A project that has helped restore 15 hectares of riparian vegetation along Neurum Creek north of Brisbane – including some critically endangered subtropical lowland rainforest – is nearing completion thanks to the Australian Government-funded Green Army Programme.
Over the last few months, an enthusiastic team of young Green Army participants has cleared environmental weeds and planted 12,000 trees and understorey plants along the creek, which will strengthen and connect existing riparian vegetation, reduce erosion and protect critical habitat for frogs, koalas and other threatened species.
Coordinated by Healthy Land and Water and Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), the Neurum Creek Green Army project is part of the Australian Government’s 20 Million Trees Programme, which aims to see 20 million trees planted across Australia by 2020, re-establishing green corridors and urban forests.
The project was made possible by the efforts of local landholders and key project partner, Seqwater, who have provided fencing, established additional plants and agreed to provide ongoing maintenance of all the new plantings for the next three years.
“The project builds on past restoration efforts by Healthy Land and Water and Seqwater along Neurum Creek, and will bring multiple benefits not just for local landholders but for the broader South East Queensland community,” Bruce Lord from Healthy Land and Water said.
“In addition to restoring wildlife habitat, the restoration works along Neurum Creek will help improve the resilience of streambanks to minimise erosion and improve downstream water quality in Somerset Dam, one of South East Queensland’s key water storages and one of the region’s most popular recreation destinations.
“The Green Army team has also helped landholders in the area to manage exotic vine weeds like cats claw creeper, which is a major environmental hazard in the area.
“Left unchecked these invasive vines quickly smother our native trees, causing habitat loss, further bank erosion and degradation of our precious waterways.
“The support provided through this programme and by project partners is invaluable. It provides landholders which much needed assistance to try and get on top of these weeds, while restoring fragmented lowland rainforest and riparian forest through large scale revegetation works, which benefit the whole community.”
The Green Army Programme offers participants valuable practical experience, while supporting a safe work environment.
“The young people involved in this CVA-supported Green Army team have put in a tremendous effort throughout the project, especially with successful establishment of over 12,000 plants in the last two months and should be very proud of their achievements,” Mr Lord said.