Work on the original site on Turtle Bridge began in 1998 by volunteers from the local community, forming the Marabou Drive Revegetation Group. The group was supported by the Tropical Urban Landcare Production Group (now CDTLI) and Townsville City Council’s Environmental Planning Services. The group undertook weed removal and tree plantings to revegetate the creek and drainage channel from the Marabou Pump Station to the Ross River. The project has been extremely successful and is largely self-sustaining. The biodiversity and habitat opportunities of the area have increased, the creek and river banks have stabilised and native vegetation is self-regenerating. The site is still monitored by volunteers.
A new Marabou Drive project was launched in August 2010 and nicknamed “Turtle Bridge”. The new site is located downstream from the original site, on the bank of the river near the turtle bridge. A planting day was held on National Tree Day (1 August 2010) where the amazing staff from Sullivan Nicholaides Pathology, Townsville planted 1050 trees! What a fantastic effort! Prior to the planting day the site was virtually devoid of native vegetation and dominated by Para grass, Singapore daisy and Leucaena.
The site is also an important nesting site for the freshwater turtles of the river, as the sandy river bank provides an ideal place to lay eggs. One of the species found on the site is the Krefft’s River Turtle, with nesting taking place between October and January.