Ancient billabong connecting people back to nature
A quiet wetland nestled in the heart of a thriving regional centre in North East Victoria is offering conservation and education connections for youth, volunteers, scientists and other members of the local community.
Mullinmur Billabong at Wangaratta is part of a 20-hectare site that is managed by Catholic Education with the support of volunteers from the Wangaratta Sustainability Network.
Volunteers from the Network regularly involve students from the adjacent Borinya Community Partnership school in education activities that are centred around connecting students to nature and improving the natural environment at the wetland.
The Borinya Community Partnership school program is led by the Catholic Education Department as an alternative education opportunity for young people at risk of disengaging from education.
In this interview, a volunteer from the Wangaratta Sustainability Network and a high school student from Borinya share their experiences and perspectives about the work at Mullinmur.
Future plans for Mullinmur
The North East Catchment Management Authority has assisted the Wangaratta Sustainability Network to develop a Management Plan for the wetland and surrounding floodplain. The Plan incorporates both the ecological, educational and community aspirations for the site going forward. The Plan offers a structured approach to development of the wetland site and can also be used to support development of funding bids for future improvements. Read more here.
The current and future management objectives are to maintain and improve the health of the area through active weed management, revegetation of the riparian area, removal of European carp Cyprinus carpio,and the re-introduction of freshwater native fish. We are also investigating the modification of water delivery into the wetland to improve aquatic habitat and biodiversity. In addition, the key stakeholders support the ongoing use of the area for community awareness and participation, and as a site for outdoor activities for students from Galen College, Borinya and other schools.
Like to know more about wetlands in North East Victoria?
Download this fact sheet.