RESTORING A WATERCOURSE – THE BEGINNING
The cluster walk program which began in 2009 led to an appreciation within the group of the serious weed infestation issues along the entire length of Sixth Creek.
This motivated the group to develop a program template to inspire local communities along the watercourse to take responsibility for cleaning up ‘their patch’.
Our first opportunity to commence this program came in 2011-12 when the Group received State Government funding of $29,000 to start work on the restoration of a 500 metre long length of the creek. This section runs through 3 private titles and is accessible from Merchants Road in Basket Range . It was initially infested with impenetrable willows, broom and blackberry.
The first grant funded the preparation of a Management Plan – the Sixth Creek Merchants Road Riparian Zone Management Plan. The Sixth Creek Merchants Road Riparian Zone Management Plan was updated in 2019 and replaces the first plan, as a resource to inform and guide the work to be carried out by volunteers and environmental contractors.
PROJECT FUNDING AND PROGRESS
Since that time the project has been supported by several additional State Government grants. These allocations have funded works beyond the resources of volunteers, such as extensive weed spraying and professional poisoning and felling of large willow trees, and inspired ongoing participation by the community.
Further practical assistance was provided by the federally funded Green Army program in 2015-2016.
There have been numerous working bees attended by many enthusiastic volunteers comprising local landholders and community members. Work undertaken includes removal of debris from the watercourse, native plant propogation from local seed and revegetation plantings.
The working bees have been fully documented on the group’sFacebook page.
Through these ongoing efforts this exceptional section of the creek has been transformed from a weed infested inaccessible watercourse to a local asset that is increasingly popular with families taking advantage of new picnic areas and a natural swimming hole.
This project has inspired two similar projects downstream, the Burdetts Scrub Restoration project and the LowerSIxth Creek Restoration Project.