Simmos Beach Reserve supports significant local and regional environmental values, containing many threatened plants and animals and remnant areas of critically endangered Shale-Sandstone Transition Forest.
The vegetation in the reserve forms part of an important regional biodiversity corridor which supports core Koala habitat and is a culturally significant local for the local Aboriginal people.
About the Project
Council, in partnership with the Georges Riverkeeper (formerly Georges River Combined Councils Committee) has successfully obtained $50,000 in grant funding through the NSW Environmental Trust’s ‘Restoration and Rehabilitation Program’ to improve Critically Endangered Shale Sandstone Transition Forest in Simmos Beach Reserve and its urban headwaters.
The project aims to improve the integrity and resilience of this key riparian corridor flowing into the Reserve from Fifth Avenue Reserve and Loftus Reserve in Macquarie Fields.
The project will specifically focus on:
- Bush regeneration and weed management works across 4.4ha of critically endangered Shale Sandstone Transition Forest vegetation
- Improvement of habitat for threatened species such as the Koala and Cumberland Plain Land Snail
- Removal of sediment to improve flows within Fifth Avenue Reserve
- Removal of rubbish and ongoing maintenance of gross pollutant traps
- Planting and installation of up to 7000 canopy species within the riparian area
- Ongoing support of the Simmos Beach Bushcare Volunteer Group
- Education with local schools and communities highlighting importance of endangered species and vegetation, impacts of stormwater and indicators for healthy waterways such as water bugs.
In addition to the grant funding, operational funds have been identified to further support this funding in the amount of $10,000 for the next three years and this will be for ongoing maintenance. The project is set for completion by October 2021 and will contribute to reducing weed invasion and improving water quality within the Georges River catchment.
Progress to date
Stage 1 - Weed Control
Stage 1 of the project is now complete.
Our bush regeneration contractors have been hard at work controlling weeds along the length of creek since May this year, an area approximately 2 hectares in extent. They have treated all of the Privet, Coral Tree and other weeds that had taken over the creek line. This has resulted in some very large changes as in the location as shown in our photos below.
Stage 2 - Revegetation
Stage 2 is now starting and involves treating weed seedling regrowth and preparing to plant native species to replace the weeds.
A Community Planting Day has been planned for November 2019, with the majority of plants to be planted by our contractors in Autumn 2020. If you can join us in November to help see additional information where you can register below.
3 habitat boxes have been installed in Fifth Avenue Reserve and Loftus Reserve to supplement habitat for birds and fauna while the plantings establish, so if you live nearby please let us know if you see them being used.
We have also been lucky enough to have a few local Koalas continuing to visit the site regularly since December 2018, this has including a mother and joey, so keep your eyes peeled if your in the area.
How can you get involved?
Community involvement will help guarantee the success of the Simmos Beach Catchment Rehabilitation project. We have been keeping interested local residents up to date, and are happy to come down to talk about what's happening during the project.
You can be a part of the project by:
- Come on down to Fifth Avenue Reserve, Macquarie Fields on Saturday 23 November 2019 for the Simmos Catchment Planting Day to help us plant trees and enjoy a free sausage sizzle.
- Joining Council's Bushcare Program and the Simmos Beach Bushcare group.
For further information regarding the Simmos Beach Rehabilitation Project contact:
Council's Natural Areas Team
Phone: 02 4645 4490