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.

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