SOWN Media needs you

SOWN Media needs you

SOWN is recruiting volunteers interested in being part of the SOWN Media team. In addition to needing volunteers to help manage the SOWN web site, as well as editors, photographers and writers to contribute articles to the web site and The Western Echo, we...

Green Notes #1 June 2021

Green Notes #1 June 2021

Members may be interested in these stories about the environment and the natural world. Green Notes includes links to news stories, podcasts, videos and more, with an emphasis on Australian stories and the latest science. Animals VIDEO: A Day in the life of a wild...

Community pitches in to restart bushcare

Community pitches in to restart bushcare

On 9 April 2021 more than 80 community members pitched in to plant hundreds of native species at Yoorala Street West where the bushcare group has recently been restarted. Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN) roving bushcarer Janet Mangan helped restart the group...

Banks Street butterfly bounty

Banks Street butterfly bounty

Recent surveys at Banks Street Reserve have found 33 species of butterfly in just a few hours of hunting. After a survey on 11 March 2021, organiser of Brisbane’s Big Butterfly Count, Jutta Godwin, said butterfly expert Cliff Meyer was totally taken by the...

Leo Wins Lord Mayor’s Award

Leo Wins Lord Mayor’s Award

Leo Lee has won the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Individual Green Heart Award. Leo is a former president of SOWN, a current committee member, nursery volunteer and fish expert and geneticist. The award was for his outstanding voluntary contribution to identifying and...

2020: A strong year despite disruption

2020: A strong year despite disruption

At the annual general meeting on 5 December, President John Abbott reported on SOWN activities in 2020. He said 2020 had been a disrupted year. “Because of COVID19 we could not do many of our usual activities – but this has made us adapt, work in different...

Desperate cry for Wednesday Nursery volunteers!

Desperate cry for Wednesday Nursery volunteers!

Remember when the Wednesday Nursery crew was like this? When there were so many people there was a queue round the shed to wash dirty tubes? Sadly, those days are gone. Many volunteers have retired, some have moved away, some have gone to the great nursery in the sky...

Desperate cry for Wednesday Nursery volunteers!

Spider named in honour of SOWN

Opopaea sown A small goblin spider has been named in honour of Save Our Waterways Now. SOWN Secretary Anne Jones, who is also an ambassador for Queensland Museum, arranged the naming of Opopaea sown through the Queensland Museum Foundation's 'Name a spider' program....

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Online renewals going gangbusters

Our breakthrough with the "subscription" facility at PayPal has proved a bit hit, with members being able to renew membership with just a click. And the best part is, when next year rolls around, PayPal automatically sends out the reminders. This saves valuable time...

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Peter Garrett planting a great success

Minister plants a Eucalyptus tindaliae Talking environment Follow up works, local ALP branch continue planting and mulching Mulched and weeded, July 2011 Minister plants a Eucalyptus tindaliae More than 50 SOWN members, campaign workers and media representatives...

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SOWN Plant Guard Water Saver

The SOWN Plant Guard Water Saver has been designed to protect young plants from wind, weeds and herbicide over-spray. However the most appealing advantage of the Plant Guard is its ability to provide a reservoir in which to hold water and direct it directly to the...

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Beware the tick

Stopping the tick Treating tick bite More tips from a SOWN member Report of another Rickettsial infection In April 2010, SOWN's Director Robert Whyte spent five days in hospital with a very nasty illness caused by a tick bite. The little-known scrub or tick typhus, a...

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SOWN Environment Centre redevelopment

SOWN has applied to redevelop the property at 98 Yoorala Street. You can download the plans to have a look. Landscape plan - PDF 1Mb Architect's plans - PDF 2.6Mb Development notice - PDF 66Kb

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Final WaterSmart Strategy now available

Water is central to our identity as Brisbane, the river city, and is vital for our health, industry and to support the liveability of Brisbane. To guide Brisbane towards the goal of becoming Australia's most sustainable and water smart city, Brisbane City Council has...

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New herbicide regime

As SOWN members we need to get our heads around the new herbicide arrangements. Basically, Habitat Brisbane herbicide will NOT be available at the SOWN Nursery. It will only be available direct from Habitat Brisbane. If you want herbicide for your Habitat Brisbane...

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Live and let dye?

Concerns were recently raised at the Advanced Herbicide Training Workshop about the health hazards of spray marker dye. This is the dye that is used in herbicides to help with minimising over spraying, avoiding hitting good plants and seeing where you have missed. It...

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Nursery news – Christmas 2010

SOWN Nursery is bursting with plants longing to get into the ground. So get along on Wednesdays and Saturdays between 9am and 11am, or by appointment on Fridays, to pick up tubestock and get planting. Who cares if it's raining? If you plant in the rain you don't have...

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How to make the most of the dew

Charlie writes: I found before I put my first tank in that we would get up to 60 L a night as condensation from the iron roof. When I put the tank in, this would run down into the first flush system, but because it didn't accumulate fast enough, it would always drain...

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Vera’s bird list 1981-83

Honey-Eaters Parrots, Lorikeets, Cockatoos, etc Kingfishers Fresh Water birds Pigeons/Doves Black, White, Black & White birds Ibis Pied Currawong Magpie Pied Butcherbird Pee-wee Crow Spangled Drongo Koel (male, black, red eye) Koel (female, black head, other markings...

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Just in time for Christmas!

Conservation Volunteers Australia help to revegetate Enoggera Creek Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) local and international volunteers braved the rain and humidity to give a much needed helping hand to local SOWN volunteers at Riaweena Street just days before...

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Cat’s Claw Control

Mapping Cat's Claw Creeper (Macfadyena unguis-cati) is an exotic weed vine that threatens Brisbane's waterways and bushland areas. In a bid to target a single species, thus focussing efforts city wide, Brisbane Catchments Network (BCN) has proposed control and...

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Save the Cassowaries of Mission Beach

Rainforest Rescue needs your help to save the Cassowaries of Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. Their rainforest home has been devastated by Cyclone Yasi and they face starvation. Rainforest Rescue is helping to provide food for the Cassowaries and is restoring...

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Taming The Turkey ( the “lets get along” method)

Rainforest Rescue needs your help to save the Cassowaries of Mission Beach in Far North Queensland. Their rainforest home has been devastated by Cyclone Yasi and they face starvation. Rainforest Rescue is helping to provide food for the Cassowaries and is restoring...

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SOWN really cleans up Woolcock Park

SOWN's Clean Up Australia Day event at Woolcock Park, Red Hill was a great success. Organised by the Ithaca Intact Coordinator, Glenn Withers and Creek Ranger Emily Brash, Clean Up Australia Day is one of the regular events SOWN takes part in each year. The day was an...

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Something to BRAG about

SOWN partners with Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre Bush Regeneration at Arthur Gorrie or BRAG is a new partnership that's providing SOWN with plants for our bushcare sites. In 2009 Brisbane City Council formed a partnership with Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre...

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People power creates rainforest parkland

SOWN, BRAIN and the local community planted more than 1500 rainforest trees, shrubs and grasses in Glenella Parklands, The Gap on 26 March. Glenella Parklands was once farm land that was reclaimed as riparian bushland by Brisbane City Council and gazetted as a park....

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Sneaky Weeds

Keep an eye out for these nasties Keep an eye out for these sneaky weeds around your local patch. Several of these species have have already infiltrated Enoggera and Ithaca Creeks in recent months. Although we are blessed to live in Brisbane with its mild climate and...

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Eden Seeding the Community Garden

The Yoorala Street Community Garden has received a donation of 'older' seeds from organic seed distributor Eden Seeds. Michelle Peile from the community garden said she made a request while she was putting in a personal order. "I just mentioned that the community...

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AECOM donates great gear to SOWN

SOWN recently received a significant donation of bushcare gear from AECOM, an environmental service provider. Director of SOWN Robert Whyte thanked AECOM for their generosity. "SOWN members will certainly put the gear to good use," he said. The donation was organised...

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Seed collecting

SOWN and Ithaca Intact have permission to collect seed from native vegetation in bushland and natural area reserves managed by Brisbane City Council subject to the following conditions: Code of Practice for the Taking and Use of Protected Plants PDF 78Kb 1. Seed is...

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Robert Whyte keeps Ithaca Intact

With the exit of our Ithaca Intact coordinator Glenn Withers, Robert Whyte has stepped into the position and is keen to get amongst it. Rob has been working with SOWN for years and is currently the Director. He's a naturalist with a keen interest in macrophotography...

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Are natural areas REALLY more biodiverse?

An interesting question. The reason I was asking myself this was because I had observed that when I sampled good natural areas with lots of native plants they yielded up more spiders than nearby weedy areas. As spiders are widely considered a indicator of biodiversity...

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Planting guides and tips

PLANTING GUIDESThese resources should help you when choosing the best locally native plants for your bushcare site or garden. You can also visit the "Plants To Plant" section using the site navigation. Download the Planting Guide - This page as a printable PDF A guide...

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Seed collecting – new targeted approach

Enoggera Creek - Eucalypt Forest species SOWN Nursery is starting a new targeted approach to propagation so we have the most important species in stock for members to plant. That means we need to start with seed collecting. The plants in the list below are very common...

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Drought Tolerant Enoggera Species

The SOWN web site has gone to great personal and professional lengths to produce, at the request of the SOWN management committee and countless pleading SOWN members, a list of drought tolerant Enoggera species. Here it is! Acacia Complanata (Flat Stemmed Wattle)...

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Enoggera Creek desilting and mangrove management

Brisbane City Council is planning to undertake desilting and mangrove management works in Enoggera Creek between Bowen Bridge Road and Edmund Street, Windsor. The works are expected to start on 1 September and will take approximately five weeks to complete, weather...

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Collect-a-cap to raise money for SOWN

Save Our Waterways Now is participating in the Pauls Collect-a-Cap charity fundraising campaign. For every Pauls Milk Bottle Cap you collect from their 2 and 3 litre milk bottles, SOWN can get 10 cents. All you have to do is collect the caps and drop them to the SOWN...

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Raspberry Jam

Rubis Probus (Native Raspberry) is a local species we are experimenting with in our attempts to regenerate small bird habitat. It can be quite aggressive in a planting, so we curb its excesses with a light trim and judicious collecting of ripe fruit. We have some...

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Thought Mail

from robertwhyteus to richardharding317H99 DATE: 26 October 3003 TIME: 4.34pm EGT (Eastern Galactic Time) First of all, Dick, don't be alarmed. Sure, it's been eleven days since I entered the Greater Enoggera Catchment on my quest to find rare exotics ... And I do...

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A Bit About Beetles In Brisbane

By Geoff Monteith, Queensland Museum These notes were the text of a talk given by Dr Geoff Monteith to SOWN in 2006, covering many of the interesting recent discoveries in Brisbane surveys of invertebrates. A BIT ABOUT BEETLES IN BRISBANE - By Geoff Monteith,...

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Habitat Brisbane weed tree removal policy

This is what is permitted on Habitat Brisbane sites: Habitat Brisbane volunteers are authorised to remove small trees to the diameter of 100mm DBH (diameter at breast height) with hand saws only. Stumps should be poisoned and left as close to the ground as possible...

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Three reasons why drought is your friend!

Why drought is your friend: 1 First of all, the drought kills weeds. Those soft, fleshy, water-hungry weeds soon wither and die when it gets really dry. On the other hand, you see how remnant dry rainforest species can withstand extreme dry conditions. The...

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Great photos from SOWN Nursery Open Day 2011

SOWN Nursery held an Open Day on the morning of Wednesday 5 October. Visitors and volunteers flocked to see the nursery in operation and learn about SOWN's activities. On show were the mysteries of pricking out and seed processing. The Open Day included morning tea...

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Removal of Wild Taro (Colocasia esculenta)

What is it? Wild Taro is a fast-growing aquatic weed with dark reddish purple stalks and very large, arrowhead-shaped, dark-green, velvety leaves. The leaves are shaped somewhat like elephant's ears. In some parts of the world wild taro is harvested for its...

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New Weed Key available from Biosecurity Queensland

Many of us already know the excellent weeds DVD - Suburban and Environmental Weeds of South-East Queensland, by Sheldon Navie, an identification and information system for South-East Queensland. It is a Lucid3 key to over 600 garden and environmental weeds found in...

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My favourite plant begins with “A”

by Robert Whyte I'm sure there are a lot more plants beginning with A than with X or Z. Those poor cousin letters down at the bottom of the alphabet hardly get a mention. Lets look at the Zeds in Enoggera species. We have Zanthoxylum Brachyacanthum (Thorny...

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Lantana Substitutes

What is Lantana Habitat? Family Friends Creative Solutions Out of left field Lantana can provide temporary habitat for small birds, mammals and reptiles. This is true, but somewhat over-rated, as the comparison is usually between lantana and bare land. The ideal...

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True friends, false enemies

Abutilon oxycarpum Acalypha Nemorum Cayratia Clematidea - Slender Grape Maclura Cochinchinensis Commelina diffusa Dutchmans Pipe and Pearl Vine Berry Saltbush (Einadia Hastata) Ottochloa Gracillima (a grass) Solanacea Carex SPP Lobelia SPP Plants that look like weeds...

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SOWN celebrates end of 2011

SOWN's annual general meeting was an opportunity to get together, look back on the achievements of 2011 and make plans for 2012. The meeting elected a new management committee. Management Committee President: Geraldine Knapp Vice-president: Richard Harding Secretary:...

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Latest seed wishlist – December 2011

This is a different way of asking for seed for the nursery. The species listed below are those for which the Nursery believes it has adequate seed for the coming year. We will still process and store this seed if it's given to us. We'd prefer you to use your energy...

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What’s fruiting in December?

Strictly speaking, seed collecting is really 'fruit collecting'. Our plants produce fruits in various forms - pods, capsules, gumnuts and berries, just to name a few. When the fruit is ripe, or just about to fall, the seed becomes viable. That's when we need you...

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Volunteers transform Dawn Street Park

Huge effort for Clean Up Australia Day Dawn Street Park in Bardon was transformed on Clean Up Australia Day by 135 keen volunteers who planted 1257 native plants, pulled masses of rubbish out of Ithaca Creek and did a substantial amount of weeding too. The Green Team...

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Nursery Stocktake 31 March 2012

Thanks to Lyn and our nursery vols we have an up-to-date list of 13,354 plants for your bushcare sites. Plants are listed by stock and alphabetically. Remember, all plants are free to members. Come in Saturday mornings 9-11am or Wednesdays 8am-12noon to pick up plants...

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Nursery Stocktake 11 December 2012

What wonderful rain we have had. This is a great time to plant. Thanks to Lyn and our nursery vols we have an up-to-date list of 15,156 plants for your bushcare sites. These are what we have on the benches RIGHT NOW. Plants are listed by stock and alphabetically....

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More Nursery news

Seed to collect in June Acmena smithii Lilly Pilly Brachychiton acerifolius Illawarra Flame Tree Callerya Megasperma Native Wisteria Cryptocarya microneura Murrogun Pavetta australiensis Pavetta Polyscias elegans Pencil cedar, Celerywood Of these species, only Pavetta...

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Seed to collect in July

The following plants may have seed ready for collecting in July: Syzygium smithii Creek Lilly Pilly Alectryon tomentosus Hairy Birds Eye Aphananthe philippinensis Rough-leaved Elm Pavetta australiensis Pavetta Polyscias elegans Pencil cedar, Celerywood The Nursery is...

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Watermelon anyone?

No, this is not watermelon. It is a cat's claw tuber painted with herbicide containing red enviro-dye. Isn't it pretty! While working in St Joseph's Forest, SOWN's commercial arm, Creek Rescue and Catchment Care (CRACC), experimented with differing methods of treating...

Desperate cry for Wednesday Nursery volunteers!

SOWN shortlisted for NRMA People’s Choice Award

SOWN has been chosen as a finalist in the NRMA People's Choice Award. To win the Award, we need your vote. Voting for the People's Choice Award is live on Facebook until Friday, 10th August. The group with the most votes at the end of the voting period will be deemed...

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Premier pitches in at planting

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman joined more than 100 volunteers to plant native trees on the banks of Ithaca Creek for National Tree Day on Sunday 29 July. Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN) partnered with Greening Australia to plant 1481 native trees, grasses, shrubs...

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Recent wildlife sightings

Nankeen Night Heron On a recent photography creek crawl of Enoggera Creek, Robert Whyte and Mark Crocker spotted this Nankeen or Rufous Night Heron Nycticorax caledonicus. According to Wikipedia: "The Nankeen Night Heron stands about 60 cm tall with a stooped...

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Glenella bush food garden established

A bush food garden has been established at Glenella Parklands following a community event on 1 September 2012. Brisbane Rainforest Action and Information Network (BRAIN) organised the event which included a bush food morning tea and a presentation by Geckoes Wildlife...

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Dawn Street Corporate Working Bee

After successful clean-up and planting events at Dawn Street on Clean Up Australia Day and National Tree Day in July, corporate volunteers from Turner & Townsend carried on the site rehabilitation in a working bee at the Ithaca creek site on Friday 21 September 2012....

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Ithaca Creek State School goes down the creek

In September 2012, SOWN volunteers Robert Dunne and Craig Davis helped a group of children from Ithaca Creek State School Years 1 and 2 to explore the creek in their backyard. Actually Ithaca Creek is just a short walk from the school down to the end of Lugg Street. A...

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Calling All Woodworkers, Turners and Crafters!

Recently SOWN received $10,000 from the Energex Sustainability Fund to explore the sustainable use of weed tree timber (SUWTT) for hobby and commercial use. This project includes developing a publication for the residents of Enoggera catchment and will culminate in a...

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Survey on recreational use of waterways

A message from Platypus Watch Healthy Waterways is conducting a survey to gain a better understanding of how the South-East Queensland community use, value and perceive their waterways, particularly from a recreational user point of view. We value the opinion and...

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Looking for the elusive Platypus

A message from Platypus Watch Wildlife Queensland is conducting Platypus Watch, a program aimed at monitoring and managing platypus populations within south east Queensland, and we need your help! The program is based upon a workshop followed by surveys conducted by...

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SOWN Gift Vouchers

Sample gift card Give a gift. We'll plant a tree. Support our local environment by donating to the SOWN Environment Fund. We can make your gift-giving easy. For a donation of $100 SOWN will plant a Hoop Pine and provide a personalised PDF gift card for you to send to...

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Report on Special General Meeting

More than 30 SOWN members attended the Special General Meeting on Wednesday 6 March 2013 to discuss the future of SOWN. Committee members Anne Jones and Robert Whyte tendered their resignations. SOWN Vice President Adam Richardt was elected as the Secretary. Members...

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Looking for the elusive Platypus

A message from Platypus Watch Wildlife Queensland is again conducting PlatypusWatch, a program aimed at monitoring and managing platypus populations within South East Queensland. The program is based upon a workshop followed by surveys conducted by community...

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Get your copy of The Creek in Our Backyard

Out now! The new revised and expanded edition of The Creek in Our Backyard: a practical guide for habitat restoration by Robert Whyte was launched on 9 June as part of SOWN's 'Weed Timber Expo'. Copies are available from: SOWN Nursery 57 Paten Road The Gap open on...

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Weeds To Woodcraft

SOWN Timber Expo 2013             The inaugural SOWN Timber Expo 'Weeds to Woodcaft' was held on Sunday 9 June at Yoorala Street Parklands. After a night of rain, the drizzle stopped just as the last marquee went up. Soon the sausages...

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Where are our worst woody weeds?

Dob a weed tree today There are plenty of weed trees out there but we need your help to find them. SOWN is bidding for a Brisbane City Council Community Conservation Assistance Grant to remove big weed trees from Enoggera Creek catchment. This is an opportunity to get...

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Report on the 2013 SOWN Annual General Meeting

The annual general meeting was held at 4pm on Saturday 7 December at 21 Gresham Street St John's Wood. The meeting elected the following office bearers: President: Geraldine Knapp Vice-president: Leo Lee Secretary: Maggie Magafakis Treasurer: Robert Dunne Members: Di...

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SOWN wins Healthy Waterways Minister’s Grand Prize

Project with Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre recognised The 2014 Healthy Waterways Awards have recognised SOWN's ongoing project working with Arthur Gorrie Correctional Centre propagating native plants and distributing them across South-East Queensland. The project...

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Biomedical Research at SOWN

Scientists from the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery (Griffith University) and the Australian Prostate Cancer Research Centre - Queensland (Queensland University of Technology) have recently reported the discovery of several new bioactive compounds (i.e. natural...

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Art Meets Creeks

Waterways, Walkabout & Wi-Fi Two intrepid Brisbane artists travelled 7500 km through Queensland on a mission to connect with nature - both physically, and via digital technologies. Suzon Fuks and James Cunningham of Igneous traversed waterways from tropical...

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The Future of Walton Bridge Reserve

Anne Jones reports on the current state of play A straw poll of the locals who use Walton Bridge Reserve indicates they love the park as it is now and don't see the need for any change. Cr Steven Toomey hosted a community gathering on Sunday 13 September to kick off...

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How much fun can you have on a Saturday morning?

Plenty - by volunteering at the SOWN Plant Nursery We need you to help staff the SOWN Plant Nursery on a Saturday morning. It's only for two hours every couple of months and it's a seriously great place to hang out amongst the plants. Located at 57 Paten Road The Gap...

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New Cold Room Arrives

Our New Cold Room has arrived and we are happy. Thanks to a BCC Suburban Initiative Grant obtained through The Gap Ward with the help of Cr Steve Toomey we can replace the three door fridge that currently holds our seed bank. We can improve our seed bank by increasing...

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Fish Survey Training/Teaching Workshop

Saturday 12 March 2016 8.00 am - 1.00 pm Brisbane City Council's Creek Catchment Officer Program is sponsoring a second Fish Survey/Teaching Workshop. Fish geneticist and expert Leo Lee will guide participants through the day, explaining procedures and identifying...