CouncilNature

Small Creek unrecognisable from days as concrete drain

The big task of returning Small Creek at Raceview from a concrete drain to a thriving natural waterway has reached another milestone.

Stage two of the naturalisation works is complete, meaning an 800m stretch of concrete channel between Warwick Road and Briggs Road is no more.

In its place is an emerging habitat with native plants, ponded waterway, birdlife and improved pedestrian connectivity.

Ipswich City Council Waterway Improvement Officer Ben Walker said the completion of stage two marked the project’s halfway point.

“The Small Creek revitalisation project is made up of four stages and in its entirety stretches from Warwick Road through to Whitehill Road,” he said.

“Stages one and two have already been extremely successful and we’re now entering a period where the focus will be on monitoring and letting the work to date take hold.

“I think anyone who knows what the concrete channel looked like before work started will be pleasantly surprised by the extent of the change.”

Sustainability is a major theme of the project and visitors to the new-look Small Creek will notice the clever way sections of the concrete channel have been broken up and repurposed.

“Stage two in particular has several sections where repurposed concrete has been used in place of rock to eliminate the need for the old channel to be sent to landfill,” Mr Walker said.

“Most of the plants put in during stage one have taken off, with some that were planted as 30cm high saplings now in excess of 3m tall.

Repurposed concrete at Small Creek.

Project officer Ben Walker is pleased at the progress of the trees.

“If we can get a little bit of rain, we should see the foliage in stage two continue to thicken up in the coming months.

“I encourage the community to take some time and make use of the shared pedestrian path and bikeway to see what has been achieved at Small Creek to date.”

Mr Walker said design work for stages three and four, which stretch from Briggs Road to Whitehill Road and include Poplar Street Park, should be under way this time next year.

“We really want to ramp up the community engagement aspect of the project to encourage more people to take a look at Small Creek,” he said.

“The design process for stages three and four will include further community consultation which will help inform the final design.

“Of course, we’ll also be using learnings from stages one and two as we finalise the design for stages three and four.

“One of the major focuses for the next part of the project will be how we address Poplar Street Park and incorporate it into the design.

“The shared pathway will also continue through the development, linking to Cascade Street.”

GALLERY:

Stages three and four make up about 800m of the 1.6km creek.

The Small Creek project will have significant social and environmental benefits including:

  • Improved aesthetics, with the creek appearing as a naturally occurring waterway over time.
  • Cooler water in our waterways, a vital requirement for native fish species.
  • Reduction in air temperatures by up to two degrees around the creek corridor.
  • Improved environmental outcomes and better water/habitat quality for animals and plants.
  • Increased value of surrounding property.
  • Provision of improved active transport connections for residents.

The project is being funded by developer contributions under council’s water quality offsets scheme.

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