Marrambidya Wetland is springing into life

Published: 20 Sep 2017 9:45am

From a disused sewerage facility to a thriving and award-winning habitat, the Marrambidya Wetland has come a long way in just over two years.

Earthworks began in May 2015, sculpting the ponds and pathways that are now home to various species of birds, fish and frogs.

Now more than 12 months since the wetland’s officially opening in June 2016, Council’s
Team Leader Environment Tony Phelps said there are signs of new life at the site.

“In June last year we released carp gudgeons and now we’ve discovered juvenile fish, which shows us the Marrambidya Wetland is thriving and the fish and other species are starting to breed,” he said.

“It’s also common to see water birds such as egrets, spoonbills and the occasional pelican at the wetland, while we’ve also spotted frogs making their homes in the marshy areas.”

The community can see the ongoing growth of the wetland up close at two special events as part of national biodiversity month. You can grab your torch and head on an adventure at the spotlighting walk on 22 September, with Council staff leading you on a 90-minute walk around the wetland to track down some nocturnal wildlife.

There’s also plenty of fun to be had in daylight hours, with the Marrambidya Wetland Walkabout on 27 September.

During this interactive school holiday activity, Council staff will be on hand to help wade for water bugs, peek in possum nests and identify birds incognito.

“These activities as part of biodiversity month are a great way to experience the Marrambidya Wetland,” Mr Phelps said.

“The wetland is also a beautiful place to visit throughout the school holidays or any time
during the year.

“This new community space has been well used since the opening, from educational school visits to cultural activities for the local Wiradjuri community. Bird watchers are also taking advantage of the wetland and it’s proving to be popular with visitors to the city.

“The Marrambidya Wetland project was also recognised at the Local Government NSW
Environment Awards, winning the division and overall award for Natural Environment Protection and Enhancement.”

Located off Narrung Street, the wetland has links to the Wiradjuri Reserve, Wilks Park and the Riverside Precinct via the Wiradjuri Walking Track.

The Marrambidya Wetland was a joint initiative of Council and the NSW Environmental Trust, with support from Origin Energy and Riverina Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government. The Federal Government’s Green Army program also contributed by planting about 22,000 seedlings.

You can find out more about the wetland and the upcoming biodiversity month events.

Biodiversity month events

Spotlighting Walk
Please wear sturdy, enclosed footwear and warm clothing. Council staff will have spotlights available, but feel free to bring your own torch.
When: Friday 22 September, 7pm to 8.30pm
Bookings essential.

Marrambidya Wetland Walkabout
When: Wednesday 27 September, 10am to noon

About the Marrambidya Wetland
The Marrambidya Wetland is a stunning 20-hectare reserve located alongside the Murrumbidgee River only a few minutes from the city centre. The name 'Marrambidya' was selected to reflect the importance of this site to the local Wiradjuri people and to acknowledge the traditional name of the Murrumbidgee River.
Transformed from the disused treatment ponds of the Narrung Street Sewage Treatment Plant, this site now provides habitat for migratory and non-migratory birds, water insects, frogs, fish, reptiles and mammals such as the locally threatened squirrel glider.  
The wetland is designed to replicate the natural water cycle with flooding during the winter months and dryer, low levels during summer.