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TCC Environmental Excellence Awards

Year 2002 – All Entries

Winners and Special Commendations are listed with the information on the entry

Community Group Award Category
North Queensland Wildlife Care Inc.

Since their formation in 1989 the wildlife care group has endeavoured to reach as many people and institutions within the Townsville Community as possible, through workshops, displays, school visits and a mobile service to teach people about the care of our unique wildlife.

Over the last 12 months the North Queensland Wildlife Care group received 1159 calls regarding wildlife, cared for approximately 200 possums and monotremes, 1500 birds and 189 macropods (Wallabies and kangaroos).

As winners the group would put the funds towards the continuing the efforts of protecting our unique wildlife, as all their funds are raised through raffles and donations.

The Indo- Pacific Sea Turtle Conservation Group

The Indo-Pacific Sea Turtle Conservation Group (IPSTCG) has been running a Natural Heritage Trust funded program that has focused on giving informational talks to public volunteers, local community groups and schools, and undertaking a regional sea turtle monitoring program incorporating community members.

The benefits of the work carried out by the group has:

Heightened awareness of the plight of sea turtles and the importance of the Townsville region to them.

Increased the level of awareness about what individuals, groups and business and industry can do to improve the chances of survival for sea turtles.

Created brochures and reports to government environmental agencies and others to improve opportunities for sound management and actions to improve environmental outcomes for sea turtles.

As winners the group would put the funds towards improving opportunities for school and community education on sea turtle conservation, particularly in relation to the Townsville/Magnetic Island region

TUPALG  (Tropical Urban Production and Landcare Group)

Rehabilitation of Lower Ross River
For over 9 years community members and groups have been busy removing weeds, planting trees, fighting fires and vandalism, building bird boxes, collecting seed, growing seedlings, learning new skills, making new friends, applying for funds and working together to rehabilitate over 2 kilometres of the lower Ross River.

The revegetated corridor has become a haven for wildlife, stabilised the banks of Ross River, slowed erosion, removed declared weeds and provided an opportunity for the community to work together to achieve positive environmental outcomes for all.

Over 20 groups and programs and hundreds of individuals have contributed to the Lower Ross River Riparian Corridor including: TUPALG, 4 local community groups, CJP’s, Townsville City Council, Conservation Volunteers Australia (international teams and Green corps), schools, TAFE students, Kirwan Scouts, work for the Dole, LEAP and RIVER groups.

As winners TUPALG would use the funds to install signage along the corridor interpreting the revegetation that has taken place and the outcomes for the community. Signs will be made according to the interpretation signage guidelines for the Ross River Parkway in conjunction with Townsville City Council. The signage will continue the story of the lower Ross River riparian corridor and highlight the hard work undertaken by the community over the past 9 years to enhance our local environment.

Castle Hill PCYC
The Castle Hill PCYC situated in Harold Phillips Park, Belgian Gardens. For many years the grounds and ovals surrounding the club were very sterile, with few trees, little or no gardens and no vegetation.

In an effort to change this the club developed a new program “Green Thumbs, Dirty Hands”. The PCYC applied for a Work for the Dole Team, which focused on improving the grounds, creating garden beds and maintaining them.

Over time the program had staff, volunteers, unemployed and children all gaining hands on experience. Through donations from the public the club received over 1000 plants to pot up and grow in their Shade House on to add to their landscaping.

The Environment Club now has numerous garden beds full of various palms, native trees, shrubs, ferns and ground covers, the majority of which were grown within the club’s shade house. Everyone involved with this program has taken away a greater appreciation of flora and fauna and the importance of environmental conservation and care.

As winners the Club would use the funds to continue and expand their current program.

Lousia Creek Watch (Conservation Volunteers Australia)
Louisa Creek Watch is a community volunteer program involving environmental monitoring and raising awareness of environmental issues in the Louisa Creek catchment.  Volunteers of the program spend one day per week working on delivering the aims of the program.

The group undertakes monthly water quality and fish monitoring at 5 sites on Louisa Creek, with the assistance of the Burdekin Dry Tropics Water Watch Coordinator (David Reid) and a member of Sunfish.

Currently the team is working on an information package of the values of Louisa Creek, environmental issues, initiatives implemented and the value of community awareness and involvement. The package will be used as an education tool for school groups and other organisations.

In cooperation with Townsville City Council, the team delivered the first copy of Louisa Creek Newsletter with a tree-planting flyer to Mt Louisa residents. The team coordinated the tree planting and included demonstrations of water quality testing.

As winners the Creek Watch team would utilise the funds to produce information pamphlets/ packages, nets for fish monitoring, water quality testing equipment and reference books for the identification of fish, insects, birds, weeds and water plants.

Magnetic Island Nature Care Association
Magnetic Island Nature Care Association identified Horseshoe Bay as an area that had been greatly affected by weeds, cyclone damage and urban development.  As a consequence they developed a project that aimed to restore and present the natural features of the freshwater lagoon and surrounding lands by bringing under control the sisal hemp, guinea and para grasses and a woody weed infestation and by opening up a new walking track along the edge of the lagoon to create a new access to the western end of Horseshoe Bay.

This work was achieved by successfully obtaining a Green Corps team for the island who worked there for 6 months.

The most important out come of the project include the continuing strong support from the local community and various Council services. The rehabilitation project has proceeded quickly and was opened for public use again after only 8 months.

Reef HQ
Reef HQ Volunteers Association Incorporated was established in 1987, when the Aquarium opened. Since then more than 680 people have been through the training program, and currently there are 160 active volunteers. Since the scheme commenced volunteers have contributed more than 180 000 voluntary hours towards marine education and conservation. ($2.5 million).

The volunteers work in five main areas – Interpretation, Education, Conservation, Rehabilitation, and Participation. Each of these areas enables all different types of people to participate in the protection of the environment.

The association has been instrumental in reaching the broader community in the past by the production of an educational resource booklet “Sea works” and various courses on marine life and the environment including – heritage and tourism, coral reef biology and ecology.

As winners the Volunteer Association will use the funds to run a course similar to Coral Reef Biology to further their on-going educational programs.

Business and Industry Award

GHD – On behalf of BM Webb Holdings PTY LTD – SPECIAL COMMENDATION
BM Webb holdings Industrial Park development at the Bohle is a unique and progressive project aimed at producing a development that unlike usual industrial areas is:

Visually pleasing to the public;

Healthy green work environment;

Working with the environment to attain best practice environmental management.

The area is environmentally sensitive, with the Town Common Conservation Park on its boundary and includes an area of mature mangrove forests, with a large area covered in marine plants. The site also receives stormwater from a 1000ha catchment.  The project has implemented techniques that enable no loss of marine plants, preserve the dynamic marine plant habitat by developing micro habitats in grassed and rock riffle areas, using vegetated drains in place of cement to reduce sediment loads and working closely with local authorities (DPI, TCC, NRM)

As the winners of the Business and Industry section BM Webb holdings will be creating a picnic and educational area for the general public to promote the native flora and fauna types of the area.

Besser Masonry
Besser Masonry have developed a new product called Tri-Lock, which when laid with Geotex fabrics enables the beautification and protection of treated areas from erosion.  The system consists of 2 blocks that lock into each other providing flexibility and stability. The tri-lock is a great way to prevent and reduce erosion on inland and coastal waterways, drainage canals, boat-ramps and more.

As winners of the Business and Industry category Besser Masonry will assist West Point community develop their Coast Care program. The groups focus is on controlling the erosion of the dune area that is currently being eroded by vehicle access.

Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Townsville Seagrass Volunteers - WINNER
DPI has been successfully working with the community to develop Sea-grass watch programs in Queensland following the increased interest from the public in caring for their coastal environment.

After successfully establishing groups in Whitsundays and Hervey Bay with the assistance from Natural Heritage Trust, DPI started working on coordinating a group for the Townsville region.  DPI have assisted the community in learning to identify different Sea-grasses and develop their field techniques. The group formed in Townsville know as “Townsville Seagrass Volunteers”, was progressed without the assistance of Natural Heritage Trust funding. The group monitor Shelley Beach and Sandfly Creek every 3 months. Data collected includes species composition and photo-point monitoring. This work provides a baseline for the occurrence of seagrasses in Townsville and develops a stewardship over their local marine resources. 

As winners DPI will expand the program in the Townsville region and purchase more sampling kits to aid the expansion.

Fairfield Waters
As part of the development Fairfield waters have committed to protecting and enhancing the natural environment of the area. This has been achieved through:

The stabilisation and revegetation of 2 kilometres of river bank;

Stabilisation of a natural lagoon including the planting of 300 trees along the edges;

Protection of the wetland area near the new state school with over 500 trees being planted. Most of the species that have been planted are local provenance and is aimed at enhancing the number of birds in the area.

Water quality management focusing on reducing impacts around Northview Lake and the adjacent wetlands.

Fairfield has been working with the local community and school to raise awareness of the environment, and has a commitment to the community to continue education on better environmental management. As winners of this award Fairfield will be donating the funds to a local community group “Friends of the Lake”.

Primary School Award Category
Marian School
Marian School has a strong environmental program and conduct regular tree plantings with their students in their local area. This year Marian has provided new revegetations plan that is aimed at creating a butterfly and bird habitat. The students at the school will propagate the seeds for the habitat and plant them out. The species have been selected to target particular birds and butterflies including honeyeaters, black cockatoos and birdwing butterfly.

As the winning entry Marion will be implementing the bird/butterfly habitat.

Hermit Park State School – WINNER
Hermit Park State School is working on an array of environmental projects for all the students from creating a rainforest and pond to recycling.

Since 1995 students have been creating a rainforest area and recently the students added a pond to the rainforest and removed 4 tonne of rock and cement from the site. Now the pond is finished it is home to native fish, sedges and aquatic plants.

The students also learn about the importance of recycling and are involved in the recycling process and recognise the environmental benefits of making new uses for old papers.

Other environmental activities include:

Propagating the seed of the native Dutchman’s pipe to attract the Cairns Birdwing Butterfly, and to study it’s life cylce. 

Caring for their local catchment by cleaning out the drainage area behind their school in an effort to raise funds for further environmental programs

As winners Hermit Park State School will be creating a worm farm to recycle their food scraps.

Belgian Gardens State School Belgian Gardens State School has developed 2 programs that are aimed at improving self and school pride, and to bring a little of the Outback to the city.

The program provides students with hands on “real-life, life-like” learning that can be taken on to later life and provide life long learning experiences.

The main focus over the last year has been the development of the Permaculture Garden. Each class has participated in the development of the garden, each have there own plant and are responsible for measuring, graphing, reporting, monitoring and caring for it’s needs. Through this program and others that have been implemented in the past the school has significantly reduced it’s waste and created a valuable resource.

As winners the school with utilise the funds to further enhance their schools environmental education program.

High School Award Category Reef HQ Volunteer Program – WINNER

Reef HQ run a fantastic program for High school students to learn more and promote the Townsville Environment. These students carry out their work on the weekends and during the school holidays.

The students actively inform the public about the Great Barrier Reef and how to protect it, attend local activities to promote the reef and actively participate in beach clean ups.

The students are committed to a lifetime of fostering environmental awareness within their school, their peer group, and their community.

The program is offered to grades 9 and 10 at every high school in the Townsville region.  Each year about 25 new students join the program maintaining an effective strength of 40 volunteers.

As winners of this award Reef HQ intend on subsidising a learning expedition to Magnetic Island for local High School Students, and include indigenous issues, mangrove excursions, and coral and shoreline monitoring.