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28 April 2011

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers revegetate North Quay ‘back yard’

On a daily basis, Cooper Grace Ward team members appreciate some of the nicest views Brisbane CBD has to offer with either Roma Street Parklands or the Brisbane River visible from most of their office windows.

Conscious that Brisbane’s visual riches should be enjoyed by everyone, Cooper Grace Ward initiated a community project to revegetate a patch of vacant land along the Brisbane River between the Grey Street Bridge and the John Oxley memorial.

Having identified an area of their ‘back yard’ that would benefit from a little TLC, Cooper Grace Ward made initial inquiries with relevant parties and proposed a revegetation project that Brisbane residents could enjoy. On hearing Cooper Grace Ward’s proposal, the relevant government bodies involved were keen to participate in the project.

Following discussions regarding responsibilities and the consideration of the safety of volunteers and all participants alike, a two-year project program was established which would see the revegetation a patch of land fringing the North Quay bike/walkway, and commit ongoing maintenance from a team of passionate Cooper Grace Ward volunteers.

Cooper Grace Ward Managing Partner Chris Ward said the project, which is part of the firm’s People + Planet initiative, was never about ticking boxes but about having long-term, community-focused strategies to help give back to the communities in which the firm operates.

"When we first floated the idea with Cooper Grace Ward team members, we had more volunteers than we needed for a project of this size," Mr Ward said.

"Under the guidance of Greening Australia, the Cooper Grace Ward ‘green team’, made up of 20 volunteers from across the firm, will provide the regular maintenance the area requires – generally outside of work hours."

The first few months of the project will see ‘green team’ members provide weekly watering and maintenance for the area, with an ongoing program of less frequent maintenance such as monthly weeding and top up mulching once or twice a year. There is also a plan to improve the soil quality by regularly digging in the compost from the bokashi bins used in the firm’s team café – another Cooper Grace Ward sustainability initiative.

"The firm has a strong environmental and sustainable focus and the North Quay project allows us to combine a number of our initiatives in one project," Mr Ward said.

"Corporate sustainability is certainly becoming embedded in the way we do business at Cooper Grace Ward through a range of internally-driven projects and initiatives we’ve implemented.  

"We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint demonstrated by our recent NABERS energy audit assessment rating of 4.5 stars, up from 3 stars during our previous assessment."

The project was launched on Friday 8 April 2011, when the ‘green team’ prepared the area for the planting of more than 300 trees, shrubs and grasses, followed by a thorough mulching and watering of the area.

Braving wet conditions, the initial planting session was a huge success with more than 25 representatives from the organisations involved digging in to get the two-year project underway.

For further Cooper Grace Ward information please contact Lisa Stockwell, Manager – People and Culture on 07 3231 2909 or via [email protected].

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