Native Plants Queensland's Mackay Branch has been vigorously promoting the aims of our association ever since its formation in 1978. Thousands of plants have been propagated, publications have been produced, members have served as advisors to many government and non-government organisations and have volunteered for surveys and on-ground projects. None of this would be possible without the wealth of shared knowledge within the membership and expertise in fields such as nursery procedures, gardening under a variety of conditions, orchids, ferns, regional ecosystems, rare and threatened species, rehabilitation and even weed identification and control.
Attend a Meeting
Mackay branch meetings are held from 7.30pm on the first Thursday of each month at the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens (MRBG) meeting room, Lagoon St, Mackay.
There are presentations, either by guest speakers or members, which are diverse, educational and entertaining. The Show & Tell segment, where members share (and sometimes brag about) specimens from their gardens or properties is quite popular. The evening closes with supper and plant raffle. A comprehensive botanical library is also available for members to peruse and borrow from. Meetings are interesting and enjoyable and visitors are welcome!
Propagation Group Nursery sessions
These are usually held from 7.30am on the last Thursday morning of each month at the branch's nursery at Queens Park. The main objective of the group is to grow and promote native species suitable for local conditions, for members, public plant sales and for special projects. Excursions to collect seed and propagating material are also held from time to time and members can purchase our plants all year round! Many species have been introduced to horticulture through the efforts of the Propagation Group. The Branch emblem and logo, the Mount Blackwood Holly Graptophyllum ilicifolium, a vulnerable local species, was first offered for sale to the public by the Mackay Branch in 1991.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens (MRBG), the Herbarium team meet each month to collect, press and process voucher and duplicate specimens from the Botanic Gardens living collection.
Over the years these have included a rainforest planting at CQUni; a revegetation plot on the Pioneer River; a rehabilitation project at the Lagoons funded by the Federal Government; a revegetation project on Newry Island and vegetation surveys on Newry and the Percy Isles. In 2017, the Mackay Branch was readily involved with the revamp of the much loved Lamberts Beach Lookout, which had a whale viewing platform added to its clifftop. The Mackay Branch surveyed, collected and propagated vegetation from the site prior to works and worked in conjunction with the Mackay Regional Council’s Natural Environment Centre and Pioneer Catchment Landcare to landscape the site upon completion of works.
Submissions, plant lists and information has been provided for numerous proposal and projects within the district. The branch has also been represented on many Local, State and Federal Government advisory groups. Above all, there has been the long-standing and ongoing commitment to support the development of the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens (MRBG) by providing plants, volunteers, information and advice. This commitment has been formalised by Memorandum of Understanding between the Mackay Branch and MRBG. The Regional Forest was developed by the Mackay Branch and continues to be maintained through monthly working bees.
The Mackay Branch and MRBG also have an Understanding with the Australian National Botanic Gardens (ANBG). There has been information exchange and plants from Mackay have been provided to the ANBG for their Living Collection.
Excursions and Social Activities
Excursions and social activities are held from time to time and are advertised in the newsletter. The Mackay Branch and Birdlife Mackay have a close association and the monthly Birdlife outings are open to our members. The Christmas celebration is usually a combined event.
Benefits of Mackay Branch Membership
For further information, contact the Secretary or find us on Facebook (links at the top of this page), and/or attend a meeting as a guest - just introduce yourself on arrival so that you can be welcomed.
Public plant sales
We now have two plant sales per year. The first is at the Farleigh State School Annual Palm Fete, usually on the 3rd Sunday in May. We also have a stall at the Mackay Orchid Extravaganza, held at Queens Park, via Goldsmith Street, usually on the 3rd weekend in September. As well as promoting the use of Australian native plants, information relevant to local growing conditions is also provided to clients.
We welcome visitors to our branch meetings—you'll find we're a friendly group!
An invitation to you
Are you are interested in learning more about Australian plants, and how to grow native plants suitable for your home garden or local community project? Would you like to support the conservation of our native plants and their habitats?
You are welcome to attend a meeting as a visitor and learn about Native Plants Queensland membership.