Celebrating 20 years of Masons Gully

Looking back at the dense green Rosewood scrub and the path sprinkled in gold from the Brigelow wattle trees overhead, Arnold Rieck stops to reflect on what he’s achieved.

“People come through here and think this is lovely and it’s original,” Mr Rieck said.

“But there was nothing here 20 years ago, it was just a mess.

“I organised local school groups to plant dozens of trees back in 2000 to regenerate the area and since then I’ve worked with small group of volunteers to maintain it.

“It’s an ongoing task and the planting itself is the easiest part. It’s the nurturing, watering and sustaining the plants through the seasons that’s the real challenge. But it’s a good lesson that steady work does produce results over time.”

That persistence and passion for the local environment will be celebrated on 8 August with a morning tea to mark the 20th Anniversary of the transformation of Masons Gully, at the corner of John Street and Walloon Road in Rosewood.

Fifty holes have been dug in preparation for more native species to be planted in the area on the day, including dozens of rare Bailey’s Cypress which have been grown from seed by Ipswich City Council nursery staff.

“It’ll be great to see some of the school students who were here for the plantings in 2000 come back with their families to celebrate the anniversary,” Mr Rieck said.

The Masons Gully conservation project
was established in 2000 through Olympic Landcare funding to honour local Rosewood Olympians Juanita Feldhahn and Anthony Martin, who competed at the Sydney Olympics.

The 87-year-old is hoping it will also spark an interest in a younger generation of locals keen to care for their natural environment.

“I’m also hoping it’ll get more people interested and wanting to volunteer,” he said.

“I’m getting a bit long in the tooth so I do need to think about passing on the baton one of these days, although I’m not about to stop any time soon.”

While their five children and 15 grandkids no longer call Rosewood home, Arnold and his wife Joyce are passionate about their town and love seeing families out on their morning walks on the walkway named in Arnold’s honour.


Volunteer with a Bushcare group

“We considered moving when our children had moved out of home, but we have everything here and we love it,” Mr Reick said.

“I’m from Brisbane originally, but Rosewood is very much home to me now.”

Mr Rieck cultivated his love of horticulture after moving to Rosewood to teach at the local high school.

“I came out here as a high school teacher and I had to come up with my own syllabus for local history and local geography of the local area,” he said.

“It was then that I started learning about the original Rosewood tree and I was shocked that people in Rosewood itself had never heard of it.”

Decades on, Arnold admires the dozens of Rosewood trees that are dotted along the town’s streets, almost all of which he grew from seed.

“In 1988 for the Bicentenary, I flogged an awful lot off for a dollar each, and I’m always delighted when I see them in flower in summer, they’re very pretty,” he said.

Arnold inspects a Rosewood tree he planted decades ago, which will produce masses of white flowers in summer.

“Unlike other dry vine forest plants, Rosewood seeds are very hardy and will last for years and years.

“They get buffeted about until they split open, and with a little water, and away they go. They’re very special.”

Masons Gully is home to dozens of species of native plants, including the Brigelow (above) and the plant commonly known as the Dog balls shrub (below) which is an Indigenous medicinal plant used to treat dysentry.

A morning tea to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Masons Gully will be held on Saturday 8 August from 10am.  RSVP to Arnold and Joyce Rieck on 5464 1316 if you are attending and bring your own chair on the day.

Read more:

>>> Community legend honoured with naming of new walkway

>>> Free Plant Program to resume from Queens Park Nursery  

>>> Regenerating bushland one plant at a time

One Comment

  1. I would like a guard rail around the childcare centre on Corner of Fishers Rd, Nevis St. Ripley. A stop sign on Fishers Rd, Parkview Pde. Cars and trucks use these streets well over the speed limit. Thank you.

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