Revegetating Goondaloo

Green Thumb: Volunteers at Saturday's tree planting event.

James Cook University’s Goondaloo creek got a green thumb makeover on the weekend with over 200 saplings planted along the banks of the creek.

By Leilani Waters

The Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Inc (CDTLI) and G.J. Gardner Homes got their hands dirty for a tree-planting project along the banks of the Goondaloo Creek* at James Cook University last Saturday.

Volunteers congregated near the Palliative Care Centre of the Townsville Hospital to help plant 225 saplings thanks to the generous donation from the Fifteen Trees Organisation.


Green Thumb: Volunteers at Saturday's tree planting event.

Green Thumb: Volunteers at Saturday’s tree planting event.

Community Revegetation Coordinator of CDTLI Kim Sellars says the event is just the beginning of a larger project.

“The event on Saturday is a small part of a big plan for the little creek.

“It begins a large scale project of rehabilitation through mitigation and revegetation,” Kim says.

The CDTLI maintains revegetation sites throughout the Townsville region encouraging community participation and environmental education.

“The creek has been suffering from major erosion issues as developmental pressures and clearing,” she says.

“Revegetating the creek banks will reduce erosion and create a more stable bank – ensuring the creek remains the important passage way for many local species that is today.”

Manager of TropEco, Adam Connell says these kinds of events are crucial to enhancing natural ecosystems.

“Goondaloo Creek plays an important role in providing habitat and refuge for flora and fauna on campus so it’s important for our staff and students to give something back to the campus environment,” Adam says.

“These tree planting events are a perfect way to do so and they make a remarkable difference to the functioning of the natural creek system over time.”

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 11.30.05 AMTropEco has undertaken many tree-planting projects on Goondaloo and Wadda Mooli Creeks that are both located on the Townsville campus.

“We teamed up with Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare to plant about 300 natives near the Nursing Science building a couple of years ago and last year we planted 500 eucalypts below the foot bridge to Vet Sciences,” Adam says.

The planting project was supported by the Fifteen Trees organization that is dedicated to helping ‘individuals and businesses to reduce their carbon footprint by supporting tree planting in rural Australia.’

“This is the first time CDTLI has worked with the organisation, but [we are] very grateful for the opportunity and [are] looking forward to further engagements,” Kim says.

To find out more about CDTLI, fifteen trees, or TropEco events around Townsville you can visit their respective websites.


* Goondaloo means emu country in the Wulgurukaba language. Wulgurukaba is the language spoken by the Wulgurukaba Peoples who are the custodians whose land and sea encompass the Townsville region.

Goondaloo Creek originates in Mount Stuart and runs down the southern side of the University. It continues on through the hospital, under University Drive and into the Ross River at the Palmetum. The Creek is an important wildlife corridor that gives protection to plants and animals in this significant habitat.

Goondaloo Creek was named at a ceremony held on 21 April 2010 to coincide with the 40th anniversary of JCU.