2004 – Present
A draft Rivercare Plan for Congewai Creek in the Lower Hunter Valley was developed in 2003. Our group started in 2004 as a means for collective community action to care for the creek and to influence the Rivercare Plan. The issues addressed by the Rivercare Plan were erosion control, riverbank stabilisation, weed management, habitat rehabilitation and tree planting, water quality monitoring, bushfire management and control of feral pests. We’ve been able to achieve this by, creek bank fencing, off stream watering with solar pumps, provision of buffer zones to creek and wetlands, planting of riparian vegetation, weed removal and bi-annual Waterwatch testing and Waterbug Survey and roadside litter sweeps as part of Adopt-a-Road program. We have also assisted private landholders to achieve funding to plant over 4500 trees , fence the creek and provide off-stream watering.
Benefits of being a part of this team range from learning from others’ experiences, assisting with applying for funding, building community and making new friends to understanding issues affecting the whole catchment.
Two large grants, the first for planting of 600 habitat trees as part of Regent Honeyeater Project and the second an Environmental Trust Restoration and Rehabilitation grant enabled professional mapping of Congewai Creek to record the extent of privet weed infestation, engaging contractors to treat privet on 25 properties, and fencing and riparian vegetation planting on 4 properties at high erosion risk sites.
One of our biggest challenges is community engagement.