wetlands within the largest nature reserve managed by the City will be expanded
under an innovative City project.
The futureSparrovale Nature Reserve will combine environmental and community benefits
with an important drainage solution for Armstrong Creek’s growing residential
parcel of land, known as Sparrovale, was acquired by the City last
and constructed wetlands will occupy about 200 hectares of the property, which
adjoins the Barwon River and the internationally significant wetlands of Lake Connewarre and Hospital Swamps.
wetlands will be managed to protect biodiversity, which has been highlighted as
the theme of this year’s international World Wetlands Day on Sunday 2 February.
They will be
home to a large number of migratory shorebirds and waterbirds, including
sharp-tailed sandpipers, whiskered terns, a variety of ducks, herons, stilts
million project includes the creation and landscaping of linear wetlands,
earthen channels, access roads and drainage structures.
construction of the stormwater system is underway, the site is not open to the
Once works are
complete, visitors will be welcome to enjoy the natural environment and open
space of the area.
be able to help shape the design of the new public parkland through the
development of the forthcoming Sparrovale Master Plan.
wetland reserve project provides another chapter in the fascinating history of
the Sparrovale site, which is part of the Barwon River floodplain.
environment long provided an abundance of seasonal food and resources for the
Wadawurrung people, who used the strappy vegetation to make baskets and build
The site would
later become the inaugural home of the Geelong Racing Club, with the first
racecourse built in 1849.
It hosted the
Geelong Cup from 1872 to 1906, before the club moved to the current racecourse
The farm was
called Sparrovale after ER Sparrow, the secretary of the Geelong Racing Club.
The City will
present an overview of the Sparrovale wetlands project at the National Wool
Museum on Saturday 28 March, as part of the Geelong Nature Forum.