New Town Rivulet Rehabilitation
This project received top up funding from Wildcare
Report on the Project
Written by Adrian Blackman
Thanks to a Communities Environment Program grant and a Wildcare grant, the Friends of Wellington Park have recently completed a project to remove weeds and revegetate a section of Hobart’s New Town Rivulet. The upgraded area is part of the New Town Rivulet Park and is quite close to residences. There is a very popular walking track as part of the park so that many people are aware of, and are already benefiting from, this undertaking. Replacement of a weed infested area with a pleasant collection of native plants and associated wildlife like birds is providing passersby with an improved experience.
The City of Hobart has developed the New Town Rivulet Park and Track on council reserve land in the suburb of Lenah Valley. One final badly degraded section filled with blackberries and other invasive plants remained and the Friends of Wellington Park (FOWP) with the support of the City of Hobart won a Federal Government Communities Environment Program grant to rehabilitate this area. Fieldwork for the first part of the project (February, 2020) involved contractors spraying and then clearing an area of approximately 150 metres x 25 metres that was highly infested with blackberries and other weeds beside the New Town Rivulet. Once sprayed and killed, the invasive weeds were slashed and left on the ground to provide mulch and groundcover.
The project’s second fieldwork stage (May 2020) involved revegetating the site by planting Tasmanian native plants—a mix of trees, shrubs and grasses, all occurring naturally in the area. Once established, these plants will provide a suitable habitat for wildlife. The original plan was for FOWP members to do this planting work. Over 420 plants and other required material were purchased but due to restrictions then imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteers were not able to work at the site. Fortunately Wildcare Tasmania came to the rescue and additional funds were provided that enabled contractors to complete the task.
FOWP members will now care for the area for approximately 5 years. Weeds will be controlled and the site maintained until the plantings are mature enough to shade out weeds and survive unassisted. A photographic record of progress is being kept. The project will improve the environment and increase native species. It will also stabilise the river bank and help to reduce rubbish along the rivulet including environmental weeds dumped from local backyards. Local community members (including school children, guides and scouts) will be invited to join the FOWP volunteers in maintaining the site.
We thank Andrew Wilkie for his support by awarding us a Federal Government Communities Environment Program grant ($12,000). Thanks are also given to Wildcare Tasmania for funds ($850). The City of Hobart provided logistical support that is appreciated. FOWP volunteers have contributed their time for project planning, administration and limited field work (equivalent to about $3,800) with more time to be spent working in the next five years due to ongoing site maintenance.