Riverina Highlands Landcare Network
Riverglade Wetlands Project
|The Riverglade Wetlands is an area of approximately 20 ha situated on the outskirts of the township of Tumut in the mid Murrumbidgee catchment. The area consists of a series of lagoons bordered by the Tumut River to the east and the Gilmore Creek to the north.||
The Riverglade wetland is a functioning wetland providing habitat for wetland bird species and providing a link to other wetlands along the Tumut River. The area is also important to the Wiradjuri People with physical evidence of their periodic occupation, found in the wetlands area today.
Prior to the commencement of the Riverglade Wetland Restoration project a number of environmental issues threatened the integrity and health of the wetland and surrounding public land. These included invasion of exotic plants including willows, illegal dumping of rubbish, overgrazing by cattle, poor water quality, loss of native vegetation especially understorey plants and a lack of natural flooding regimes.
In 2003, following extensive community consultation, the Riverglade Wetlands Management Plan was developed to document these issues and to guide the future use and management of the area.
Since then the Riverglade Wetland has undergone an extensive rehabilitation program to address the degradation issues, improve the wetland's natural and cultural values and provide ecotourism opportunities such as bird watching and indigenous guided tours.
The natural values of the wetland have been protected and enhanced through exclusion of stock, revegetation, removal of exotic vegetation, feral animal control and the re-introduction of more natural flooding patterns. The cultural values of the wetland have also been protected through formal identification and protection of sites of significance.
The project has drawn together all sectors of the local community, from indigenous groups, Landcare, small business, service clubs, schools and Government agencies. The project has received financial and in-kind assistance from a range of stakeholders and community groups which has in turn encouraged community ownership of the project and reduced the reliance on government grants.
The project has culminated in a wetland which is the pride of the Tumut community. It acknowledges the natural and cultural significance of the area and seeks a balance between recreational use and conservation of a wetland system.
In 2006, the Riverglade Wetlands Project won the inaugural Rivercare catergory as part of the Murrumbidgee Landcare awards.