Rangelands NRM Blog, News & Resources

Bushtucker trail heals community and bay

Local community have transformed a walkway in Broome into a bushtucker trail, restoring the habitat and keeping the stormwater drain clean and green.

This project was led by the Roebuck Bay Working Group (RBWG), Shire of Broome and Parks and Wildlife Service Yawuru Rangers, with funding support from State NRM and Rangelands NRM through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

Filmmaker Paul Bell, documented the project in his short film, aptly named ‘Bushtucker trail heals community and bay’.

The film shows an uplifting story of community, local government, indigenous rangers and a community group working together to spruce up a neglected walkway and stormwater drain.

“Communities can be fragile and if a popular walkway becomes degraded by litter and anti-social activity, people stop using the area,” Kandy Curran, the Project Manager of Roebuck Bay Working Group said.

“This project has delivered a win-win on all fronts,” she said.

“The pride and joy on the children’s faces, as they plant bush tucker trees along the McMahon walkway in Broome is incredibly uplifting to watch.”

The McMahon walkway has now got a beautiful bush tucker trail growing vigorously between the footpath and stormwater drain. It has been cleared of litter, prickles, weeds and garden waste.

“Roebuck Bay is cleaner, with less litter and nutrients flowing through the stormwater drain into the embayment when it rains,” Ms Curran said.

Ms Curran said the Shire of Broome and Parks and Wildlife Service Yawuru Rangers have done an outstanding job.

“Together, they have helped hundreds of local children plant endemic plants beside a walkway and stormwater drain, and in so doing, restoring habitat and community pride in a popular recreational area.”

“As well as the native plantings, the footpaths have been repaired, the plants reticulated and mulched and the area control burned,” she said.

To ensure the walkway and stormwater drain are kept clean and green, the Roebuck Bay Working Group developed the short film ‘Bushtucker trail heals community and bay’ to show in the schools that participated.

In addition, fridge magnets and a letter have been being delivered to homes surrounding the McMahon walkway in Cable Beach Estate.

“What we are hoping to see is community ownership of the walkway and over time, the stormwater drain colonised by the native plants, which will slow and absorb the nutrients.” Ms Curran said.
She said if successful, then this community driven project can be replicated in other stormwater drains to reduce pollutants entering Roebuck Bay.

“Nutrients feed the blue-green Lyngbya blooms that have been worsening in Roebuck Bay over recent years, so projects to reduce stormwater drainage impacts on Broome’s beautiful coastal waters are good news.

Image: Hundreds of young people planted bush tuckers and Kimberley native plants. Here Yawuru Ranger Curtin Robinson works with two of the children. (©RBWG)