Volunteers of all ages and skills are being called to join newly formed bushcare groups at upcoming working bees across Ipswich’s parks, bushland and waterways.
Ipswich has almost doubled its number of Bushcare sites across the city in the past year, and there are now more opportunities than ever to help improve your local environment – from planting native species to social media management.
When Beth Addison-Smith saw the weedy state of the wetlands in her local area she knew something needed to be done.
She was familiar with the Jim Donald Parklands and had followed the wetlands creation as part of the development of the old Bremer State High School site.
“It was very exciting at the time and promised a beautiful and functional local facility,” Ms Addison-Smith said.
“Recently, however, we noticed that weeds were beginning to be a problem and we knew that the council had been operating under severe budgetary constraints.”
As an Ipswich local for 25 years, she had seen some public facilities removed through disrepair, such as the former Limestone Park pool.
“Fearing that this would happen to the Jim Donald wetlands, we decided to find out if we could help,” she said.
She is now a leader of one of the three new Bushcare sites in Ipswich and a growing movement of volunteers improving the city’s environmental health.
It is easy to become a Bushcare volunteer!
- No skills or environmental knowledge needed – everything can be learned ‘on the job’.
- Meet new people with similar interests and a shared goal.
- See if it is for you by participating in up to three trial days.
- Do a short online induction to become a regular volunteer and get a FREE hat and gloves.
- See the rewards of your hard work as you transform weeds into beautiful native habitat.
Environment and Sustainability Committee chairperson Councillor Russell Milligan said all residents can play a part in supporting and enhancing our city’s beautiful parks, reserves, waterways and gardens.
“Partnering with volunteers such as these Bushcare groups, some of which have been active for more than 20 years, is one way council are working with the community to improve the city’s natural environment,” Cr Milligan said.
“As part of council’s Bushcare program, each volunteer group receives tailored support including on-the-ground training, insurance cover, plants, tools and mulch.
“Whether it’s adding a burst of biodiversity to your garden with free plants, or showing your love for a park by joining a local bushcare group – get out there and get Ipswich growing!”
Jim Donald Wetland in Silkstone provides an important function as wild space and waterway management in an urban setting.
Invasive weeds are presenting a major challenge to the site, degrading its environmental function and having a negative impact on downstream Bundamba Creek.
By committing to routine manual weeding and other tasks, the Bushcare volunteers are working with council to restore the wetlands and strengthen community ownership of the waterway.
Ms Addison-Smith said their vision is to manage the weeds without chemicals and help keep the natural resource in great shape for the local community.
“We are a very new, small group and would welcome all helpers,” she said.
“Helpers do not need to do weeding and can be involved in other ways such as organising, managing communications or social media.”
Find a Bushcare group near you
If you are interested in joining your local bushcare groups, visit Ipswich City Council’s Volunteer Portal to register your interest and find out when the next working bee is being held.
Current opportunities include:
- Start Your Own Bushcare Group.
- Garden of Eden Project, Cribb Park, North Ipswich. Help restore the banks of the Bremer River.
- Mason’s Gully Project, Rosewood. Support saving the once mighty ‘Rosewood Scrub’.
- Peace Park Arboretum, Rosewood. Native Plants Queensland runs this sanctuary for rare plants.
- Opossum Creek Project, Brookwater. Help maintain this important riparian habitat.
- NEW: Barry Street Reserve, East Ipswich. Take action on erosion and weeds in central Ipswich.
- NEW: Woogaroo Creek, Eugene Street, Bellbird Park. Support this important wildlife corridor.
- NEW: Jim Donald Wetlands, Silkstone. Help strengthen this pocket of urban waterway habitat.
For more information about these opportunities, click here.