BVRT – BRISBANE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL – GARDEN PROJECT

Story courtesy of Tanya Smith

Since the official opening of the Brassall – Wanora section of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) in November 2016, Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Inc have been active in pursuing beautification works to improve the visual aesthetic & overall interest in this section for Trail users. A community grant was sought from Ipswich City Council in early 2017 to assist with establishing a native plant garden at the Borallon site along the Trail & Cr David Pahlke, through whose Division the Borallon section of the Trail runs, facilitated & assisted the group with applying for the grant.

There were two primary motives for establishing the native plant garden at Borallon along the Trail. Back in the days of the former Brisbane Valley Railway Line, the corridor of which the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail now follows, Borallon once hosted beautiful gardens, tended to by the Station Mistress & the railway fettlers. Old railway fishplates had originally been used as borders for the gardens along the Railway Line at Borallon & railway fishplates dug up from along the Trail through Pine Mountain have now been incorporated in to the new garden design as features at Borallon, bolted on to the railway sleeper border that now encircles the garden. This garden is primarily a nod to the former railway fishplate gardens that once took pride of place at old Borallon Station back in its hey-day.

A secondary motivation for creating the native plant garden along the Trail at Borallon was to encourage strong native plant growth along the Trail, in keeping with the Trail being an incidental linear conservation corridor. Species planted include grevilleas, eremophila, plunkett mallee, acacia & banksia, which will not only provide a haven for insects & create a local microbiome, but also provide an essential food source for the many birds & bees that have made the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail their home. Plants were sourced from Pete’s Hobby Nursery in Lowood. Pete Bevan, the Nursery owner, has actively cultivated native plant gardens along the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail through Lowood & the group sought advice & the plants direct, from Pete for the garden at Borallon.

The railway sleepers used for the garden’s border, were an in-kind donation from Mr Peter Kleis, the TMR BVRT Ranger. Initial landscaping & fill/mulch was provided by Chris Stephens of Jista Landscaping in Pine Mountain. Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail wishes to thank Cr David Pahlke – Ipswich City Council Division 10 – for assisting with the group’s application for the community grant to construct the garden, Dept of Transport & Main Roads – for their support for construction of the garden, Mr Peter Kleis – TMR BVRT Ranger – for his in-kind donation of the railway sleepers & QGR axlebox cover plate which will be installed as an added feature within the garden, Mr Peter Bevan of Pete’s Hobby Nursery – for his advice & provision of plants for the project, Mr Chris Stephens of Jista Landscaping in Pine Mountain – for his exception work in preparing the site for the garden, fill & mulch & to all volunteers associated with the Friends of Brisbane Valley Rail Trail community group, for actualising the garden project. This is just one step of many Beautification/improvement projects that the group is seeking to carry out along the southern end of the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail. ”

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