After three decades of patient commitment by Landcare and other groups, the long-held vision of Gympie’s River Trail has become a reality. Since October 2017 Gympie’s Riverbank has been a hive of activity. Gympie Landcare has undertaken large-scale revegetation works to enhance the re-constructed river trail.
Work started with a concerted effort to control vine weeds (Cats Claw Creeper, Madeira Vine, Siratro & Glycine), Canna
Lily and Leucaena and Chinese Elm over a 5-hectare area. Once the weed cover had been reduced planting started. To date over 6,000 native plants (trees, shrubs, and grasses) have been established, with drier revegetation species on the banks and rainforest species on the lower flat areas.
Landcare field crews have received wide support from the broader community. Years 5 and 6 from Cooloola Christian College, youth from Edmund Rice Flexible Learning Centre and most recently students from Gympie East State School have planted 500 tubestock. Seventy people, including students from James Hash State High School and St Patricks College, came to the community planting day in March which established 888 plants between Hyne Street and Excelsior Road. A huge thank you to the Landcare members and volunteers who have helped organise and supervise these events.
The small number of losses from vandalism and theft have been disappointing. But overall the response has been positive and it is fantastic to see the numbers of people enjoying the walk.
This is just the beginning. The coming month will see some 1,200 tubestock planted into the netball slope. Future work between Cavanough Park and Excelsior Road will be ongoing this includes weed control and tending of the young plants.
Council contractors are currently removing the Chinese Elm that dominates the banks between Excelsior Road and The Sands. Once this work is complete Landcare work crews will come in to begin revegetating these banks with natives, except for areas near The Sands where plantings appropriate for a more open park are being discussed.
Gympie Regional Council is now constructing the next stage of the trail between The Sands and Deep Creek and planning has started to raise appropriate native plants to revegetate this section. Special thanks to Carl, Don, Shane, Zac and Cole from Gympie Contract Land Care Services team for their commitment to this project. The steep riverbanks and bulk debris from historic dumping and in-filling have made this a challenging environment to work in.