Green on the march

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - NA­DINE O’NEILL

THE Green Army starts work to­day on a pro­ject that will see Bowen’s town en­trance cor­ri­dor trans­formed into a beau­ti­ful space.

Over the com­ing months res­i­dents and visi­tors can ex­pect to see ex­ist­ing gar­den ar­eas en­hanced, new gar­dens cre­ated, and the salt works salt­pans screened and hid­den by veg­e­ta­tion.

About 1500 seedlings will be planted – at­trac­tive na­tive veg­e­ta­tion has been cho­sen that is suit­able for the soil and land con­di­tions to en­sure min­i­mal on­go­ing main­te­nance.

Tall trees, a wide va­ri­ety of shrubs and low- ly­ing plants will cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing and colour­ful ef­fect. Species in­clude scaly ash, kapok, flame tree, Townsville wat­tle, cae­sias, bauhinias, sea cab­bage and lilies, to name a few. Nu­tri­ent- rich soil will be brought in, ir­ri­ga­tion laid, and mulch put down. The $ 150,000 pro­ject is on­go­ing and it will be a num­ber of years be­fore the plants ma­ture and the full ef­fect is re­alised.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil parks and gar­dens man­ager Scott Hardy briefed Bowen Tourism and Busi­ness mem­bers on the pro­ject on Mon­day. Mr Hardy de­vel­oped the Bowen En­trance Green­ing Plan.

Bowen Tourism and Busi­ness chair­man Paul McLaugh­lin couldn’t be hap­pier.

“Many or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als have been work­ing hard in the back­ground to get this to hap­pen, along with other works in­clud­ing im­prove­ments at the Don River, sta­bil­i­sa­tion of the sand bank at the golf club’s ninth hole and reveg­e­ta­tion of Queens Beach,” he said. “The Green Army is play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant part in all of these ac­tiv­i­ties. They’re here for 26 weeks do­ing a range of work and will work on the town en­trance for about six weeks.

“Coun­cil’s Scott Hardy has worked hard to come up with the Bowen En­trance Green­ing Plan, it is go­ing to trans­form the town en­trance.

“Although the pro­ject has been costed at $ 150,000 it is mostly in the form of in- kind sup­port, with many busi­nesses do­nat­ing time, ma­chin­ery and re­sources, or pro­vid­ing it cheaply.’’

The com­mu­nity pro­ject is be­ing driven by five stake­hold­ers – Bowen Tourism and Busi­ness, Don River Im­prove­ment Trust, Queens Beach Ac­tion Group, Bowen Golf Club and Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil.

The Green Army, an ini­tia­tive of Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Christensen, will see about six to eight young un­em­ployed peo­ple un­der­take work while learn­ing about the en­vi­ron­ment and land man­age­ment.

Paul McLaugh­lin.

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