KARANA TRAILS

The Lions Nature Trail has been nominated in a number of community award schemes and most recently was awarded first prize in the Ipswich city Council’s Environment ‘Awards of Excellence’. The following is part of that submission as written by Bob McGregor.

 

The role of the Moggill-Mount Crosby Lions Club as lead organisation has been recognised by the naming of the trail by the local authority, the Lions Nature Trail.  Over the last year, we have seen the provision of good quality parking off Tanderra Way, and the trail is now being used by a wide variety of members of the public, particularly walkers, bird watchers, youth groups and by families on picnics and general outings. There is also provision in parts of the trail for the riding of horses with a small dressage area and separate horse trails. Audits indicate a dramatic increase in the numbers of wildlife species reported over the period of this project.

This venture has been very much a collaborative process which has brought together many members of the community who have a common interest in the preservation of the wildlife and vegetation of the Australian bush. It has also been an outstandingly successful example of how community groups and the local authority can cooperate in a mutual undertaking to the advantage of all.

We would now like to take you for a walk through the Lions Nature Trail starting from the car park adjacent to the Scout Hall off Tanderra Way. To our right, at the bottom of a steep gully, the Kupi Creek forms a natural boundary, hidden by stands of mature river bank trees.  Ahead, across a grassy expanse, we see a prominent sign “The Lions Nature Trail”.

 In stark contrast to the foreground, behind this sign there is a thickly wooded plantation of native trees beckoning people to come and explore what lies beyond. To the left of this sign is a beautifully constructed notice board which details the course followed by the trail, and highlights the wildlife and vegetation you will see in the trail.

Moving over to the entrance, which is clearly marked with copper logs, you initially walk down a steep slope on a path which winds its way across the face of the slope in a manner that allows wheel chair access. Here is a cool sylvan bower of densely planted eucalypts, grevilleas, callistemon and native frangipani. The bright yellow callistemon contrast beautifully with the red grevilleas. The air is heavy with the scent of frangipani and there is the sound of bees in the air. Through the trees small bee-eaters flit. Shadows are everywhere, and there is a distinct cooling as one moves into this area.

After approximately 60 meters, the path opens out across a small causeway onto an open area to the right of which lies an amphitheatre, with the heavy foliage of the creek behind. To the left is a more recent, very dense planting of a wide variety of trees, which will eventually grow to completely shield an adjacent property. Noteworthy are the many grevilleas and wattle. Moving 50 or so metres across this area one enters a further cool green arbour, which covers a bridge across the Kopi Creek. In this area Kupi Creek has permanent water and on its banks are numerous examples of ferns, particularly maiden hair variety. If one is very quiet here, occasionally the splash of a platypus can be heard, and in this area echidna have also been found. There is a park seat to the left of this area to allow quiet contemplation. Moving on, you pass through a further densely planted area, on the left with casuarinas, Toona Australis (red cedar) as well as further examples of grevilleas and callistemon species. On the right, on a slightly higher area above the water table, we have dense plantings of various eucalypts, particularly eucalyptus  Dunnei  - all of these are koala friendly. Skirting the plantings on the left, one comes to a small picnic area, behind which our path leads into a loop which is defined by the creek as it winds its  way around – in this area there are further seats placed at strategic points for bird watching in particular – this area of approximately 5000m²,  has been densely planted with a wide variety of trees native to this area. In particular we have the rough leafed creek figs, several examples of hoop pine, eucalypt as well as the ubiquitous callistemon.

Moving beyond this area again one passes a further dense planting, this time featuring white and red cedars and grevilleas, particularly grevillea robusta or silky oak, some of which are now semi mature and starting to flower. The sound of bird life is everywhere as you walk down towards where the creek again crosses the path. We now walk through further dense plantings of rain forest species with an understorey of a variety of ferns and native grasses, particularly allamanda. Some 50 metres beyond we come to a further open area where there is a cluster of seats, table  and  barbecue facility. This is backed by the Kupi Creek, as well as dense plantings of rainforest species, and is shaded by ancient gums from the midday sun. To the right, opposite this area, there are very heavy plantings of  various sygigium or lillypilly species as well as more examples of eucalyptus Dunnei, some of which have now reached heights of around 20 metres. These are the original plantings dating back to late 1992.

The path now divides    to the left it leads on through a bush tucker area which was planted up last year –  the suitability of this area was checked by the C.S.I.R.O. who conducted soil analysis. As a result of this, various additives were incorporated into the soil, particularly phosphates, before plantings began. This has been extremely successful and already the various species here have largely doubled in size over the period of some 12 months since planting. This entire area measures approximately 30m x 60m and holds around 300 trees. The lower path to the right takes us down across Kupi Creek once again, over a small causeway and as we pass through semi-mature casuarinas, lillypilly, callistemon and various rainforest species, a gentle zephyr sighs through the treetops, fanning us with its cool passing and breaking up the shadows in playful pantomime. These plantings continue along the banks of Kupi Creek on the left for approximately 100 metres. On the right is an open area which is being used for pony club dressage. Moving beyond this area, we come to a further region adjoining the creek bank.   This area, which is quite low in the water table, has been recently cleared and planted up with rainforest species already showing excellent early growth. Beyond these plantings we move into an as yet undeveloped part of the trail which winds its way along Kupi Creek and then up a steep bank before arcing its way around the contour and eventually coming to the end of the trail at Kindra Ave. As we turn to retrace our steps, we spy a large water dragon moving quickly into the reeds that define the creek bank. Our sojourn with nature has thus far taken us approximately half an hour.

In conclusion, the planning and development of this  trail has brought together people from diverse backgrounds who share a vision of creating something very special in our community. Over the next 10 years, as the canopy develops, and understorey plantings mature, our trail will surely develop into a wonderful wildlife sanctuary and fulfil our dream of establishing a really worthwhile regional resource, a fitting testimony to the many hours spent by volunteers bringing it to fruition.

 

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