This project commenced in 1994 under the name CREEK FREECS. This was before the formation of N4C. The aim of the project was to rehabilitate 4ha of what was bare earth resulting from a re-direction of the creek. Today the site is now 70% vegetated as a result of community plantings. It has the highest biodiversity of any N4C catchment site and is testament to the tenacity of volunteers to restore a waste land. The site is now invaluable as a place of a solitude for both human and native fauna.
Norman Creek FREECS* Bushcare Group still meets at the site (*Friends Re-establishing Environmental & Ecological Creek Systems). Works carried out by the group include control of environmental weeds and revegetation with native plant species. These works have provided a mosaic of valuable habitats for wildlife.
Background of the project
Moorhen Flats was former industrial land leftover from the Council's late-1980s flood mitigation works of Norman Creek. In 1993, it was a windswept, grassless waste site, with only a few trees which have become the icon trees of the site. Donna Bowes from the East Brisbane Community Centre was made aware of this former industrial area and it was suggested by a local business owner that it could be made into green space. She coordinated a number of groups for the initial meeting and these groups negotiated for almost a year, with the final decision being to create a bush habitat site.
The first plantings were carried out in 1994 by local residents and diverse members of the community. Large numbers of volunteers turned out for the plantings, and regular monthly working bees have been continuing since 1996. A special experimental project was the construction of frog ponds for Olympic Landcare in 2000 and this could be further developed to recycle stormwater from adjacent industrial buildings.
Download Moorhen Flats illustrated history - 2004 (16MB pdf)
Future of the project
Because Moorhen Flats is adjacent to planned future growth areas, many new opportunities exist, including improved access and safety. N4C is also hoping for positive ecological outcomes such as improved water quality and habitat connectivity. Landscape architect Ashley Nicholson developed a strategic plan for Moorhen Flats, which you can download below. A key element of this plan is daylighting Kingfisher Creek, which is currently piped under the ground. Daylighting the creek would allow for better aquatic ecology and higher water quality; the area would also become a stepping stone for the community to engage with Moorhen Flats itself.
Where is Moorhen Flats?
Moorhen Flats bushland is roughly triangular in shape, enclosed by arms of Norman and Kingfisher Creeks and behind businesses in Deshon Street, East Brisbane. The main entrance is in Deshon Street at its intersection with Main Avenue and Turbo Drive. The other entry point is from Lerna Street via a small bridge across Kingfisher Creek. A cycle track joins these two points.
Project contact details