As we are all encouraged to reduce, reuse and recycle these days, the Parkes Shire Council is leading the way finding a new purpose for its decommissioned effluent ponds.
The former Parkes Sewage Treatment Plant effluent ponds will be transformed into a functional artificial wetland over the next two years.
With funding from the NSW Environmental Trust, preliminary works have started at the ponds site along Akuna Road. Earth works and revegetation will be carried out to create habitats for a range of water bird species and other animals, as well as a natural area for the community to enjoy birdwatching.
“Wetlands are considered one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems, containing a wide diversity of plant and animal life,” said Parkes Shire Council’s Director Infrastructure, Andrew Francis. “They support plants that are found nowhere else, and are a haven for amphibians, reptiles, birds, insects, and mammals.”
The project will focus on the construction of the wetland and revegetation with local native plants, the creation of various wetland features to provide varying habitat elements to cater for different species. The wetland will receive recycled water from Parkes’ Advanced Water Recycling Facility.
Volunteer support will be called upon to help plant some of the many thousands of wetland plants, with Council partnering with Central West Lachlan Landcare to host community planting days.
Chairperson for Central West Lachlan Landcare Ben Kerin said: “Landcare are thrilled to be part of this wonderful project and are looking forward to partnering with Council to involve the community to assist with building habitat onsite”.
Additional funding will be sought to make the wetland more accessible, inviting and educational, including walking tracks, seating, interpretive signage and bird hides.