Before and after photos of Patawalonga Creek

Adelaide Airport, Patawalonga Creek and Vernal Pools Community Restoration Project

Our Adelaide office has been working closely with Adelaide Airport for over 10 years. Our current partnership focuses on protecting and rehabilitating the Vernal Pools and Patawalonga Creek conservation zones – two of Adelaide’s unique environmental sites.

Patawalonga Creek was once part of ‘the Reedbeds’, an expanse of wetlands that stretched over the Adelaide Plains. The creek 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 just 10min from the City.

The Vernal Pool is an ephemeral pool (temporary body of water) formed over millions of years that provides habitat for specialised plants and invertebrates that have evolved specifically to survive the seasonal changes that occur in these pools. The species that live here are adapted for the temporary pools that form during winter and spring, as a result of the waterproof structure of the soil retaining water longer than the surrounding land, as well as the extended dry periods that occur over the summer months. The cycle of life in these pools is therefore fragile, but extraordinary.

Through the amazing work of our volunteers and team leaders, we are well on the way to restoring these gems of Adelaide through our community driven projects.

Over the last year alone our volunteers have achieved the following:

  • 14,000 volunteer hours put into both sites

    Volunteer at Patawalonga Creek

    A volunteer removes invasive weeds along Patawalonga Creek

  • Cleared 200m of Kikuyu infested creek removing 80 tonnes of grass
  • Conducted 89 surveys (birds, fish, bats, plants, frogs and lizards) to increase the knowledge of species diversity of both sites.
  • Established a purpose nursery to provide and propagate plants for both sites propagating 5,500 plants
  • Weed mapped both properties and created GIS (geographic information system) maps to help with weed management
  • Developed external partnerships with Universities and TAFE to work on the sites to educate students
  • Installed a walking trail through Patawalonga Creek and opened the site up to the public for the first time

The Adelaide office is proud of the work we have completed in partnership with Adelaide Airport. However the work is far from done, and we will be working hard with our volunteers to turn these sites into examples of what volunteers can achieved in conservation.

To find out more contact our Adelaide office at [email protected]