5 June 2015
The first new butterflies have spread their wings in a garden specifically designed to attract them to the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Sippy Downs campus.
The joint project of USC and the Innovation Centre will be officially opened by USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill at 10am this Sunday 7 June as part of the World Environment Day Festival, which is open to the public.
Professor Hill said the Butterfly Garden, located outside the Innovation Centre building, was one of many ongoing conservation initiatives to beautify and sustain the 100-hectare campus.
The Innovation Centre’s Finance and Operations Manager Paul Lloyd, also a keen ecologist and conservationist, incorporated 45 plant species from local nurseries into the garden design.
The ground covers, shrubs, small trees and vines were planted in November 2014 and have now become established, providing visitors with recent butterfly sightings.
Professor Hill said people had spotted Common Grass Blue butterflies around the Emu Foot ground cover and Large Grass Yellow butterflies around the native coffee bushes.
Of the 200 butterfly species known in south-east Queensland, 90 have been seen regularly on the Sunshine Coast.
Thousands of people are expected at the 2015 World Environment Day Festival from 10am to 4pm, with plenty of fun educational activities, food and entertainment.
In the Red Tent from 11am to noon will be 10 USC academics and students giving short, punchy presentations on their latest environment-related research findings.
— Julie Schomberg