Partnering up for Youth Engagement in the Herbert
Terrain’s one-day Future Leaders Eco Challenge (FLEC) with 80 youth and 20 teachers from the Hinchinbrook area included partners GBRMPA, BSES, Herbert Resource Information Centre, HCPSL and Tyto Information Centre, each hosting a 40-minute rotational activity session.
The participants learnt about water quality, biodiversity, soils and GIS at the interactive stations.
This was a precursor to the interactive and practical Education Queensland School Smarties program, where all 11 state schools in the Herbert district participated through active riparian assessment and water quality testing at a local creek.
Terrain provided technical support in the development of the program, as well as training for all participating teachers and student leaders. Thirty student leaders and teachers from all Hinchinbrook state schools then attended the Hinchinbrook NRM forum, where they presented their findings. This three-month pilot project is now destined to become a permanent training fixture with more than half the schools planning to continue with water quality testing and monitoring in coming years.
Colleen Way, Regional Science Coordinator for Education Queensland said, “This has been a wonderful opportunity for students to work as ‘real-life’ field scientists and has influenced their views on the importance of water quality, water catchments, sustainability and the Great Barrier Reef.”
Small wetlands make for big gains in the Daintree
Terrain has sourced funding, coordinated partner involvement, and provided technical advice for the design of a series of wetlands constructed to improve the quality of water flowing from a Mossman farmer’s cattle property. The project also links important habitat corridors for wildlife from the hills to the coast.
Peter Tibaldi’s wetland, with those of his neighbours, increases the overall detention time of water in the creek system eventually flowing to the Reef.
The $22,000 project was funded by the Queensland government’s Wetlands Program, the Douglas Water Quality Improvement Plan, the Australian Government’s Reef Rescue program, and Cairns Regional Council.
Losing good quality agricultural land to construct large wetlands and sediment traps is often cost prohibitive to many primary producers. This is proving to be a good example of how a series of small initiatives can function together to get a real outcome.
Valuable forest survival project
With damaged pockets of critically endangered Mabi forest left fragile after Cyclones Larry and Yasi, the aggressive weed Turbina threatens to stop native regrowth reaching the canopy which provides habitat for the region’s iconic Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroo.
Working with farmers, the project is working to restore and protect 105 ha of large degraded remnants on private land. It will also build natural ‘stepping stones’ to enhance connectivity to allow wildlife access from the coast to the area on the Tablelands that has been identified as a climate change refugia.
With almost $500K from the Australian government’s Caring for our Country program, Terrain is supporting Barron Catchment Care by coordinating the project which aims to control Turbina in Mabi pockets and allow the forest to re-establish. Other partners are Tablelands Regional Council, the Wet Tropics Management Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, landholders and CSIRO.