From a busway to a makeover; from winning the Qld River Care award to the construction of a veloway, the DCP has had its ups and downs. The site's current name refers to its status as a Demonstration Catchment Project. N4C would like to give it a more inspiring name!
Background to the project
Norman Creek flows beside and then under the freeway. Freeway construction in 1973 divided the catchment and caused loss of vegetation, increased runoff and changes in hydrology.
When the new busway was completed in 1999, N4C negotiated an innovative system of grass swales and treatment ponds with Main Roads, to prevent oil and other pollutants from the freeway from entering the creek. However, significant habitat areas were lost due to the busway, and the Qld Department of Transport provided N4C with a grant to help compensate for this. This grant was used as seed funding and we obtained further funding from the Department of Natural Resource Management via the Moreton Bay Waterways and Catchment Partnership's Healthy Waterways Program. Natural Heritage Trust funding assisted with project management. Further funding came from Corporate Community events and also a Commonwealth Environfund project.
The idea was to carry out riparian restoration, instream and environs habitat development of a 1000-metre length of Norman Creek to provide better habitat for aquatic animals, with pools and riffles. This meant excavating ten to fifteen thousand cubic metres of soil to create the right-sized channel and create pools. This material was deposited on site. Seven truckloads of rocks and boulders were brought in for riffle construction. Close to 4600 square metres of jute matting was laid along more than 400 metres of creek bank. 22 truckloads of mulch was spread, and 40,000 plants were installed, of about 150 species.
The original plan encompassed Stages 1 and 2; Stage one has been completed thus far. N4C managed the entire project from obtaining approvals to employing contractors, and N4C volunteers worked on the project three mornings a week, amassing more than 2000 hours of community input when combined with the off-site planning hours. Qld Conservation Volunteers and Conservation Volunteer Australia work crews also participated. N4C continued to maintain the site and won the 2005 Qld River Care award for the project.
The site has hosted various groups of students for case studies, including Griffith University Environmental Planning students, and University of Queensland PhD students doing fish and turtle monitoring.
Challenges for the DCP site
2012 saw a bicycle Veloway constructed in the creek riparian corridor, in some areas, right up to the edge of the creek. This destroyed significant areas of plantings that had been growing for nine years; volunteers who had cared for these trees were deeply affected - not to mention the animals who used them as habitat. The grass swales were built over and this, combined with the removal of riparian habitat and the nature of the veloway design, could cause further increases in erosion.
The DCP site today
Today we can still enjoy a beautiful green patch of forest at this site, as the rainforest trees come into their own. 61 bird species have been recorded here, including Red-backed Fairy-wren, Golden-headed Cisticola, Variegated Fairy-wren and Double-barred Finch. White-throated Honeyeaters and even Lewin's Rail have been seen.
Download the Strategic Plan produced by landscape architect Ashley Nicholson for Arnwood Place and the DCP site (combined) (10MB).
Download the original landscape plan by landscape architect Sophie Grey (30MB).