Did you know there is a unique habitat in West Torrens that contains the last remaining example of the type of vegetation that was found across the Adelaide Plains before European settlement? Patawalonga Creek was once part of ‘the Reedbeds’, an expanse of wetlands that stretched from Glenelg to the Port Adelaide River and as far inland as Torrensville. The fertile soils and abundant water attracted early settlers to this area, and development followed, with the diverse watercourse of the Patawalonga Creek being contained in suburban concrete canals. There is however, one site that still contains some of the original creek along with the last example of the habitat that used to exist across the Reedbeds.
The existence of this remnant vegetation is quite remarkable when thinking about the impact of European settlement in the area. More recently this land was also reserved for a third runway at the Adelaide Airport, before its high conservation value was realised, and Adelaide Airport Limited is now committed to protecting and rehabilitating this important ecosystem. The habitat contains many significant species of plants, including the last remaining intact area of Swamp Paperbark (Melaleuca), and is an important refuge for aquatic life including tortoises, frogs and waterbirds.
With the support of Adelaide Airport, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) has been assisting with restoration activities at this site, along with the Friends of Patawalonga Creek, for over 10 years. Each week, volunteers from the community are able to join us to undertake practical activities to continue protecting the site from the pressure of surrounding urbanisation, such as reintroducing local plants, weed management and undertaking surveys to gain a better understanding of the different species that are using this habitat.
The mission of CVA is to inspire change by connecting people with nature, and our projects are designed to enable members of the community to join us for a day and make a real difference to conserving our local environment. Each project is managed by an experienced CVA Team Leader, and volunteers do not need any previous experience to be involved in the activities. There is also a project most days of the week, undertaken at various sites across Adelaide, meaning a regular time commitment is not required and volunteers are able to join us whenever they have a free day.
CVA believes that together we can all make a positive difference to the conservation of nature and welcomes the involvement of anyone that would like to participate in our projects. More information about CVA’s projects can be found at www.conservationvolunteers.com.au or by contacting the Adelaide Office on 8352 4111 or [email protected]