We recently published our 2014-15 Sustainability Report. You can view it here (PDF). Below is the Report from our President Mik Petter that forms part of the report.
Message from Mik Petter, B4C President
Sustainability of nature is the core goal of the Bulimba Creek Coordinating Catchment Committee (B4C). For nature to be sustained it requires an effort that must span many hundreds of years. Because of this fact inter-generational renewal of our mission, values, goals and understandings is a vital task for the B4C.
B4C’s vision is to create a web of green across the catchment. B4C seeks to engage people and build community capacity to become actively involved in restoring natural landscapes, habitat and nature conservation values through on ground opportunities, education and advocacy. We are seeking a future for our wildlife, water and people. B4C was formed on the basis that what we could not do alone as individuals and smaller groups, we could do together.
For almost 20 years we have worked towards that goal building a strong financially independent community organisation and social enterprise. We have worked with partners at three levels of government to protect over 250 ha of valuable urban bush land. We have mobilised the community to also restore, repair and plant a similar area. We have brought wildlife back to areas and had plants unseen for a century reappear. Since early 2000 we have implemented the largest coastal wetland rehabilitation project in Queensland at the Bulimba Creek Oxbow in the lower creek.
In 2014/15 we:
- Worked on 160 sites across the catchment and greater Brisbane.
- Planted over 25,000 trees.
- Propagated over 10,000 seedlings and cuttings at our community nursery.
- Had over 32,000 hours put in by 2,600 volunteers (including nursery, field, water testing, office, research, community events, Habitat Brisbane, Green Army, students, corporate groups, Scouts and Guides).
- Conducted 47 events and open days including our inaugural “In Our Hands” art show
- Helped establish a community nurseries network across the wider region
- Used part of our surpluses to make a social investment of securing 120ha of koala habitat adjacent to the World Heritage area of Mt Barney National Park
- Raised over 80% of our income from our social enterprise activities.
We continue to provide a supportive, participatory and meaningful workplace for our employees and volunteers. We try in every way to minimise the ecological footprints of our activities.
The B4C is confronted by an economic and political system that undervalues natural systems. The results of centuries of this sort of economic activity have left the natural areas of Bulimba Creek in a degraded state. A majority of its waterways are degraded and its bushland areas are severely reduced in size and in a highly fragmented state. This business as usual approach has widespread political support. B4C’s members and allies have, despite these challenges to sustainability, led a community campaign to slow down and in some areas reverse the damage being done to our natural areas.
Our challenge for the next 5 years is to manage our investments and commercial activities to build a solid financial base to ensure our long term future as an organisation. In parallel with this financial strategy we must strengthen, renew and expand our membership, staff and management. We have been able to attract and nourish a new generation who will be the future doers, thinkers and leaders of the B4C and who share the passion and vision to keep building our web of green.
Through our Sustainability Centre, Community Nursery, School Outreach Program, Ecosystem Service Unit, the Brisbane Catchments Network and affiliated Bushcare groups we are constantly promoting and doing things that will make our communities and society more sustainable and protect our catchments nature forever.