"The Hays Inlet Green Army Team came together on the 23rd of February. Initially receiving training in Occupational Health and Safety and First Aid in preparation of their going out in the field beginning work to restore a 4 hectare section of land at the bottom of Frawley Fields Clontarf comprising Eucalypt Forest, Melaleuca woodland and a very degraded stretch of waterway. The 9 participants aged between 19 and 24 hail from a variety of backgrounds with 6 having completed tertiary education in environmentally related subjects. They are an enthusiastic group who are bonding quite well with each other. They share a common interest in the environment and doing something really tangible to help the fragmentary ecosystems still in place on the project site.
To assist them to understand the work they will be doing and why, they visited the Redcliffe Botanical Gardens and met David Lergessner President of the Friends of the Redcliffe Botanical Gardens who took them on a tour explaining the various ecosystems that once existed on the Redcliffe Peninsula and are represented in various parts of the Gardens. They were then put to work doing some weeding and complained when they had to leave having thoroughly enjoyed the experience. They visited Jim McGahey Park and were taken on a tour with REF President Pete Johnson who showed them the recently completed restoration of the area and the problems it still faces from weed incursion and unsympathetic human activity. Plant and weed identification activities ensued with a visit to the Wallum Action Group at Bribie Island where they met the president John Ward. John took them on a tour of nearby bushland showing them the unique flora of the sand Island. The group took many a photo of insects and flowers encountered especially our “official" photographer Alexandria who of her own accord has set up a Facebook page for the group to contribute photos.
The site visits have helped them to understand the interconnectedness of the environment and its relationship with the people of the region and the vital nature of the work they will be doing over the next 21 weeks. All in all a good start and I am looking forward to getting into the field next week to scope out the works and to complete our risk assessments"