Hundreds of people across the Ipswich community have participated in months of events and activities to celebrate 25 years of the city’s Enviroplan Initiative.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said it was important to reflect on the remarkable achievements of the past 25 years of the council’s Enviroplan Initiative.
“We have one of the most diverse ranges of fauna and natural vegetation in South East Queensland, and the Enviroplan Program supports vital conservation efforts for protecting regionally significant biodiversity corridors and habitat for rare and threatened species,” Mayor Harding said.
“The Enviroplan Initiative is funded through an annual levy, which was one of the first environment levies in Queensland and set a standard for many other local councils to follow.
“Ipswich does not have a national park, so the 6,700 hectares of conservation estates across our city only exists because of the Ipswich ratepayer-supported Enviroplan Initiative.”
Environment and Sustainability Committee chair Councillor Russell Milligan said a highlight of the Enviroplan 25 years celebrations was the Great Restorations workshop series.
“One of the pillars of Enviroplan is partnerships. The initiative supports landholders to deliver on-ground improvements and tangible environmental outcomes,” Cr Milligan said.
“Each fascinating Great Restorations workshop shared expert knowledge on how we can improve the environment in our own backyards and properties.”
The 25th anniversary celebrations were launched with 4,000 copies of a special edition Enviroplan calendar distributed across the city and the release of a stunning book, Natural Places of Ipswich, featuring Enviroplan-funded conservation estates.
Celebrations included special events at Enviroplan-funded conservation estates, such as moonlit bushwalks with Experience Nature at White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate.
The Mount Grandchester Conservation Estate was opened to public access for one day only with close to 40 bushwalkers participating in guided hikes to the peak.
Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate provided the backdrop to the 2021 EnviroForum. More than 75 people celebrated Enviroplan’s 25-year milestone with activities and guest speakers relating to conservation and the natural environment.
EnviroForum also announced the winners of the 2021 Ipswich Enviro Awards and provided a preview to the draft Flinders-Goolman Masterplan.
More than 30 participants joined exclusive tours of a Pine Mountain property showcasing land restoration in action. About 60 participants attended workshops on xeriscaping with council’s ‘gardening guru’ Jamie Hilyard, and a group of eight had a behind-the-scenes tour of the Hidden Vale Wildlife Centre and learned about the work being done on the Little Liverpool Range.
Mayor Harding said Enviroplan was an important initiative for the future of our fast-growing city.
“While 2021 celebrates 25 years of this forward-thinking initiative, the work is ongoing to ensure Ipswich’s natural conservation areas continue to grow and flourish,” Mayor Harding said.
“The Ipswich Enviroplan is a clear recognition that identifying, protecting and maintaining the health of our ecosystems and natural environment is a priority for creating a sustainable community.”
For more information about the Ipswich Enviroplan, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/enviroplan