New nature reserve and restored recreation areas for Molonglo

Canberrans in Molonglo and surrounding areas are set to enjoy a new nature reserve and restored outdoor recreation areas.

Draft designs for a new nature reserve hugging the Molonglo River next to the suburbs of Whitlam and Denman Prospect have been released for public consultation.

The 35 hectares reserve will help restore the river landscape as a home for our native plants and animals and provide recreational areas for the Canberra community to enjoy. The region is on track to gain 20,000 new residents by 2022.

We’re asking Canberrans what features and activities they would like to see in the reserve. Options include bird watching, fishing, picnicking, bushwalking, horse-riding, cycling and more.

The restoration of Barrer Hill in Molonglo Valley is also now complete thanks to a six-year effort by ACT Park and Conversation, with help from volunteers.

Over 50,000 native plants have been added to recreate woodland habitat and to restore the area’s rocky grasslands for threatened species like the Pink-tailed Worm-lizard and woodland birds.

A new habitat sculpture will provide much needed real estate for wildlife in the form of nesting hollows, perches and peeling bark.

Designed by United States artist and architect Professor Joyce Hwang the structure – titled Life Support – is the last of 11 structures constructed at Barrer Hill. Uniquely, it is a 400-year-old salvaged yellow box tree that doubles as an eye-catching sculpture.

State-of-the-art webcams have been installed on the sculpture to allow ecologists and the community to monitor wildlife. This technology, along with research and monitoring efforts, has shown native wildlife returning to the site including crimson rosellas, magpies, tawny frogmouths, and brown falcons.

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