Projects

The Friends of Escarpment Parks regularly engages with the broader community to foster engagement with and understanding of our bushland escarpment parks.

Publications

Environmental Weeds of the Toowoomba Region authored by John Swarbrick and Kristie Jenkinson was published by the FEP in 2004.    The book identifies and describes 55 weed species, explaining their impacts, control and management. The book has had two printings,  funded by “Caring for Our Country”, an initiative of the Commonwealth of Australia acting through the Department of Environment, Water and Heritage and of Agriculture.

The FEP has published two plant guidebooks for its bushland parks for plant identification. These are Plants of Duggan Park, Toowoomba (2018), Greg Spearritt., and Plants of Charles and Motee Rogers Bushland Reserve Highfields (2021), Lisa Churchward, Patricia Gardner, Peter Macqueen, Steve Plant & Greg Spearritt. 

Plants of Duggan Park, Toowoomba was republished in 2024 in an expanded version as Plants of S.E. Toowoomba’s Bushland Parks. The new edition incorporates information about plants from other S.E. Toowoomba bushland parks. A donation from Range Environmental Consultants has assisted with its publication costs.

Copies of Plants of Southeast Toowoomba’s Bushland Parks are available for $15 from Rob Brodribb – Phone: 0407 124 863 or email: president@fep.org.au.

Hancock Street Park Microforest

In 2022 FEP had a vision to regenerate a neglected parcel of land to create an authentic forest ecosystem that would provide habitat for local species, and contribute to climate cooling and carbon storage. Bev the Park Care coordinator for Hancock St Park and Rob the Park Care coordinator for Nielsen Park identified the perfect location for this project which was a 600m2 plot at the southern end of Hancock St Park, Rangeville. This land belonged to Hancock St Park but had been cleared of all vegetation and was only supporting grass. The location was significant as it could extend the endangered ecosystem of Hancock St Park and provide a wildlife corridor to adjoining private bushland.

FEP applied for a Queensland Government Sustainability Grant, alongside a Toowoomba Regional Council Environment Grant in 2022. We were successful in both and commenced planning the microforest. This process followed the Miyawaki method of mini forest creation. This method creates a climax forest community on barren land through dense planting of all layers of an ecosystem, careful soil preparation and mulching. Plants are then tended by regular watering and weeding for the first one to two years of their life.

We identified the correct species composition for this ecosystem, prepared a plant list and enlisted the support of Crows Nest Community Nursery to grow the plants for us, using local genetic material wherever possible. Planting has taken place in three stages over three major community planting days with over 150 participants in total. Approximately 1500 plants have been planted and the project has been very successful. It is the first project of its type in South East Queensland and is part of the worldwide mini forest movement. Further information is available on the park blog.

Parks Week

Parks Week is an annual Australia wide event celebrating the vital role parks play in enhancing our lives and improving our wellbeing. FEP showcases one of our bushland parks each year, inviting the community to participate in bird, butterfly, plant, and spotlighting walks, and information stalls. The 2024 event was held at J E Duggan Park and also featured a bush kindy experience led by Ms Tiffany Gessler, a proud First Nations woman and a geology talk and walk by Dr Edwin Willey, honorary Senior Lecturer University of Southern Queensland. Our 2023 Parks Week event at Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve featured the book launch of the FEP publication “Plants of Charles and Motee Rogers Reserve” by Greg Spearitt.

Land for Wildlife

Duggan Park, Nielsen Park and Hancock Street Park now have Land for Wildlife status.