Can old dams become valuable wetlands? A project in Stringybark Reserve, Jerrabomberra is showing how.

We spent a couple of hours on Sunday morning walking through sections of the reserve with a small group to check out a project Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council is undertaking in partnership with the Molonglo Conservation Group.

A couple of old farm dams are being rehabilitated and revegetated to improve their conservation values. In the case of the larger dam, a side had to be re-made to stop the dam collapsing. A drainage system, designed to stop turtles and frogs getting trapped, has been installed, enabling the dam / wetland to fill to a certain height while controlling the velocity of the water flowing through it and downhill.  This reduces the risk of erosion.

We helped to scatter over the water surface seeds of a common wetland reed, phragmites, which provides habitat for nesting ducks, heron and egrets. Birds also feed on the stalks and seeds of young plants.

There was good growth of Allocasuarina on the hills. This tree species is a critical food source for glossy black cockatoos, a threatened species. There were also great views from the top of the ridge; we could see east to the hills beyond Googong dam, west to the Brindabellas and south to Namadgi.

Local Landcare volunteers and other residents meet each month to restore and protect Stringybark Reserve and other natural areas of Jerrabomberra.

The reserve is managed by QPRC and is part of a wildlife corridor comprised of multiple adjoining properties of different tenure including Crown land, private property and Native Title.

It’s vital that we protect our natural areas, especially plant communities that are now rare and endangered like grassy box-gum woodland. They provide habitat for native wildlife including threatened species, store carbon, slow down wind speed, reduce erosion, and are places for people to enjoy.

Greens on QPRC will make protecting our local environment a priority.

Authorised by Sylvia Hale for The Greens NSW, Suite D, 263-279 Broadway, GLEBE NSW 2037.