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Green Corps Report

The Green Corps (Young Australians for the Environment) spent September 03 to March 04 on the riparian restoration of Fish, Ithaca & Enoggera creeks. The team planted over 10,000 trees throughout the catchment in the six months of the project.

Part of the Green Corps team clearing Japanese Sunflower in St John's Wood. Photo: Melinda Mclean

Thanks to all the SOWN group leaders who took the Green Corps under their wings. A successful mentoring relationship formed with SOWN members and the team which was a great two way exchange of enthusiasm and information.

The team also worked with Brisbane City Council staff and international volunteers from Conservation Volunteers Australia, local schools and community members. The team presented informal talks to year 7s at Ashgrove State School and held a working bee with Payne Road State School students.
Interpersonal skills have been developed through working with community members at two public planting events, which brought them closer to the greater Gap community.

All environmental-heritage activities undertaken by the team were at designated SOWN sites along the banks of Fish, Ithaca and Enoggera creeks. The team's major project site was Walton Bridge Reserve. Works included weeding, jute matting, rockwork, spraying, planting, mulching by hand and with machines and fencing on the site to restrict access.

Part of the Green Corps team clearing Japanese Sunflower in St John's Wood. Photo: Melinda Mclean
The team also worked on over 16 other SOWN sites, undertaking on the ground works in site assessment and preparation, seed collection, brush cutting, vegetation audits, planting, spraying, installing and maintaining jute mat, primary and secondary weeding and mulching. The team installed bush care signs at 12 SOWN sites.

Experience was gained in all aspects of nursery work from initial seed collection, treatment and storage, to propagation of plants through seed sowing, potting on, division and preparation of cuttings.

Field trips were taken to Maroochydore to study coastal dune succession, Boondall wetlands, the Queensland Museum, Seventeen Mile Rocks Park to look at contemporary landscaping techniques and the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens.

An educational project was undertaken to research, write and install interpretive signs produced in partnership with SOWN and jointly funded by Habitat Brisbane, BCC and The Gap Lions Club. Layout of signs was sponsored by ToadShow. The signs have been erected on strategic trees around the reserve and include common and botanic names, information on the morphology of the species, wildlife associations and indigenous usage.

Development and production of the signage included the following components:

  • Mapping Walton Bridge Reserve
  • Correct identification of tree species in the reserve
  • Location of signs (identify trees)
  • Approval of location of signage
  • Researching information to include in signage
  • Layout (team had input into layout and content review through ToadShow)
  • Manufacture
  • Installation (on correct trees!
Green Corps with the Payne Road State School Environment club

The team really enjoyed the Walton Bridge planting having spent several weeks restoring and preparing the site for the planting event. Over 80 people participated in the event and it was a great chance for team members to network with the local community.

The team attended an extensive talk on the history of The Gap by The Gap Pioneer and History Group, comparing old photos of local creeks and landmarks with areas the Team worked on.
John Bowden, local historian spoke about local tribes, aboriginal use of plants as food and tool sources and tribal culture.

Water quality testing of Enoggera creek and macro-invertebrate sampling and identification was carried out on two separate occasions.

Extensive networking of the team (with SOWN, council staff, SOWN contractors, community groups and the community themselves) had a beneficial affect on the self-esteem, motivation and teamwork of all members. The team really appreciated the fact that the SOWN community and the greater Gap community is behind their work.

The team members have come out of Green Corps with great memories, new friends, an appreciation for their local environment and a desire to facilitate change at a local level. Most participants are confident of their future career direction, and feel that the Green Corps program and its varied training components has been of benefit to them in their futures.

The statistics

  • Kilograms of seed collected 15.29
  • Trees planted 10,480
  • Seedlings propagated 1,612
  • Seeds sown 7760
  • Plants divided 36
  • Seedlings Pricked out 2838
  • Cuttings 66
  • Fencing constructed 200 metres
  • Weeds removed 4.5 hectares
Green Corps with International volunteers