Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare — Battling waterside weeds

Weeds are a constant battle in the Bohle Wetlands, choking out natives and polluting waterway ecosystems, but more than 15 years of community volunteer effort is keeping them at bay.

Upstream of the Bruce Highway, at the end of Mesa Circuit between the Cosgrove Estate and the Bohle River is the ‘Bohle Wetlands’, a site that has seen the sweat and efforts of hundreds of local volunteers for almost two decades.

The wetlands are home to a host of wildlife, including rare freshwater crabs, and offer local residents a peaceful natural reserve.

The site is now seeing the care of Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare, Townsville City Council, Envite Environment, and Ausfield Services, but has over the years also received attention from Conservation Volunteers Australia, Scout groups, and TAFE groups. Parkside Group have contributed a footpath and seating.

 “There’s been a lot of people put work into this place,” says Scott Fry, formerly with Conservation Volunteers Australia, now Team Leader Waterways, Wetlands & Coasts at NQ Dry Tropics. “Planting native trees, opening-up the waterway and controlling weeds. The site has a lot of natural value — people birdwatch here and we’ve seen crocs pop up a number of times.”

Over time Cranbrook State School, Weir State School, Heatley State School, and other Reef Guardian Schools have contributed to the wetland. More recently, St Benedict’s Catholic School has also been involved in a Junior Landcare program.

The Port of Townsville has supported Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare with funding for more than 1500 plants at their Townsville community sites, including 100 plants for Junior Landcare on the Bohle River.

Cross-pollinating Bohle Wetlands knowledge: Andrew Conway, Sharon Marks and Scott Fry share notes on the many projects that have invested energy over years into the Bohle Wetlands.

The volunteer and community efforts of the many groups who have supported the Bohle Wetlands over time have been applauded by Townsville City Council. Council says its most recent Reef Assist project is leveraging the depth of knowledge and learning that has resulted.

Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare is a community group dedicated to conservation and restoration of native vegetation around Townsville. They are a partner of the Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters, a collaboration of more than 20 organisations keeping watch over local waters.

Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare runs a native plant nursery and several community volunteer revegetation sites across the Townsville region. Upcoming volunteer events are listed in a monthly newsletter and on their Facebook page.

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