The Wolston Creek Bushcare Group meets usually on the 4th Sunday of each month, commencing from 7.30am and working for 2 hours before breaking for morning tea.
Please phone the Jamboree Ward office on 3407 7000 or send an email to the coordinator. The meeting place is the picnic table through the Riverpoint Boulevard entrance.
Reflecting our heritage as activists rather than environmentalists, the membership of Wolston Creek Bushland Group collectively has a somewhat limited knowledge of Australian native flora and its botanical names. We are a very social group and finish every period of work with a cuppa and a sausage sizzle.
Regular members contribute $2.50 per person, $5.00 per family towards the cost, with any excess going towards a Christmas party. Children are more than welcome, and usually enjoy themselves, helping and running around under the watchful eyes of ten or more adults. Interested folk are advised to bring a water bottle and wear a hat and substantial shoes.
Due to the large size of the park, we can only devote ourselves to a small area at the western end where we are weeding, mulching and planting with considerable success in view of the current weather conditions. We have established, under the guidance of one of our members, a fenced experimental regeneration plot. With respect to the rest of the park, we can only keep an eye out for noxious weeds, of which there are not many, luckily enough although the usual weeds associated with grazing land do proliferate. The biggest single problem is the Chinese elm infestation on the banks of the creek, which we are yet to tackle.
Following considerable pestering of ”those who can”, we now have mains water, a picnic table and benches and three kilometres of mown walking tracks. We have an adequate supply of tools, wheelbarrow and hoses and have taken possession of a brush cutter (which will be available for use by all bushcare groups in the ward).
Where and When We Meet
The Wolston Creek Bushcare Group usually meets every 4th Sunday of each month from February to November, commencing at 7.30am. We work for twp hours before breaking for a sausage sizzle. For further information, please send us an email
The Jagera and Turrbal peoples both have links with the area around the present Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve.
Europeans first settled the area in 1851 when Dr Stephen Simpson bought a large property next to the creek, now known as Wolston Creek. In1852 he built Wolston House and established a horse and cattle station. Land lying on both sides of Wolston Creek became part of the large Wolston pastoral estate. In 1865, after a varied and successful career in Queensland, Dr Simpson returned to London.
Matthew Goggs purchased the land in the early 1860's. Wolston Estate was broken up in 1901, subdivided and land on the Centenary side was sold as small farms. On the Wacol side, the 640-acre property, stretching from Grindle Road to Wolston Creek, operated as a dairy farm in first half of 20th century by the Hurley then the Grindle families. On the Centenary side, there were 7 subdivisions into small farms from the mouth of Wolston Creek to Wacol Station Road. The land was used mainly for small crops, including pineapples and bananas on the block extending from the mouth of the creek, some timber-getting and some cattle, maybe dairying.
The Hurley family bought the land from the Grindles in 1956. By this time it was rather run down. The Hurleys ran it as a successful dairy farm with fodder crops. So successful, that the government (Dept of Primary Industries) resumed the property in 1960 to use for animal research.
One of the farmers sold some of the land to the Prison's Department for a prison farm in about 1960.
There was a community campaign to save Wolston house for its historical values and in 1965 it was deeded to the National Trust.
The Wacol Prison, built in 1957, incorporated the land now known as the Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve, as part of the prison farm until its closure in 1999.
A group called Concerned Residents Against More Prisons (CRAMP) initiated by Warner Dakin, who had managed to have the proposed Brisbane Women's Correctional Centre and Wolston Correctional Centre moved from the prison farm reserve to an area on the opposite side of Grindle Road in 1997, were very involved in saving this land as open space after the prison farm closed in 1999. CRAMP made submissions to and worked closely with Julie Attwood, the member for the Mt Ommaney electorate, to save this land as parkland.
At the same time, CDEA, known then as the Centenary Riverfront Advisory Committee, CRAC, took part in a Brisbane City Council project investigating potential public parklands between Blackheath Road in Oxley, in a strip within 500 metres of the Brisbane River bank, to Wolston Creek, Riverhills. Members formed sub-committees to look into possible locations and uses. One area CRAC recommended for public open space was the former prison farm land on the north side of Wolston Creek, where we stand now. In 2003 this land was transferred from the State Government to the Brisbane City Council for parkland. Both community groups contributed to this great outcome.
Later that year, following a bushwalk organised by Cr Felicity Farmer, by a group of local people expressed interest in forming a bushcare group to help manage the area. Felicity approached Warner Dakin to form the Wolston Creek Bushland Group (WCBG) and he was subsequently elected to the job.
The reserve is 56 hectares and at the time was run down cattle land. The bushcare group has worked with the Brisbane City Council and other entities such as Powerlink, SAFElink Alliance and the Community Advisory Committee (local prisons) and Rotary to improve the park. BCC installed water, tables, benches and water storage tanks and repaired the lower dam, which now is home to many birds and provides water for kangaroos and other native animals. Powerlink, working with BCC, provided a storage container and cover for WCBG's tools as well as a table and benches. SAFElink Alliance provided an underground water connection between the two tanks near the WCBG's working area.
In 2008 Cr Matthew Bourke became councillor for Jamboree Ward and the reserve was planted out with thousands of trees under the Lord Mayor's 2 Million Tree Program. The Bushcare group and CDEA both worked with council and the revegetation contractors to determine which areas would be revegetated and which tree species would be used. Hundreds of thousands of trees were planted.
In 2011 Warner Dakin retired as bushcare co-ordinator for the Wolston Creek Bushland Reserve and Julie Vejle, another local resident, took on the job. She continued working with BCC on the 2 Million Trees Program and in rehabilitating the bushland which had by then been declared a Bushland Reserve.
In less than ten years this area of degraded farmland has been turned into a worthwhile tract of bushland that is being rehabilitated at a great rate to the benefit of people and wildlife. It is protected as such for future generations. It is special in that there aren't many urban reserves in Australia where you can go for a walk and be sure of seeing wild kangaroos and wallabies and a good variety of birds.
Before the Park
The land now occupied by the park was for many years part of the Wacol Prison Farm. Following the closure of the prison farm, the State government planned two prisons on the land, a move which was opposed by a group called Concerned Residents Against More Prisons (CRAMP). Eventually the new prisons were sited some distance away, and CRAMP directed its efforts to low level lobbying for all the land to be made a park.
Julie Attwood, by then the State Member of Parliament, conducted surveys and presented the results to Parliament. Finally in 2003 the Government announced plans for 47 hectares, from the houses backing onto the area down to Wolston Creek to become a park under the control of the Brisbane City Council. When then Councillor Felicity Farmer called a meeting to form a bushcare group, several members of CRAMP felt they had an obligation to become involved, and together with other interested local residents formed Wolston Creek Bushland Group, which currently has 17 active members and six very active kids.
About the Park
The park is approximately 1½ kilometers long having an east/west orientation, with a slope downwards from north to south. Mown land, over which high voltage power lines traverse, occupies approximately the northern third of the area. Reflecting its history as “no go” prison land, the park only has entry points at each end off Sumner Road and Riverpoint Boulevard to the west and on the eastern end off Tomkins Road. To the south of the power lines, areas of the park show signs of having been grazing land, with derelict dams and in some areas considerable clearing of the natural wooded land. The remains of barbed wire fences crisscross the park.
For those of a technical mind the park occurs on the terraces and levees of alluvial soils of the Brisbane River, and on the Mesozoic sandstone and shales of the Ipswich basin. The vegetation includes remnant stands of forest red gum and spotted gum, mixed dry sclerophyll, remnant dry rainforest and grassy pasture. A survey of the flora revealed five species uncommon in the Greater Brisbane area, one very uncommon and one very uncommon to rare.