- Written by Teela Griffin Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
Cumberland Plain Improvement Project and Nursery Upgrade
Council has received $5.06 million in funding to support the greening of our City through the NSW Government’s WestInvest program.
This funding will be used to:
- expand our Bushcare program to include more critical Cumberland Plain Woodland sites, more community events and better education resources.
- install a surveillance network to reduce illegal dumping and damage to key open spaces critical to Penrith’s natural environment.
- upgrade the Council nursery’s growing area from 795 sqm to 2,265 sqm to increase plant production and support Council and NSW Government programs.
These projects are expected to be commence in late 2023.
Penrith plants feeding Western Sydney Zoo animals
Penrith Council has teamed up with the Sydney Zoo in Western Sydney for an innovative project involving the collection of branches and shrubs containing leaves, barks and shoots from both native plant and weed species to provide additional snacks for the zoo’s animals. Council is the first council to donate weeds found in their Local Government Area.
Since April 2020, our Bushland Management team has been donating suitable native and target weed species to Sydney Zoo for the animals to enjoy. The supplies are carefully selected and are disease and pesticide free — and the animals have been enjoying an extra healthy snack.
Since the partnership commenced, we are providing approximately 25 tonnes of plant material a year to Sydney Zoo’s elephants, giraffes, camels, zebras and red pandas. The Asian elephants consume almost a tonne of plants weekly! The fresh plants donated by Council provides important nutritional and enrichment components of the diets to several of Sydney Zoo’s animals.
Removing weeds is crucial in maintaining our natural bushland areas and increasing the health of the sensitive vegetation communities within Penrith. The Zoo has been delighted with the help from Council and the local community in feeding their animals. Sydney Zoo attained a permit under the Biosecurity Act to ensure that they could harvest from a priority weed.
The images below were taken by Council's Bushland Management team and Sydney Zoo's staff.
Fish Habitat Resnagging Project
Penrith Council and the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) restored fish habitat at Emu Green Reserve and Fowler Reserve.
The project was created to introduce woody debris, such as root balls and logs, back into our river systems that were removed due to historical river clearing to help create natural habitat.
Logs and root balls were placed along the banks of the Nepean River to encourage the native fish species populations to thrive. The works involve the use of machinery and were undertaken by highly trained experts in this field.
This project commenced in 2020 and was completed in 2021. You can learn more about the project from this informative video by Soil Conservation Service.
What is resnagging?
Resnagging is putting snags (woody coarse debris) like root balls and logs back into our river systems that we removed due to agricultural purposes or protection of development. These snags are repurposed to create natural habitat.
Logs and root balls have been removed due to development, road upgrades and the aerotropolis and are repurposed as material to be used for conservation projects with biodiversity outcomes, such as the fish habitat restoration project. Repurposing these logs and root balls diverts them from being chipped or sent to landfill where they can’t be reused.
Why is it important to restore our native fish habitat?
Coarse woody debris such as logs, root balls and branches are important structural components of rivers such as the Hawkesbury Nepean River. The debris provides essential habitat for our aquatic and terrestrial organisms.
The re-introduction of complex habitat using root balls and logs with hollows or branches will improve the aquatic ecology, provide native fish refuge and other resources, and lead to an increase in numbers of native recreational fishing species such as the Australian Bass.
The benefits to the native fish species includes:
- Potentially increasing species’ diversity by improving habitat complexity that will increase food, shelter and other resources.
- Increasing potential breeding habitat for native fish species.
- Increasing the potential for safe breeding/ spawning environments for native fish species and the microbes and invertebrates they depend on for food.
- Providing protection from predators and high velocity rain events.
- Benefiting the huge number of recreational fishers who use the Nepean River.
What species of native fish will benefit from this project?
- Australian Bass (Macquaria novemaculeata)
- Australian Smelt (Retropinna semoni)
- Bully Mullet (Mugil cephalus)
- Eel Tailed Catfish (Tandanus tandanus)
- Freshwater Mullet (Trachystoma petardi)
- Freshwater Herring (Potamalosa richmondia)
- Silver Perch (Bidyanus bidyanus)
- the threatened Macquarie Perch (Macquaria australasica)
How can I get involved?
There are some great opportunities for you to volunteer and get involved in helping us restore the fish habitat along the Nepean River. Activities will include tree planting, weed removal, learning more about the fish species local to Penrith, and assisting with the general rehabilitation of the riverbank.
Check out our What’s On events page for details.
Habitat Restoration Event Series
The Habitat Restoration event series focuses on eight bushland reserves within the Penrith Local Government Area (LGA) which contain one or more threatened flora species. We’re inviting community members and volunteers to come along and plant trees and remove weeds to help restore habitat in these areas.
Each of the eight reserves will have multiple events held throughout the year. Events incorporate both an educational/interactive aspect and an on-ground activity.
On-site training, tools and refreshments provided. Bookings essential. Check out our What’s On events page for details.
This project is a three year project which commenced in 2019 and will be completed in 2023.
Trees for Mum and Trees for Dad
Trees for Mum is one of our longest and most cherished annual events. Trees for Mum and Trees for Dad are two special community events we host every year on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively to celebrate and honour the mums, dad, grandparents, mother figures and father figures in our lives.
Check out our What’s On events page for details.