For 2 years, Coolum Beach resident Linese Norrish (Coordinator, Watercourse Warriors) walked along a local weed-choked drain in the Lions and Norrie Job Memorial Parks, Coolum, before gathering 6 members of the Coolum and North Shore Coast Care group on Australia Day 2006 to begin the Lions Park/Stumers Creek Watercourse Project. Initially this involved clearing the eastern bank and the drain itself, which was blocked with tall para grass and mud plantain, an aquatic weed. By December 2007, the first 500 metres of the eastern bank had been cleared and planted with lomandras, all due to the efforts of the regular Sunday volunteers.
In August 2007 a Greencorp team laid jutemat on the western bank at the Stumers Creek Road drain outlet, followed by a Maroochy Waterwatch team laying mulch and planting the trees which now provide habitat for a variety of birdlife. The Coolum Beach Lions Club gave generous support with 3 working bees during 2008, and other contributions came from a community service work team, Greening Noosa, and 2 planting bees with Grade 4 students from Coolum Beach Primary School.
It was at that stage that the volunteers changed the name of the drain to ‘Stumers watercourse’, and regarded the area as their ‘botanical gardens’ due to the abundance of shrubs and trees which became home to a variety of birdlife, the occasional kangaroo, goannas and other reptiles.
In 2010 the volunteers claimed the name of ‘Watercourse Warriors’ and started extending their restoration efforts well beyond the initial 500 metres. Due to the initiative of warriors Jim and Terry, the group moved into bushland on the other side of Stumers Creek Road in 2011. Without mechanical assistance, Jim and Terry cleared grass and rubbish from the north side of Stumers Creek Road. 5 years on - more clearing, planting and moving mountains of mulch resulted in a large area restored and maintained by the Watercourse Warriors.
In March 2016 the Watercourse Warriors celebrated their tenth year, and take pride in their significant achievements in enhancing and restoring a kilometre length of watercourse within Stumers bushland conservation reserve. The watercourse extends all the way to Stumers Creek and eventually the Coral Sea. Locals and visitors alike regularly enjoy walking the grassed section bordering the watercourse.
The Watercourse Warriors are part of Sunshine Coast Council's community nature conservation program and are members of Coolum and North Shore Coast Care. The group meet at 8.30am every Monday and Thursday at beach access 71 on Stumers Creek Road. The working bee finishes at 10.30am when the group enjoys a morning tea break before heading home.