Posted on August 04, 2017
The City of Bayswater in conjunction with project consultants GHD has won the coveted Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) WA Land Management Award of Excellence for the restoration of the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary.
This represents the third significant award presented to the City for the restoration of the wetland area. It follows its announcement as joint winner of the 2016 Premier's Award for Excellence (in the environmental category) and winner of the 2016 Australian Engineering Excellence Award (also in conjunction with GHD).
City of Bayswater Mayor, Barry McKenna is delighted this worthwhile project has received the recognition it deserves.
"The success of the revitalisation of the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary demonstrates what can be achieved when good policy, excellent design and a commitment to the delivery of high-quality public open space converge.
"City staff, Councillors, community groups and representatives from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (formally the Swan River Trust) have worked tirelessly on the restoration of the Eric Singleton wetland. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved.
"Our innovative and creative approach to the revitalisation of the wetland was a major contributor to its success. Local government brings together experts in a range of fields, from project management, planning, environmental engineering, building and construction, to landscaping. We have accessed a wealth of knowledge from our staff to deliver a wonderful outcome for the community.
"This ambitious project has resulted in the restoration of the health of the bird sanctuary, increased wildlife diversity and improved the water quality of the Swan and Canning River system. It has created a beautiful area of open space for people to enjoy.
"The wetland now prevents an estimated 1.3 tonnes of nitrogen, 200kg of phosphorus and 40 tonnes of sediment and rubbish from flowing into the river each year.
In announcing the Award a representative from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects spoke of the important contribution the project has made to improving the health of the Swan River ecosystem, enhancing the amenity of our riverine environment, and creating a valued community asset.
Referring to the way the landscape architects responded thoughtfully to many ecological challenges with outcomes demonstrating a high degree of skill and integration across a range of disciplines, reinforcing the vital role of landscape architects in improving our ecological systems.
Prior to its revitalisation, the Eric Singleton Reserve was a degraded man-made wetland laden with nutrient rich acid sulphate soil that was causing thick filamentous algae blooms.
Run off into the Swan River was contributing to a decline in water quality and algae blooms were literally choking marine life to death. Wildlife diversity within the reserve was at an all-time low.
The City, in partnership with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (formally the Swan River Trust) lined the base of the wetland with limestone which served to both neutralise acidity and create a hard surface with deep and shallow sections that allows for denitrification (a chemical process by which nitrogen is removed) to occur.
The City is incredibly fortunate to have such a passionate and driven Environmental Coordinator, Jeremy Maher, in charge of coordinating the revitalisation of the Eric Singleton Wetland. Jeremy has worked with internal experts, environmental agencies, community organisations and members of the community to restore the Eric Singleton Wetland and improve the water quality of the Swan River.
Since its restoration staff have sighted bird species such as the great egret, rainbow bee-eaters, black swans (and their cygnets), dotterels, spoonbills, cormorants at the Eric Singleton Bird Sanctuary. The Sanctuary now boasts approximately 75 per cent plant cover as seedlings have grown and established themselves. Rhizomes were planted in the spring.