GREEN THUMBS: Members of Elanora Wetlands Bushcare Group take a break from planting and weeding.
GREEN THUMBS: Members of Elanora Wetlands Bushcare Group take a break from planting and weeding. Picasa

Elanora Wetlands carers green up bush refuge

WHEN the Elanora Wetlands Bushcare Group first moved in to revegetate their area, the site was covered in waste from a nearby treatment plant.

Foundation co-ordinator Tom Fletcher recalls that in 2000, the bushcare group under the Beaches to Bushland program was formed with the Tallebudgera Natural History Association.

"So that the project could be established, Gold Coast City Council made a grant of $2000 available.

"The area restored by the bushcare group is about three hectares, which is gradually being extended.

"The horseshoe-shape of Elanora Wetlands Habitat is actually the northern section of Schusters Park separated from the main park by Tallebudgera Creek."

Tom retired to the Gold Coast and is as keen about his voluntary work now as he was in 2000.

"I just love the bush, that's the main thing, and you're helping the environment," he said.

"It's a wonderful place for birds. We've counted up to 50 different species in one day."

Elanora Wetlands forms part of the Burleigh to Springbrook wildlife corridor linking this urban remnant to the hinterland and is a valuable refuge for native flora and fauna.

In the 16 years since its inception, the bushcare group has planted more than 2000 native trees, shrubs and grasses.

Interpretive signage has been designed and erected, a butterfly-friendly area has been set up, weeds have been removed and the former dumpsite has been cleared.

"The group has been nominated for two special bushcare awards," Tom said.

"The first was in 2002 when it was a finalist in The Shade and Spade Committee's Queensland Arbour Day Awards in which the group were runners-up.

"The second was in 2006 when the group was a finalist in the Gold Coast Australia Day Awards Ceremony and was presented with the overall environment achievement award.

"However, not only has the group featured in awards, it has also featured in two segments of the Totally Wild television production."

Elanora Wetlands Bushcare Group meets first Tuesday of the month, February to November, 8am to 10am.

For more information phone Gold Coast City Council on 0755811537.

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