Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

January 23rd 2007
Park's 1st birthday a native eye-opener

Celebrating the parks first birthday What better threat could Sunday's Dry Tropics Rainforest Park birthday party have faced than the possibility of being rained out?

The early morning twitchers had slept in, confident their absence would go unnoticed - except a pair of Red-winged Parrots dobbed them in. And a very large Agile Wallaby (visiting from the Mainland?), attended to his ablutions on the freshly
mowed turf-lined 'watercourse' while protesting about having to move so that
a bunch of Island kids could be lined up for a photo opportunity after they
had devoured the birthday cake.

Island kids had their cake and rainforest too
Everyone who could or cared made it amongst the rain squalls. Councillor Jenny Hill nearly jumped out of the cake while Citiwater's Project Engineer and allround motivator/facilitator, Peter Driscoll, grinned sheepishly. David Donohue, Stakeholder Relations Manager for the Water Matters Alliance had made sure everyone knew about the party even if some were tardier than others and local bon vivant, contract landscaper / irrigatiste and rainforest park midwife, Gary Davies, stayed long enough to be noticed before another one year old and grandfatherly duties called him away.

Later on Del Turnbull arrived to check that 'her bench' still had the best spot by the pond and holidaying (occasional) resident Mike Reynolds dropped in to test the water and take the pulse. He spoke his mind last time he was here but now of course he's a proper Speaker.

Those who couldn't make it will just have to make another date. Many of the trees planted in December 2005 are now more than four metres high. We ate Cedar Bay Cherries straight off the tree - ripe at only 12 months old and even those seedlings planted by the Magnetic Island State School kids in February 2006 have taken off so that by the time the second birthday comes around next year the place will be unrecognisable.

There are lots of things that could happen next but the best would be that locals discover just what can be done with local native plants in a typical Island setting. It's a real eye-opener.

Story & photos: Charlie McColl

To make a comment see below

Park's 1st birthday a native eye-opener
Lorna Hempstead
January 24th 2007
This wonderful parkland is a credit to all who have worked so hard in the design, planting and maintenance and it is a great asset for both residents and visitors. If you haven't visited yet, take a couple of hours to head down to Horseshoe Bay and Apjohn Street and have a leisurely stroll in the trees and revel in all the birds and butterflies. Even better - pack a picnic and sit on Del's bench, or at one of the picnic tables. You will have a superb natural experience.
Sue Mackay
January 24th 2007
I had the opportunity to visit this area a couple of weeks back - a lovely little oasis in what was previously inhospitable scrub.
Well done to all involved.

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