Mulgrave Landcare Group often undertakes landcare projects in vast remote areas of the Mulgrave River and its tributaries but recently engaged urban residents in Gordonvale to transform a weed-infested drain into a wildlife corridor between two housing estates, thanks to a Terrain Community NRM Grant.
One of the many things that Mulgrave Landcare does well is transforming drains into creeks, and the Dulabed Malanbarra Traditional Owners and Gordonvale State School Excelsior students are helping.
This project intends to engage urban residents in Landcare, transform a weed infested drain running between two housing estates into a wildlife corridor connecting the Lamb Range to Hemmings Creek, as well as creating an attractive educational natural area for residents.
It complements earlier works in early 2015, when 700 native tree and understorey species were planted on the northern end of the drain in partnership with local residents, Mulgrave Landcare volunteers, Cairns Regional Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia, STEP Work Experience and support from the Australian Government. The idea came from two Landcare members, Lynda Gregg and Shannon Zielinsky.
Stage 2 is a series of themed plantings along the southern end of the drain in consultation with different sections of the community. So far Landcare representatives have met with Traditional Owner and Elder from Malanbarra Yidinji, Frank and Phillip Royee, to document and select specific native plant species of cultural significance. Once the plants were sourced and the work crew formed, they prepared the site and planted and mulched the trees in two separate themed plots.
The first plot is dedicated to bush tucker species while the second contains species of local cultural and medicinal significance.
An offshoot of this project is that the crew joined forces with the Dulabed Malanbarra Yidinji Traditional Owners, and both were an integral part in making the Greenpatch esplanade safe for volunteers just in time for the Greenpatch Gordonvale Clean Up in November which attracted 125 volunteers in rainy conditions.
Themed plantings next year will include the research provided by 2015 Gordonvale State School Excelsior students Jasmine Azzopardi (Endangered species in the Mulgrave & Trinity Inlet Catchment) and Dakota Wilson (Local Frogs of the Gordonvale Area), as well as wildlife surveys from adjoining local residents and BirdLife Australia. The group is aiming to incorporate all of the information into interpretive signage and walking brochures so that residents and visitors can learn about and appreciate the uniqueness of the beautiful Mulgrave Catchment.
Written by Lynda Gregg and Lisa O’Mara (Mulgrave Landcare and Catchment Group Inc.)