The Camp Creek Restoration project is a collaborative effort that stretches across five properties, encompassing 3ha and aims to restore riparian vegetation to improve the water quality of Camp Creek and strengthen wildlife habitat.
At an elevation of 600 metres, located adjacent to World Heritage Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland, Camp Creek is a permanent part of the Gold Coast water supply. Camp Creek runs into Kuralboo Creek which in turn, flows through Springbrook National Park to meet Purling Brook. This connectivity highlights the importance of enhancing and maintaining Camp Creek’s ecological health and habitat values, which this project aims to do through the broadening and strengthening of its riparian and wildlife corridor.
The project aim is to plant 20,000 trees that are predominantly locally-sourced, rainforest canopy species which, once established, will recreate some of the framework of Springbrook’s unique rainforest biodiversity. Due to this projects proximity to the native seed bank provided by the National Park, once established, this framework will allow, over time, the ongoing natural regeneration of the area.
The Springbrook Plateau was cleared of its native vegetation 100 years ago to make way for pasture for dairy farming; for the last 30 years properties have been used mainly for residential purposes. This land use over the past 100 years has resulted in the degradation of the Camp Creek riparian corridor and the infiltration of many species of environmental weeds.
The efforts of some of the local landholders over the last 10 years has seen the reduction or elimination of many environmental weeds including Lantana, Crofton weed, Mist flower, Japanese honeysuckle, Cobblers pegs, Camphor laurel and the removal of 200 large Slash pines. Further to the efforts already undertaken, the landholders have now secured an eTree grant in order to fund the current restoration project.
Funding for the eTree program is provided by Landcare Australia from funds generated by Computershare from Australian shareholders. This funding is in turn provided to SEQ Catchments, who devolve the funds to local governments, in this case the Gold Coast City Council Land for Wildlife department, who in turn are managing the funds for the Camp Creek Project.
Operating in Queensland since 2004, the eTree program has resulted in the restoration of 50 hectares of native vegetation and waterways across South East Queensland. The Camp Creek project is one of 20 eTree projects currently occurring across the South East Queensland region.
SEQ Catchments CEO, Simon Warner, said: “This is the largest eTree project in South East Queensland and is worthy of recognition, not just due the scale of plantings, but because of the collaborative effort from landowners along Camp Creek.”
The project was commenced in February 2009 and is due to be completed in February 2010. Planting of the first 11000 trees began on the 19th October 2009 scheduled to coincide with historically favorable environmental conditions of temperature and rainfall. Whilst planting only occurred in October, planning and site preparation has been undertaken since February.
The planning and site preparation aspects of the project have been an integral part of maximising the potential for success of the project. Whilst weed control has been integral to the management of some of the properties, major works have had to be undertaken on adjoining properties. Remnant vegetation clusters along Camp Creek and the adjoining Kuralboo creek have been surveyed to identify an appropriate mix of rehabilitation species. Due to the size of the project and the landholders’ desire to plant endemic species, were possible, Bush Nuts, a local nursery, has been contracted to collect seed and propagate the plant stock.
The area to be rehabilitated has been divided into 25 plots of approximately 700 square metres. Principles outlines in Growing Rainforest by Robert Kooyman to restore moist, complex subtropical forests have been adopted and applied to each island.
The islands have been internally divided into 3 zones; the centre zone is being planted with tall fast growing light demanders to create an initial canopy to pull up the targeted rainforest species which are planted in the middle zone. The outside of each island is planted with edge species in order to provide protective wind breaks and the sealing of the edges and adjoining remnants.
For table and more details please view our pdf
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