Students + Bunnings + Men’s Shed .. what a team!

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Bare earth and planting team ready

By: Michael Fox

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” 
Henry Ford

This morning I experienced an inspiring example of our community working together to create a special experience and a special place for students at Mt Gravatt State High School(SHS). Looking at the team picture with all the red shirts, it is hard to tell students from the Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed and local Bunnings team members.

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“Ok, who here has dug a hole?” Gaz

School yards are often hot dry concrete inhabited by Crows. With strong environmental leadership Mt Gravatt SHS is different, and now Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed members have constructed raised garden beds to create a living heart to the school yard. Teacher and environmental hero, Andrew Walsh told me that students were already very interested and looking forward to the garden being created.

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Community working together

With the garden beds in place Community Liaison Officer, Irene Healy, engaged the support of three local Bunnings stores and Bunnings State Office. The Bunnings team arrived with plants, tools, hoses and ready for work. Power Garden Expert, Gaz did an outstanding job helping the students believe they could build a garden and it was a real pleasure to watch all the Bunnings team members working alongside students digging, planting, watering and mulching.

I was particularly impressed with the plants the Bunnings team selected.marigold-flowers-for-mosquito-control-31-jan-2016-lowres-collageThe planting will grow into a real kitchen garden with different types of lettuce, squash, fig tree and lots of citrus to feed both students and Orchard Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars. Marigold flowers will add a dash of colour and, importantly in Queensland, help keep mosquitoes away. Research is showing that volatiles in plants like marigold have high vapour toxicity for mosquitoes.(Debboun, M., Frances, S.P., Strickman, D.A. Insects Repellents Handbook, Second Edition(2015), CRC Press, London)

margaret-goulden-31-jan-2017-lowresJeff Goulden and his family were also at the event as the new garden is dedicated to the memory of another special community Margaret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coffs Harbour Butterfly House – Get close to nature

By: Michael Fox

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Up close with Varied Eggfly Hypolimnas bolina

Traveling in Northern NSW over Christmas?

Consider visiting Coffs Harbour Butterfly House.

I visited the Butterfly House on the way to Sydney in June. I also had the honour meeting the owners Ian & Ros  Bryant, an inspiring pair who share their love of butterflies with visitors young and old.

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Red Lacewing Cethosia cydippe meeting a young butterfly fan

It is amazing to enter this space, alive with colour, wings flashing colour as the butterflies flit from flower to flower.

And seeing kids eyes light up as butterfly alights on their hand is something particularly special. Really getting close to nature.

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Red Lacewing just hatched

Maintaining the butterfly population in this enclosed space means taking delivery of chrysalis and setting them up in special hatching spaces.

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Cruiser Vindula arsinoe feeding on nectar

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Specialised feeding stations with coloured disks allow observation of the butterfly’s proboscis (feeding straw) unrolled and dipped in the food.

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I am planning to try coloured disks with the Puddling Place experiment. The objective is to have way to deliver Water at bushcare plantings and perhaps backyards. The engineering issues are solved with the five litre water supply lasting a month between refills. Now I am experimenting with ways to attract butterflies and bees.

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Building community and training the next generation

By: Laurie Deacon15129920_10154296974994825_1418271102_n1

Twelve community members and one dog – 34 hours of volunteer work. It is a real pleasure to be out getting my hands dirty building habitat and building community.

The team were busy setting up irrigation systems for the summer. Planting, weeding, mulching and log stabilisation for the banks is all preparation for our stormy summers: managing erosion and retaining water means the new plants will make the most of the growing season.

15058546_10154296974614825_889295254_n1Education of a two year old on how to plant and use tools safely, as well as, how to keep dog on lead when walking in the bush.

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Pollinator Link display for events

By: Michael Fox

Purpose built portable Pollinator Link® now available for Community Nurseries, catchment groups, Community Gardens, Habitat Brisbane Bushcare events, schools, etc.

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Customise display with laminated signs

The display is lightweight, easily transported and quickly customised with a local Pollinator Link® corridor map and hung with plants available at the Community Nursery or being planted at the Bushcare site.

Customise with Pollinator Link® plant signs to match the plants being sold in the nursery or being planted at the Bushcare site. The plant signs focus on Food and Shelter and include photos of pollinators attracted to each plant.

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Hang plants and plant / hose as required

What pollinator plants are for sale in your nursery?
Tubestock and spacesaver hangers are available to hang plants you want to promote with relevant sign. Larger pots can be displayed on the shelves.

Of course you will need to water the plants so the display is designed to get wet when plants are watered or if it rains at an event.

Consider talking to your Habitat Brisbane Officer about plants to give away at your Bushcare plantings so participants can start building their Pollinator Link® garden at home.

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Plant sign Native WisteriaPlants can be provided with the display if required.

Plant signs attach to the display with velcro and are colour coded to help plant selection to suit site, for example, Verge Gardens.

Supported by Bulimba Creek Environment Fund.

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Griffith Mates return to the garden

Mulching - 14 Aug 2016

Six Pack Ab Group

By: Laurie Deacon

It was a great Sunday afternoon with Griffith Mates students having fun and working with community members at Mt Gravatt SHS Pollinator Link Garden. An interesting mix of students mostly from  China, Korea, Taiwan and India and doing degrees in Business, Finance, Law and Engineering!

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We had four groups operating:

  • Mulching new plants ..or the Six Pack Ab Group J
Weeding - 14 Aug 2016

Weeding Mother-of-Millions

  • Weeding Mother-of-Millions Bryophyllum tubiflorum from the hillside
  • Watering  new plants and setting  up drip irrigation hoses
  • Responsible Dog walking practice in the bush

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Afternoon tea - 14 Aug 2016

Stories and honey cream cakes

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Sharing stories  and eating honey cream cakes of course!

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Lauries mum - Judith Derrick - 14 Aug 2016

My dear Mum

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My dear Mum ( Judith Derrick)  was there too, to speak as an Elder of the Tribe. From the local community were Sheamus O’Connor, Betty Scott, Dave Anderson and myself …and  a chaos of kids!!

 

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Pollinator Link Events

Restoring Habitats: Corridors and linkages – the dots that join us

BCC Community Conservation Partnership Program

Date: Sunday 11 September 2016
Time: 8:30am – 4 pm
Location: Griffith University EcoCentre, South Ring Road, Nathan Campus, Nathan
RSVP by 2 September 2016:

Call: Cath Cleary on (07) 3407 0050
or email: Catherine.cleary@brisbane.qld.gov.au

Event schedule

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The Hidden Beauty of Pollination by Louie Schwartzberg

By Sandra Tuszynska

Filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg is passionate about nature and its hidden treasures. His film Wings of Life, was inspired by the vanishing, humble honeybee.  Take a sneak peak at what seems like a must see feature for nature lovers, as Louise describes his passion for pollen, pollinators, and capturing their interactions in a TED talk:

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