Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Onsite assessment of weeds at Geengee Reserve 2016

10 May 2016 - Onsite and historical assessment of Geengee Reserve by Dougal Johnston, who was involved in the initial weed removal and tree planting project in 2003.

The Crows Nest Shire was instrumental in getting the Highfields and Cooby Catchment Landcare group started.  Unfortunately it was just as a subsection under Toowoomba Landcare Group, which has since folded.  The Highfields and Cooby Catchment Landcare group started with a mix of Dept of Natural Resources people, Society for Growing Australian Plants and a few part time farming landholders like me.
The group did work at Geengee, Highfields Falls, Williams Park, Charles and Motee Rogers, and helped with Wirraglen water reserve, and some properties on Goulds Road and the Geham School Education Reserve. Some of these had Green Army people helping. In the same way as most landcare
groups the push from co-ordinators was to more regional, with farm management plans and catchment scale, which does not necessarily suit parks that need a lot more work such as Wirraglen, and Highfield Falls, and looking at larger areas tends to leave out small patches like Franke
Scrub and Charmaine Court.
The group spread away into the semi-rural areas, Merritts Creek and Goombungee road, but with the demise of Crows Nest Shire the group started to thin out and fade away. Geengee Reserve had some grant money for clearing, mulching and planting, and there should be a report on this somewhere. (see link here)
The problem for all these areas that have a problem, is people to look after/manage work on them.

On Saturday on my way to join the weeders at Charmaine Court, I stopped at Geengee reserve again.
I took a few photos ( two attached). The front half has only a few privet and 4 or 5 people with axe and a bottle to spray stumps would clean it up in a few hours (with TRC approval).  The back half has again a thicket of privet (almost like it was in 2002 before any work was done).  The farm aurrounding the reserve was Mr Evans who has passed away and it is now run by his son.  Any work there would need to keep him advised (and maybe permission to spray - again- the blackberry along the northern boundary and partly in his paddocks).
It really needs a couple of the locals involved to make sure it happens.
Geengee Reserve - May 2016 . The front half has only a few privet and 4 or 5 people with axe and a bottle to spray stumps would 
clean it up in a few hours, with approval permitted. (Photo and information by Dougal Johnston)

Geengee Reserve - The back half has again a thicket of privet (almost like it was in 2002 
before any work was done).  Photo and information by Dougal Johnston.

The previous work started in August 2003.  Local residents, in particular Mr Geoff Smith was an instrumental prime mover in the work done on Geengee Water Reserve during this period.  Crows Nest Shire Council were supportive of Geoff's plan and supported the project.  Originally this privet was cut by a contractor with tracked cutting and mulching equipment. This could be done again (if TRC agreed).  Or it could be cut by hand over 6 months or more, although quickly people would struggle with the amount of cut material on the ground.

Information and assessment thanks to Dougal Johnston.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Birds of Geengee Reseve,Cabarlah

6 May 2016

Geengee Reserve

It has been many years since I have had a walk around Geengee Reserve on Reedy Creek at Cabarlah. This little bushland reserve is home to many species of birds, red-necked wallabies, koalas, echidnas and more.  It was during this visit that I noticed the sheer volume of privet trees within the reserve, mainly at the back.  Privet is a terrible environmental weed and not ideal to be in a waterway at all.  This prompted me to research the history of the reserve and I have since been in contact with many people involved in the original clean-up and restoration in 2003.  It would be good to see a local group of volunteers take pride in this reserve again and maintain it for the wildlife and the environment.  Please contact me should you be interested in starting a bush-care group for Geengee Reseve.


Birds seen during my visit May 2016

  1. 1 Brown Cuckoo-Dove (Australian) Macropygia phasianella
  2. 8 Bar-shouldered Dove Geopelia humeralis
  3. Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae
  4. 2 Pale-headed Rosella Platycercus adscitus
  5. Superb Fairywren Malurus cyaneus
  6. Red-backed Fairywren Malurus melanocephalus
  7. Lewin's Honeyeater Meliphaga lewinii
  8. Brown Thornbill Acanthiza pusilla
  9. Weebill Smicrornis brevirostris
  10. Pied Currawong Strepera graculina
  11. Cisticola Cisticola exilis
  12. Willie Wagtail Rhipidura leucophrys
  13. Eastern Yellow Robin Eopsaltria australis
  14. Golden-headed Cisticola Cisticola exilis
  15. Silvereye Zosterops lateralis
Brown Cuckoo-Dove - Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2016

Blue Argus Butterfly - Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2015

Eastern Yellow Robin, Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2016

Original Signage from 2003 Restoration Project - Geengee Reserve, Reedy Creek Cabarlah

Lesser Wanderer Butterfly - Geengee Reserve, Cabarlah 6 May 2016

Birds Nest in Privet Tree - Geengee Reserve, Cabarlah 6 May 2016

Silvereye, Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2016

Siratro Weed (Macroptilium atropurpureum)  Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2016
Bar-shouldered Dove, Geengee Reserve, 6 May 2016.

Reedy Creek Railway Station Name Change to Geengee 1913

The Brisbane Courier Qld Newpaper printed that the Reedy Creek Railway Station changed it's name to Geengee, meaning green vegetation on a creek, in June 1913.

17th June 1913

Habitat Restoration Project - Water Reserve and Surrounds, Geengee (Cabarlah)



NRM Project Details for 2002/2003 Habitat Restoration Project at Geengee Reserve, Cabarlah.

Project Habitat Restoration Project - Water Reserve and Surrounds, Geengee (Cabarlah)
Program Name NRM
State QLD
Organisation Toowoomba Landcare Group
Project Identifier 38859
Project Description The project will involve fencing weed control and the re-establishment of native vegetation on an old weed infested 1.25ha water reserve in the Reedy Creek subcatchment. The project will link up with a recently completed neighbourhood Bushcare project along Reedy Creek which runs through the reserve. The project will become part of the catchment protection measures for Cooby Dam a major water source for Toowoomba City. Monitoring of the effectiveness of weed control during the project will lead to increased awareness of local landcare issues and will enhance environmental management skills. To capitalise on this new knowledge and preparedness for on-ground works the project will provide financial support to local landholders to encourage further restoration/protection measures in the Reedy Creek subcatchment.
Funding (2002/2003) $27,272