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TCC Environmental Excellence Awards 2000
Winners and Commendations

Community Initiative Award

Kirrang Court Revegetation Group
This community revegetation group commenced 2 years ago in 1998. The group meets once a month to work on restoring the creek bank between Kirrang court and the Ross River. Originally the site was covered in Guinea Grass with Leucaena and Chinee Apple. The site regularly suffered from fires due to the amount of guinea grass reducing any local flora and fauna populations.

Over time the group has eradicated the weed species in their area and revegetated it with local native species that are suited to the area. They have already noted an increase in the bird and butterfly population, improved water flow through the creek, increased stability of the creek and a decrease in weeds. There are also community benefits including development of new friendships, better amenity and access to a shady area and increased awareness of the local environment.

Kirrang Court Revegetation Group has been so successful through a carefully thought out model of operation (including the development of a Management Plan) and support from the community.

Business/Industry Award

Q-Build Planet Maintenance Campaign
Planet Maintenance is a new campaign to promote Q-Build to the education sector. The program has been designed to promote greater awareness within the preschool, primary, and secondary school communities, of the advantages of recycling paper and conserving water. Q-Build assists the schools to develop better systems fro paper and water conservation and reduce school costs. There are around 29 schools involved in the program and is a great way for school students to contribute to maintaining the overall health of our environment.

The program was launched in March this year and to date approximately 1900 students have participated with their schools in some facet of the Planet Maintenance Program.

Primary School Award
Belgian Gardens State School Belgian Gardens have an incredible environmental program that involves all grades of the students, some of their projects include Regeneration and revegetation of Castle Hill with native grasses, worm farming, a gardening group, development of the rainforest. The most recent addition is the making of  ‘enviro-planter easi- grow’ bricks to grow seeds in including the native grasses that will be used to plant on Castle Hill.

The school has had a long commitment to raising environmental awareness of students. This can be seen through the number of projects that the school has developed in relation to environmental activities.

High school award
Reef HQ Student Volunteer Program

The student volunteer program is an initiative of the Reef HQ Volunteers Association. The program is focused toward students in year 10. The program aims to enhance Reef HQ visitor’s experience, develop further advocates for the environment by providing public education courses and promotion of reef conservation and management. Over 8 years students from secondary schools all over Townsville have given more than 10 000 hours to the community during their weekends and holidays.

The program is offered to all year 10 students at every secondary school in Townsville region.

Special Commendations 2000
There were 5 special commendations for the year 2000

Business/Industry Awards – Special Commendation

Billabong Sanctuary
Billabong Sanctuary is a wildlife park that is set in 11ha featuring Australia’s native animals in their natural surrounds. The sanctuary is divided into three distinct habitats - Rainforest, wetlands and eucalypt forest, in most cases the animals are free ranging enabling visitors to experience wildlife in their natural habitat. The Billabong has been providing this experience for 14 years and has built up tremendous local support, and over 55% of visitors visit due to word-of-mouth recommendations.

Billabong Sanctuary has won numerous tourism awards, including North Queenslands Major Attraction for 2000.

The Billabong features Australian Native fauna is leader in interpretive tourism as recognised by the Australian Eco-tourism Association.

Primary School Award – Special Commendation

Mundingburra Special School
Middle Group

The school has developed a recycling program based on work from Science and Studies of Society and the Environment entitled “Our School and Our Council”.

The class developed a recycle rap at music and presented each class with its own recycle box. The students also handed out pamphlets on recycling that were collected from TCC Health Department. It was intended to educate staff, students and parents what was approiate to recycle. Each Friday the recycling material is collected. This lead to the development of the ‘worm factory’ with the recycled paper and food scraps being used to feed the worms. The program has been so successful that 90% of the food scraps are being recycled and all waste paper is being recycled either through the compost bin, worm factory and recycling bin.

Community Initiative Awards – Special Commendation
Christopher Buck – Reef HQ Volunteer
Chris has deep concern for the environment and believes that educating others about the environment is essential for creating and looking after our environment. To foster his passion he joined the reef HQ volunteers and has contributed over 1400 voluntary hours to the organisation. Chris is also the president of Reef HQ’s Volunteer Program that was created and has over 40 students involved. This program has allowed Chris to carry out his own personal environmental goal, whilst allowing him to engage in activities that are beneficial to the Townsville Community.

Island Plantation
Gary and Zanita Davies purchased a 10-acre property in Horseshoe bay in 1988. The northern end of their property was once a natural wetland area that had been destroyed by farming. The Davies set out to reinstate the location, this time with a happy blend of both natural and human habitats.

Over the years The Davies created the lagoon area and replanted the site with native grasses and melaleucas. Native fish and frogs colonised the area and soon there was a healthy lagoon on the property.

Late last year Hayles built Arcadia Jetty was destined for Demolition. The Davies negotiated the purchase of the timbers, moved them to their property and with careful attention to detail reconstructed the jetty on the edge of their lagoon. The Davies presently offer their lagoon venue for fundraising activities for example the Magnetic Island Jazz Foundation held Jazz by the lagoon on may 1st this year.

Their special commendation is for bringing the environment, culture and heritage together. The Davies hopes to make the lagoon and jetty an environmental tourism development in the future.

Oak Valley Landcare Revegetation Group
Oak Valley Landcare group have been active since 1996. The group is committed to the Landcare ethic and has restored the vegetation of a section of Sach’s Creek. Before any planting could begin the group had to remove and eradicate several weed species including Rubber vine, Chinee Apple and Lantana. Over the years the group have planted over 1600 trees. They have collected and propagated seed successfully, their own sites and for other organisations.  Most of the plantings are from propagated material from seed collected by the group.

They have also conducted nature walks with Keith Townsend from Society of Growing Australian Plants, information days and weed buster days. The group also donated 40 plants to Stuart State School for Planet Ark National Tree Day in 1998.

In the future the group intend to upgrade the Oak Valley Park to a standard where is provides a useful attractive venue for community activities and to maintain those areas that have been revegetated and conducted weed control and revegetation in additional areas at Oak Valley.