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In the Spirit of Cooperation

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It’s been a good season for weeds on Fraser Island. Some heavy falls of rain in June with regular showers for the rest of the month and into early July. Then the sun came out to encourage growth.

The weeds loved it.

So, it was great having extra hands to help get on top of some problem weeds in Eurong’s Residential Valley.

FIDO volunteers were at Eurong in the week of July 21-27 and they gave a morning of their valuable time to help with infestations of basket asparagus (Asparagus aethiopicus) and coral creeper (Barleria repens).

David Anderson had been chipping away at basket asparagus on the road reserve and USL on the ridge between Ungowa Road and the dingo fence for years, but the task was getting beyond him.

Many of the plants were enormous and tangled in the undergrowth. There were also plenty of seedlings which had sprouted in areas where David had previously removed large plants.

On Thursday, July 25, Su Dawson and five men helped David to target the basket asparagus. David had added Brazilian nightshade (Solanum seaforthianum) and Easter cassia (Senna pendula var. glabrata) to the target weed list.

Seven volunteers put in a total of 14 hours removing these and other isolated weeds they found. In the first two hours, they pulled 195 basket asparagus, 52 Brazilian nightshade and 23 Easter cassia (two large plants and seedlings).

Other weeds included: Mother-in Laws tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata), cocos palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana), and Mossman River grass (Cenchrus echunatus).  The team finished in time for morning tea and scones that Marion Anderson had prepared.

After morning tea, work resumed tackling a coral creeper infestation on the road reserve and USL on the corner of Jarvis ad Buffy Streets.  This highly-invasive plant, a native of Africa, has taken a firm hold along the ridge between Eurong’s resort valley and the residential valley.  It has moved out into the USL outside the dingo fence on the edge of the sand ridge.

David has been targeting coral creeper on the ridge on the corner of Jarvis Street and Williams Avenue spraying emerging seedlings by the hundreds on a regular basis.  However, for a variety of issues, he had not been able to get to the corner inside the fence since before Christmas and could not believe how rapidly it had spread.  With the help of the FIDO volunteers, the team pulled countless plants and seedlings in a one-and-a-half-hour blitz.

“There is still much to do, but the efforts of the FIDO volunteers have made the task a lot easier. My thanks for the great weeding work FIDO puts in around Happy Valley and Eurong and especially for the assistance they have given me.”

David Anderson

Article and photos contributed by David Anderson

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