Many inspiring and heroic tales have emerged in the wake of Queensland’s recent flooding and devastation and at Marcoola, a group of 12 enthusiastic student leaders refused to let the cyclonic conditions deter them from their environmental duties.
Gathering on the Sunshine Coast from around Queensland, the 12 Lutheran College student leaders joined Coolum District Coast Care volunteers to push through the extreme weather of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald to plant 70 Casuarinas (She Oak) trees along the coastal area from Marcoola to Mudjimba.
“No-one expected rain when arrangements were made,” said Coolum District Coast Care Vice President, Tony Gibson.
“The morning rains were light and we never expected the deluge in the afternoon. But despite the extremely wet day, the student leaders opted to continue to help with the preservation work on the dunes.
“In the end, it was perfect timing as the rain will really help the seedlings take hold,” Mr Gibson added.
The Coolum District Coast Care group is extremely active in the local area, and their members can often be seen among the fontal sand dunes on beaches from Coolum to Mudjimba, planting trees and grasses to help prevent sand blows and maintain vegetation that is habitat for birds and animals.
Coast Care members Peter Brown, Diane Goodwillie, Gay Gibson, Helen Leckie and Tony Gibson assisted the school leaders to dig holes, place fertilizer and mark the seedlings during the wild weather.
“We also explained to the group how preventing erosion from foot traffic on the fragile dunes had been possible with fencing provided by a government grant following the large oil spill on the coast,” Mr Gibson said.
Volunteer Helen Leckie also talked about the need to keep the dunes and ocean plastic free and the critical, worldwide issue of reducing the use of all plastic – which was the subject of the group’s free movie night held in Tickle Park recently.
“We urged the students to arrange to show the film ‘Bag It’ to their school as its’ message is critical for our coastline. To help with this, Coast Care is able to loan the film to interested schools,” Helen said
The energetic and keen young students from the Gold Coast, Gladstone, Redcliffe, Ipswich and Brisbane areas were attending a leadership camp at Luther Heights Youth Camp, Point Arkwright.
“We at Coast Care are very grateful to the group for braving the pelting rain to help protect the dunes and for dedicating their free time for community service,” Mr Gibson said.