Yarraman Creek flourishing after some TLC
SCOTT and Susan Reilly are living examples of blooming where they've been planted.
The pair moved to Yarraman in 2005 after they fell in love with the town, with the couple now synonymous with a beautiful stretch of Yarraman Creek in the South Burnett.
When they arrived in town, Yarraman was in the grip of a severe drought and the creek hadn't flown since 2001.
As they restored and raised their 1910 cottage, Scott and Susan removed all the environmental weeds and replanted their garden and creek banks with locally native plants, including hundreds of Lomandras.
There are 51 species of Lomandra, all native to Australia and tend to grow well along creeks due to their robust clumping nature.
The plants are important erosion controllers and feature prominently in this story, because apart from naming their renovated home after the native plant the Reilly's gained a whole new respect for them in 2011.
As many locals remember all to well, a flood in January of that year saw local buildings ripped from their foundations and one of them ended up in pieces floating past and narrowly missing the Reilly's home.
Susan said the flood damage was incredible, but it soon brought energy to restore Yarraman Creek to the vision it is today.
"Following the flood, a major creek clean-up was organised by Kevin and Rhonda Butler, enlisting the aid of local Greg Smith's excavator and 20 locals removed flood debris from the creek," she said.
"After a rough start, the tenacious Lomandras continued to grow vigorously protecting the banks of the creek.
It only seemed right for Scott and I to name our home after it. Our team of volunteers then went on to remove dominant weeds and replant native terrestrial and aquatic plant species," Susan added.
Scott and Susan incorporated The Friends of the Yarraman Creek (TFOYC) in August 2012 with the aid of donations.
Today, the not-for-profit group of enthusiastic volunteers continue the riparian restoration of the Yarraman Creek.
Since riparian restoration work started on the creek, native mammal, reptile, bird and fish numbers have increased.
Now, more than 140 bird species have been recorded in the area, including king parrots, tawny frogmouths, black cockatoos and regent bower birds.
The presence of platypuses and echidnas in the creek corridor are also tell-tale signs the waterway and ecosystem are continuing to flourish.
Volunteers from the group work closely with adjoining landholders and Toowoomba Regional Council and other government agencies to provide a cohesive approach in the maintenance of the waterway's health and growth.
It's also proving to be a great tourist attraction.
The work of TFOYC has also attracted support from business sponsors in town.
The Yarraman Community Bank branch of Bendigo Bank is one business that has led the way, and manager Anne Woodrow says the not for profit group and their tireless work is close to the heart of the Yarraman branch.
"The efforts and vision of Scott and Susan and TFOYC is amazing.
"By returning our Community Bank profits to those who support our community just makes sense and we see supporting our local environment and its wildlife is an essential part of living where we live," Anne said.
If you would like any further information about TFOYC or to volunteer, call Scott and Susan Reilly on 4163 8567 or go to their Facebook page www.facebook.com/yarramancreek4614/ to find out more.