New life for local wetlands

June 23, 2011

Community conservationists have pulled together to revegetate a favourite visitors spot in Kwinana’s Spectacles Wetland, thanks to funding from the Fiona Stanley Hospital project.

The Friends of the Spectacles joined other volunteers and staff from the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to plant more than 400 native seedlings.

Plants, bags and stakes and watering gel were funded from the $40,000 Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) grant provided this year to promote environmental and conservation activities in regional parks. The grant is part of a five-year $200,000 funding commitment, managed and distributed by DEC under its Healthy Parks, Healthy People program and targeting Perth’s southern suburbs.

The local wetland species planted were predominately banksia species with lower shrub species and ground covers including kangaroo paw, native iris, yellow pea and native wisteria.

DEC’s operations officer for Beeliar Regional Park, Ryan Donegan, said planting these species within the Spectacles Wetlands will help maintain a healthy environment for native flora and fauna, and in particular provide food and habitat for Carnaby’s black cockatoo.

"This area is popular with walkers and bird watchers, and is an important wetlands area for biodiversity, so we’re grateful to Fiona Stanley Hospital and our volunteers for getting involved and helping revitalise the area," Mr Donegan said.

Fiona Stanley Hospital Executive Director Brad Sebbes said, "Maintaining and rehabilitating areas of natural habitat around the hospital is a priority for the Fiona Stanley Hospital project.

"We know that accessible natural, green spaces contribute positive physical, social and mental health benefits to the community, and helping maintain them provides wonderful opportunities for volunteering and community involvement."

When it opens in 2014, Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch will be Western Australia's flagship health facility. It will be the major tertiary hospital in the south metropolitan area offering health care services to communities south of Perth and across the State.

Other environmental programs funded by the Fiona Stanley Hospital project include maintaining and rehabilitating significant natural habitat areas on the hospital site, rehabilitating areas of Beeliar Regional Park, purchasing and protecting native bushland, investing in community-based conservation programs and funding Carnaby’s cockatoo research.

Friends of the Spectacles is a group of volunteers who work with DEC to help preserve and improve the natural environment of the Spectacles Wetland in Kwinana through weed management and revegetation projects.