Downfall Creek Bushland Center celebrates 30 years

BODHI CUTLER

McDowall’s Downfall Creek Bushland Center is currently celebrating an impressive 30-year anniversary, and it’s just as popular ever.

The Downfall Creek Bushland Center

The Downfall Creek Bushland Center is home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. Photo: Brisbane City Council

The center, which was opened in 1988 by former Brisbane Lord Mayor Sallyanne Atkinson, is Brisbane’s longest running environmental center.

Since opening Downfall Creek Bushland Center, which is home to state-of-the-art facilities for environmental learning, has become a staple attraction for Brisbane’s north side residents.

The center gives visitors the chance to walk or ride through the different habitats of Raven Street Reserve, which boasts 115 bird species as well as wallabies and other native wildlife.

There are walking trails for all ages and abilities, including a Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail, plus picnic areas, a playground and interactive displays, as well as curriculum-based environmental learning programs for schools.

Councillor Norm Wyndham, who has overseen the McDowall ward for 14 years, said the center was an important part of the history of the area.

“It’s important to have a space like this in our suburbs,” he said.

As both an avid user of the bushland in the area and a former primary school teacher, Cr Wyndham said children were the ones who had most benefitted from the center.

“It’s been such a great place for children to learn about the environment and the importance of being outdoors,” he said.

Cr Wyndham said the Brisbane City Council was committed to overseeing the purchasing and repurposing of more bushland over the next 12 months, in a bid to increase the percentage of Brisbane that is bushland from 32 per to close to 40 per cent.

“We are continuing to retain land and local parks in the area to make Brisbane a city full of green for the benefit of our future generations,” Cr Wyndham said.

Students on tour at Downfall Creek Bushland Centre

Local students get in touch with nature during a tour at Downfall Creek Bushland Center. Photo: Brisbane City Council

Local schools make use of the Downfall Creek Bushland Center throughout the year as part of their science curriculum to learn about local wildlife and animal habitats.

McDowall State School Deputy Principal David Pedwell, who has overseen 15 years of school excursions to the centre, said the school’s annual excursion represented a valued learning experience that was a favourite for teachers, students and parents.

“We have worked closely with staff at the centre to complement key curriculum topics and extend our students’ environmental studies across Years Four and Five,” Mr Pedwell said.

“This enables students to better appreciate the native flora and fauna found in the school grounds and local area,” he said.

Mr Pedwell said staff from the Downfall Creek Bushland Center also visited the school to work with the students.

“This makes the learning at the centre more relevant to the students,” he said.

“I anticipate that the McDowall State School partnership with the Downfall Creek Centre will continue well into the future.”

Students aren’t the only ones benefitting from the bushland center, which has grown into a popular destination for young families on Brisbane’s north side.

Downfall Creek Bushland Center Senses Trail

The Senses Trail encourages visitors to listen, smell, see and touch as they explore the all-abilities trail. Photo: Brisbane City Council

McDowall resident Steven Franklin, who moved to the area with his family in 2017, said the park has been a fantastic area to teach his children about the wildlife.

“When we moved here, the council had just released some updates to the park and we were excited to make use of the venue with two younger kids,” Mr Franklin said.

“It’s important to make the most of the outdoors, and Brisbane is perfect for that.”

The Bushland Center is open from Monday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm and includes a brand new 30th-anniversary exhibit.

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