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

I represented Mt Gravatt Environment Group at the recent Threatened Species Week event at Griffith University EcoCentre.

Click to read Southside Community News report

My presentation Blurring the Boundaries addressed our community effort to restore wildlife corridors on the southern face of Mt Gravatt. Two key corridors, Fox Gully and Firefly Gully, are almost totally made up of household blocks. To date we have owners of nineteen properties committed to restoration of these corridors.

Blurring the Boundaries refers to the fact that wildlife does not recognize human created boundaries, effective habitat consolidation and linking requires cooperation of a diverse range of property owners. Our Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan is a community initiative to blur the property boundaries by creating a vision for sustainable restoration based on initiatives that create community and business benefits, as well as, environmental benefits. Download my presentation: Blurring the Boundaries

Cathryn Dexter’s earlier presentation focused on creating a permeable landscape that will allow animals to move around without having to interact with roadways. A member of Griffith’s Environmental Futures Centre, Cathryn is the Project Manager for a major koala road kill mitigation project funded by the Qld Government.  The first study of its kind in Australia, the project’s ultimate goal is to have wildlife mitigation become standard government policy for all linear infrastructure (roads) design.

In a powerful presentation Cathryn shared horrifying road kill statistics balanced with a hopeful view of a future where roads are not barriers to connected habitat and risks to wildlife are dramatically reduced. particularly interesting were the creative solutions being used in Europe and the US where wildlife movement solutions have been actively pursued for decades.

Campbell Newman & Ian trying Treepopper

We were honoured to host local LNP candidate Ian Walker with Campbell Newman and Jeff Seeney at our Fox Gully Bushcare site yesterday.

Late in day and the light was fading however our visitors were still keen get out into the bush and see our restoration work. Campbell was particularly impressed with the elegant design of the Treepopper we use to remove difficult weed trees like Chinese Elm Celtis sinensis and Micky Mouse Plant Ochna serrulata. Specialist tools like the Treepopper dramatically increase productivity of our bushcare team allowing us to start getting ahead of these invasive weeds.

(l-r) Michael Fox, Campbell Newman, Jeff Seeney, Ian Walker

Jeff Seeney, with his Landcare experience, was particularly interested in our focus on natural regeneration. I was happy to show how, in less than twelve months, native Graceful Grass Ottochloa gracillima has returned to act as Green Mulch in the area cleared of Fishbone Fern Nephrolepis cordifolia.

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Briefing on Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan

I was proud to explain that sixteen households in our community have committed to restoring the gully wildlife corridors on their properties. However, briefing these experienced professionals on the Mimosa Creek Precinct Landscape Plan was challenging, with Campbell in particular, cutting right to the core in critiquing our cost estimates for some initiatives. So we can be proud as a community group to have Campbell Newman sum up the visit with: “Having seen first hand what is being done here I am not surprised that MEG has won two Spotless Suburbs awards in the recent 2011 announcements.”

My thanks to Ian Walker for the opportunity to present our community initiative and Alan Moore, a Fox Gully Bushcare volunteer, who tackled to fading light to provide our excellent photos.

Mt Gravatt Environment Group partnered with Bulimba Creek Catchment Co-ordinating Committee (B4C) to engage Griffith University students at the Green Market.

Our aim is to engage students in active participation with our restoration work. Griffith Uni has a large proportion of international students and our restoration activities represent a unique opportunity for these students to experience the real Australian bush. Interestingly our display at the OWeek Markets in February drew as much or more interest from business and engineeing students as it did from environment students. One approach we are trying is to promote bushcare  as recreaction, much like going on a picnic.

Our links with Griffith University start with Mimosa Creek which has its headwaters in the university grounds and forms a key wildlife corridor linking the Mountain with Toohey Forest and Bulimba Creek.

Daryl, Hannah and I shared the display last Tuesday, handing out information on bushcare events and maps showing how to find Fox Gully Bushcare site.

The new Summit Track self-guided walk brochure was very popular: take the inter-campus bus to Mt Gravatt Campus and go walking.

The prototype nest box made by the Men’s Shed also attracted interest. The Men’s Shed is working with us to develop nest boxes we can install in the wildlife corridors where there are a very limited number of suitable nest hollows left for gliders, Lorrikeets, owls and Kookaburras.

Our Vision is the first step in revising the Mt Gravatt Environment Group’s Strategic Plan.

Mt Gravatt is the heart of a special community. Indigenous and European histories both have strong links with the mountain.  Although it has been farmed, harvested for timber and increasingly isolated by suburban development over one hundred years, the mountain still supports the most amazing diversity of plant and animal life.  This ecological and cultural landmark exists just ten kilometres from the CBD of the fastest growing city in Australia.

Restoring and strengthening the ecosystems of the mountain and its corridors, will have positive community and environmental outcomes, and is increasingly urgent as the population in the area grows.  Mt Gravatt Environment Group is already working to actively engage the whole community in consolidating healthy habitat areas and reducing habitat isolation with wildlife links.

Why a whole of community focus?

Wildlife does not recognise human created property boundaries or roads. Effective habitat consolidation and linking requires co-operation of a diverse range of property owners – private, corporate, local/state/federal government, community groups, schools and university. Therefore, a key part of our strategy is to identify investments in the environment that also deliver excellent community and business outcomes.

Mt Gravatt Envrionment Group

Please comment. How can we engage the community in this vision?

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