The Committee’s vision for Jerrabomberra Wetlands points to considerable work ahead to enhance the Wetland’s environment and experience. A large number of individuals and organisations are involved in planning and implementing these enhancements.
A Concept Plan is being prepared by the Management Committee for Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve. It sets out a long-term vision for the development of Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve. The ACT Government has committed $2.341 million for the development and implementation of this plan and the Capital Woodland and Wetlands Conservation Trust has been established to raise additional capital from the corporate and private sectors to help implement it. The availability of funds from these sources will determine the timing of the Concept Plan’s implementation.
Implementation of the Concept Plan’s vision will need to adapt to Jerrabomberra’s changing environment. For example, the interface along the south-western boundary of the Reserve will respond to the form of the East Lake development as it is finalised. This development will bring high density housing to the boundary of the Reserve and poses a number of management challenges and opportunities.
The Concept Plan builds on the Plan of Management detailing approaches to address management objectives, and outlines a suite of proposed capital works, including:
- Enhancements to the wetland environment to protect existing habitats and create new ones, which meet objectives such as attracting a wider range of wetland fauna of regional, national and international significance;
- Development of additional terrestrial ecosystems and habitats, such as woodlands, to attract a greater diversity of non-wetland species;
- Opportunities to deliver world-class visitor infrastructure that could facilitate an excellent visitor experience through the use of technology and design ingenuity, without overwhelming the natural environment. This includes new boardwalks, low impact trails and signage to draw visitors to engage in a new wetlands experience;
- A multi-use visitor hub has been proposed to greet visitors on arrival which includes a staffed information centre, commercial café and multi-purpose presentation and meeting spaces; and
- Environmental guidelines for capital works, landscaping, vegetation management strategies and artificial lighting protocols.
The Concept Plan is expected to be completed during 2015. An initial report, Resources and Values of Jerrabomberra Wetlands , has already been finalised to underpin the concept plan design phase just commenced.
Some of the numerous achievements of recent years include:
- Installation of walking track markers throughout the Reserve
- Refurbishment of the Dairy Road car park with new surface, landscaping and a shelter
- Construction of a 160m boardwalk and gravel paths to complete the loop around Kellys Swamp
- Refurbishment of all bird hides to make them more “user friendly”. Works included removing some walls, cleaning, painting and new interpretive signage
- Replacement of a 6 m metal footbridge on the Woodland Walk
- Removal of almost 2 km of redundant fencing
- Construction of 1.8 km of fencing to exclude livestock from the banks of the Molonglo River
- Establishment of photomonitoring points throughout the Reserve
- Removal of willows and alder along sections of Jerrabomberra Creek and replanting with reeds to create habitat for Lathams Snipe
- Assessment of the extent and management options regarding asbestos in the vicinity of the old Birrigai Outdoor School
- Mapping the existing native and exotic vegetation of the Reserve, critical to designing our revegetation and weed programs
- Development of a website for the Jerrabomberra Wetlands
Riverbank Restoration Phase III – UNDERWAY
Some riparian areas along Molonglo River and the Causeway Channel are being rehabilitated to improve their habitat and aesthetic values. This area is highly visible and work is underway to poison, fell and remove the invasive willow, alder and poplar species which have become established in the area. Replanting of the area with native species will commence during Autumn 2015.
Short History of Jerrabomberra Wetlands – UNDERWAY
A short history of the wetlands is being compiled to bring together the numerous Indigenous and European stories, images and other materials related to the Wetlands. This will result in a small booklet, a seminar presentation and some interpretive materials for the future. Already the project has yielded important information regarding a WWI training site located within the Reserve.
Causeway Channel Weir Feasibility Study – UNDERWAY
A small weir is proposed for the Causeway Channel to seperate it from permanent lake water. This would allow water levels to fluctuate more naturally in the area allowing for better management of both native and exotic species of flora and fauna.
Walking Track Markers – COMPLETED
Work is underway to install markers around Kellys Loop, Billabong Trail and Woodland Loop. These are a steel post with a coloured disc (yellow for Kellys Loop, blue for Billabong Trail and orange for Woodland Loop) which also matches the website maps.
Dairy Road Car Park Refurbishment – RECENTLY COMPLETED
Work is underway on the refurbishment of Dairy Road car park, presently the main vehicular entrance into Jerrabomberra Wetlands. The car park has suffered from drainage and pavement issues and the refurbishment will also improve the design and look of the area. It is expected to reopen the carpark for Christmas.