Pictured: Colin Thompson, Andy Nisbet, Marcia Brooks ICC, Arnold Rieck, Margaret Offer, Cr David Pahlke, Paul Mackenzie ICC, Andrew Marshall and daughter.
The tenth anniversary of the first plantings at Masons Gully, was celebrated on Saturday, 14 August 2010.
This was organised by the Coordinator of the project, Arnold Rieck, with the Ipswich City Council parks staff.
Over 50 people attended and planted 220 more dry vine plants further along the slopes of Masons Gully.
Ideally, the the revegetated gully will eventually link up with the Rosewood Scrub Arboretum in Peace Park, which was established in 1994.
Further, the Council envisages a walking track along Masons Gully from Masons Bridge to Peace Park.
The former mayor of Ipswich John Nugent, and the parents of Sydney Olympian Juanita Feldhahn were present to help with the plantings.
They were amazed at the growth of the original plants. The August 2010 plantings were the culmination of ten years of dedicated effort by Arnold Rieck and his small team of helpers.
What was once a degraded gully is now a picturesque scene with hundreds of trees and shrubs up to 10 metres in height, with many of them flowering profusely in spring and summmer, and the gully is now a Bushland Care site in the Ipswich City Council.
Ten years ago, Arnold Rieck organised the planting of 600 dry vine forest trees in Masons Gully, on behalf of West Moreton Landcare as part of the Olympic Landcare program.
Federal, state and local politicians, parents of Rosewood’s two Sydney Olympians, community organisation representative’s and local folk were all involved in the plantings.
Local school groups added a further 200 plus trees in the following week. At present there are at least 1500 trees and shrubs growing in the gully.
The anniversary celebrations brought together people of the community who are interested in understanding more about the Rosewood Scrub plants and are not afraid to get dirty in order to beautify a public area close to the centre of Rosewood.
Rosewood is probably the only town in Queensland where a selection of dry vine forest trees and shrubs have been planted to convert an eyesore into bushland with a large variety of types of lush green foliage.
It is now a wonderful habitat for small birds like silver eyes, finches and wrens.
Although most of the plants in the Gully are drought resistant, the gully floods in times of heavy rain and the new plantings demonstrate ways of preventing erosion, and the reeds in the ponds filter the water.
The people of Rosewood appreciate the plantings and there are many positive comments made on the enhanced appearance of this public space.
The community keeps up to date about happenings in the Gully as the local paper regularly publishes articles on plants as they flower.
This project has enabled the Ipswich community, particularly Rosewood folk, to familiarise themselves with, and become more aware of, the beauty of the lcoal Rosewood scrub plants.
The Mason Gully project has proven that we can always improve on the appearance of our community, without having to rely on government support to remedy the problems.
We can do something about our community; we can be active citizens. The local community is committed to planting and nurturing our unique bushland.
In this year of biodiversity, the Masons Gully project demonstrates how trees indigenous to a local area can provide shelter, nesting sites and food for insect- and nectar-eating birds.
For instance, the rare and threatened Bailey’s Cypress Pine has pride of place in an avenue on the southeast boundary. What’s more, you can easily spot the local finches nesting in them.
Several plants in the Rosewood dry vine forest have wonderful horticultural potential; the previously mentioned Bailey’s Cypress, the local Rosewood tree, Velvet Cassia, Native Pavetta and the Weeping Pittosporum, are all worthy of planting in local gardens.
In contrast to the limited local knowledge ten years ago, many Rosewood citizens are now aware that Rosewood lent its name to a local scrub acacia which is planted in public parks and private gardens.
The Rosewood tree is actually featured in the Cabanda Aged Care logo.