Farm Wetlands Project – all washed-up, but celebrating!

Ken & Jill checking the ducks on the dam.
Ken & Jill checking the ducks on the dam

Our two-year project to improve the quality of local wetlands here in the northern Strathbogies has wound up. The project had a very positive and constructive impact on the two local communities involved- Swanpool and Warrenbayne-Boho and the local environment. There will still be posts about some of our project-activities eg. water quality and fauna monitoring, but it’s time to officially close the project, summarize outcomes and thank all participants.

We exceeded all the goals originally set for the project – overall, it was a great success.

Project activities included:

  • 20 landholders and wetlands were actively involved in the project
  • 21.35 ha of farm wetland and surrounding habitat were protected & improved
  • 3 km fencing constructed or rehabilitated
  • 3500+ seedlings planted (trees, shrubs, aquatic)
  • Six major community events and several minor events were run, showing people what farm wetlands could actually achieve and presenting the broader results of the project.

    At the Holmes' chain of ponds wetland, Lima.
    At the Holmes’ chain of ponds wetland, Lima
  • Many tonnes of logs were installed in wetlands
  • 20 Nestboxes installed
  • Camera & audio surveys were conducted at more than 20 farm wetlands
  • More than 170 people, from near and far, were involved in project activities
  • We determined the distribution of six local species of frog
  • Water quality surveys (macroinvertebrates, water-chemistry, Ecoli etc) were conducted at 16 project-wetlands
  • We produced a series of four short videos

Thanks go to the marvelous Community Coordinators Deb Hill, Deb Holmes, Helen Repacholi & Jill Breadon and the dynamic local Landcare communities of Warrenbayne-Boho & Swanpool. The fact that the Community Coordinators were drawn from these local communities has much to do with the project’s success.

The Swanpool Crew preparing to plant at the Hillis property.
The Swanpool Crew preparing to plant at the Hillis property

The project Steering Committee provided a solid foundation  and path for the project to follow. Thanks to Simon Casanelia (GBCMA), Dave Smith (DEPI) for providing an Agency perspective, Mel Addinsal (Gecko CLaN Landcare Network) for admin. support and community members Ian Herbert, Janine Washusen, Heather Thomas and Christine Holmes.

A variety of farm wetlands were protected and enhanced, from traditional farm dams, to perched bogs and seasonal herbaceous wetlands.

Perhaps most rewarding was seeing how enthusiastic many of the landholders became, once they saw the opportunities the project provided. Our wetland-walks attracted people from far and wide and other community groups eg. birdwatchers, are now also starting to visit these sites. Three of the project-wetlands are ‘official’ project demonstration sites and we plan to organize return visits every year or two.

Above all, we need to thank the enthusiasm of local landholders that made this project so enjoyable and successful for all involved. Let’s hope we can keep building on the momentum that’s developed around this project and help more landholders create lots more healthy, farm wetlands.

For background on the project click here

The Murray demonstration wetland at Lima.
The Murray demonstration wetland at Lima
Alan Neander's wetland with recently planted Water Plantain.
Alan Neander’s wetland with recently planted Water Plantain
At the Holmes' chain of ponds wetland, Lima.
At the Holmes’ chain of ponds wetland, Lima