GREEN THUMB: Norm Morwood orchestrates work groups to help restore native vegetation in Nambour.
GREEN THUMB: Norm Morwood orchestrates work groups to help restore native vegetation in Nambour. John McCutcheon

Norm nurtures native nature

NORM Morwood has been lending a green thumb to re-vegetate native wildlife for the past decade.

After moving to the Coast from Brisbane in 2008, the Woombye resident became inspired by the Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group.

The group runs Florabunda Bushcare nursery in the hinterland town, a well-established nursery to provide local, native plants to the catchment area.

But the community nursery wouldn't be able to run with the help of people like Mr Morwood.

"It's all volunteer work, the nursery runs on the volunteers," he said.

The humble nature hero immersed himself in work at the nursery after his retirement but continued to get involved with the group in any way possible.

"One site came up as an opportunity to get working on and eventually I took over organising," he remembered.

Mr Morwood now orchestrates working bees across three sites in the Nambour region, all with the aim of removing weeds and restoring the creek's native habitat and wildlife.

"There's an aim of restoring Petrie Creek to pre-population," he said.

"Back to what it used naturally to be."

Evidence of his hard work can be found at the Florabunda Pocket on Laidlaw Rd, Namba Creek by the Model Railway Park and Gulung Gung on Howard St.

However the modest hard worker said the work wouldn't be able to be done without the help of funding, volunteers and the traditional owners of the land surrounding their working sites.

"For this site (Gulung Gung) we do work with the Gubbi Gubbi people," Mr Morwood said.

"They planted the area next to our site with bunya pines, one for each family line."

The former mine manager's expertise doesn't stop at orchestrating the monthly operations, he also holds a wealth of knowledge about native restoration and large-scale rehabilitation of devastated land.

Throughout his career he replanted and restored former mines and helped to promote large-scale mining plans for avoiding pollution and developing good techniques on an international level.

These days he takes the skills he learnt from his mining career and gives them back to the community.

"It really does look like the creek used to in the old days," Mr Morwood said.

"It's a matter of regeneration instead ofrestoration.

"What we do is small with the size of the job but it's a good base for the work to continue."

If you are interested in joining one of the Petrie Creek Catchment Care Group's working bee's, visit www.florabundabushcare.org.au.


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