History of Osprey House

1994, Pine Rivers Shire Council commissioned consultants EDAW to prepare an Environmental Assessment Management Study over Mango Hill and Griffin. That study identified a need for public education on the importance of the wetlands surrounding Hay’s Inlet and the Pine Estuary. Two councillors at that time, Jeremy Ryman and Bev McClymont came up with the idea of an Environmental Education Centre within the wetlands on the site where Osprey House now stands. Osprey House Site Pre-cleanup January 1996The Centre was established on a neglected piece of road reserve abutting the Pine Estuary. In the 1970’s, the Main Roads Department had used the site as a soil stockpile while they were constructing the Bruce Highway. Osprey House now sits on what remained. The site was in a sorry state when Jeremy and Bev first set their eyes on it. Littered with old car bodies, mud washing into the mangroves, garden and household refuse, all combining to make it an unsightly place. Local builder Alex Fanning and his team were contracted to build the building. Alex had experience building pole houses and soon became a passionate participant in the project, suffering a heart attack during the construction, even that could not keep him away from the place. Such was the appeal, everyone who became involved, could not help but be caught up in the excitement this magic building generated as it grew from an untidy hill of soil overgrown with exotic weeds into a sight even the hardest of souls could not help but enjoy.Osprey House Build February 1996The pace was fast, construction commencing on 8th January 1996 and the first stage, which included the building and boardwalk behind the mangroves opened to the public on 18th March 1996 in time for the RAMSAR Convention. Financing the Centre was not easy, with Council showing little commitment to funding major environmental projects, the two councillors decided to allocate around $300,000 from their own Divisional budgets, with another $50,000 coming from the full Council. They knew that is they were going to complete the Centre they would need help outside Council. Gary Johns, the then Federal Member for Petrie, was approached; like everyone who became involved, Gary fell in love with the idea and vigorously sought out Federal funds. The funding application was successful and, on 2nd February 1996, $234,000 was added to the project. By July 1996 when the boardwalks, amphitheatre and bird hide were completed, around $600,000 had been spent.Osprey House March 1996The Centre is now fully funded by the Moreton Bay Regional Council with a team of dedicated volunteers, originally formed by Council in March 1996, carrying out the day to day operation.Osprey House is a special place, it was born out of the drive, determination and passion of a small group of people. In 2005 Osprey House became a member of the Land for Wildlife program. Later in 2005 a program to install nest boxes, in conjunction with Hollow Log Homes, resulted in 16 boxes being installed across the Centre.

 

On 30th August, 2006 the Pine Rivers Shire Council installed a man made nesting platform at the eastern end of the Osprey House car park. The nesting platform was built on a 21 metre high pole and provides a safe and secure nesting site. The platform is equipped with a monitoring camera which provides a bird's eye view of any birds that nest or roost on the platform. This can be viewed from a monitor located inside Osprey House. The nesting site was pre-prepared with sticks to help attract prospective breeding pairs.

In July 2008 Osprey House had 12 solar panels installed generating an average of eight kilowatts of green power per day.

In November 2008 Moreton Bay Regional Council announced that Osprey House Environmental Centre was to be extended. The extension to Osprey House commenced in late November and was completed by Australia Day weekend in 2009. The new extensions included increased areas available for displays, a new 32 seat theatrette for the viewing of environmental programs, meetings and workshops and enlarged toilet facilities to accommodate the growing number of visitors to the Centre.

In 2009 new interpretive signs were installed on the Amphitheatre (for raptors) and Kingfisher Lookout (for shorebirds) and along the boardwalk (for mangroves).

In January 2010 a new raptor nesting platform camera was installed that produces higher quality images plus has pan and zoom features. The nesting platform display and the migratory bird displays within the House were also updated.

2012 saw the upgrade of our BBQ and picnic area to make it more user friendly to all who visit Osprey House. It also now boasts a new “picnic area outdoor classroom” that we can use when schools visit.

2013 has recently given the carpark a much needed facelift. No longer rocky and dusty we now have bitumen and gates. This will improve our visitors experience to the centre during the day and protect the centre after hours.