Fig Tree Creek Project
Capricorn Coast Landcare Group commenced rehabilitation of the lower section of Fig Tree Creek in 2010 and continues to progressively add to on-ground works that reinstate the functioning of Yeppoon's major waterway. Led by past President, Alby Wooler (until his passing in July 2017), our team of volunteers have maintained a rigorous weekly schedule of weeding, spraying, watering, planting, mulching, and picking up litter for the past eight years. The site is not only a credit to their hard work and Alby's vision, but to the commitment of the current Landcare team in moving forward.
Partnering with Livingstone Shire Council and Fitzroy Basin Association (through a succession of funding grants from the Federal Government), the Landcare team have removed over 150 abandoned shopping trolleys, 25 trailer loads of weeds, hundreds of bags of rubbish, and two 7 tonne truck loads of flood and cyclone debris.
It was originally difficult to discern the waterway as it was choked with rubbish and layer upon layer of weeds - up to 2 metres high in some areas. As the weeds and rubbish were removed the creek once again became visible and free-flowing.
Bank stabilisation works, a fenced pedestrian walkway along the creek, a new footbridge and path have been installed at the site.
Many local residents told us that the problems they had been having with pests and rodents had eased as the weed and rubbish problems were fixed. There has also been a return of fish to the waterway and birds such as white herons, grey herons, diver ducks and black ducks.
Each month, bird and fish surveys are conducted by Landcare volunteers with data supplied to Birdlife Capricornia and Fitzroy Basin Association. This gives a clearer picture of local biodiversity and how the creek and its ecosystems are recovering.
As well as maintaining various remnant species on the site, Landcare has undertaken additional plantings of natives during the past eight years.
Species include: cordyline, lomandra, native hibiscus, pavetta, native witch hazel, Archer cherry, melaleuca, lime berry, native coffee, grevillea, and many others.
This site hosts a 'sweetwater' zone - where tidal salt and fresh waters meet, making it a unique habitat for diverse species. Considered the epicentre of Yeppoon township, it is now a scenic, shaded area used by the whole community. It is enjoyed by visiting tourists and locals who often comment on its peacefulness and beautiful trees. Canoeists can now be seen paddling up the creek on very high tides.
It will shortly be named the 'Alby Wooler Reserve' in honour of the man who dedicated half his life to improving our local environment.
The 2015-2018 stages of the Fig Tree Creek Rehabilitation Project have been funded through the Caring for our Country Reef Rescue Programme, Commonwealth of Australia (administered by the Fitzroy Basin Association).
Priority invasive weeds that Landcare works on controlling at the Fig Tree Creek Rehabilitation Site include:
Leucaena leucocephala (leucaena)
Ipomoea cairica (morning glory)
Panicum maximum (guinea grass)
Macroptilium atropurpureum (siratro)