoughts on this issue.

My comment on the MEG “the environmentalists” Outlook on this issue is below:

Mt Gravatt Environment Group (MEG) is working with BCC Habitat Brisbane, First Contact, Mt Gravatt District Historical Society, Cr Krista Adams and other local stakeholders to plan the restoration of Mt Gravatt Outlook to maximise the experience for visitors.

The focus for MEG is engaging visitors, both local and tourists, with a powerful environmental, cultural/historical experience through development of the distant city and river vistas while experincing the colours and scents of our local wildflowers, calls of King Parrots, the flash of colour as Imperial Hairstreaks cluster in the Acacias and the buzz of discovering a Koala asleep in a Tallowwood.

Our research of local plants and wildlife – Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve by Sue Jones & Michael Fox, combined with our bush restoration experience allows us to see huge potential in thoughtful development of the Scenic Outlook.

For detailed information on our environmental view of maximising the community and tourist experience of Mt Gravatt Outlook go to our blog post –

https://megoutlook.wordpress.com/2010/02/07/restoring-unique-scenic-outlook/

Michael Fox
Fox Gully Bushcare – http://www.foxgully.wordpress.com
Mt Gravatt Environment Group – http://www.megoutlook.wordpress.com

Posted by: Michael Fox17 March 2010 at 09:07 AM

Koala photographed in Fox Gully October 2009

MEG is working with BCC Habitat Brisbane, First Contact, Mt Gravatt District Historical Society, Cr Krista Adams and other  local stakeholders to plan the restoration of Mt Gravatt Outlook to maximise the experience for visitors.

The focus for MEG is engaging visitors, both local and tourists, with a powerful environmental, cultural/historical experience through development of the distant city and river vistas while experincing the colours and scents of our local wildflowers, calls of King Parrots, the flash of colour as Imperial Hairstreaks cluster in the Acacias and the buzz of discovering a Koala asleep in a Tallowwood.

Our research of local plants and wildlife – Flora & Fauna of Mt Gravatt Reserve by Sue Jones & Michael Fox, combined with our bush restoration experience allows us to see huge potential in thoughtful development of the Scenic Outlook with the objectives of:

  • developing habitat to attact and support the complex community of Koalas, Sugar Gliders, birds, butterflies and insects;
  • reducing the spread of weeds through-out the Reserve and the wider Bulimba Creek catchment by effective bush restoration at the Outlook;
  • reducing ongoing BCC maintenance costs by use of best practice bushcare techniques; and
  • improving public safety by reducing risk of injury on steep slopes.

The following is an extract from Mike’s comments on the Mt Gravatt Outlook Reserve Draft Land Management Plan June 2008.

Scenic Amenity

  • Scenic amenity is an important component of the ongoing community and tourism value of the Outlook. With the development of the kiosk/café at the Summit Mt Gravatt will easily rival Mt Coot-tha as a visitor attraction. The unique indigenous cultural aspects combined with similar views and the excellent track network which, unlike Mt Coot-tha, will be directly accessible from the kiosk/café – a significant issue for tourists.
  • The only explicit management guidelines provided, appear to be the arrows marked on the Significant Viewpoint Plan (Appendix Six). Another very important aspect of visual amenity is the actual vegetation adjoining the Summit. Currently this area is over grown with unsightly weeds. See Attachment C.
  • Long term enhancement of scenic amenity would be strengthened and maintenance costs reduced by:
    • Inclusion on the site map of specific areas where vegetation height is managed to allow views of CBD and mountains.
    • Specification of those areas as conservation buffer zones to be restored with suitable low growth plants indigenous to the Reserve. Plants for consideration include Smilax Australis (Barbed Wire Vine/Wait-awhile) and Bursaria spinosa (Prickly pine) which have attractive flowers, provide rare habitat for smaller native birds and as the names suggest discourage undesirable incursion by visitors.
    • Provide priority status for ongoing budget decisions by classifying these buffer zones as Recreational facilities ie. maintaining attractive visual amenity and attracting our beautiful native birds and butterflies into close proximity with visitors.
    • Provision of well restored buffer zones will also provide significant protection for the core conservation areas of bushland by dramatically reducing the edge effect of development.