Water Flowing into Parkes Wetlands

Parkes Shire


The first drops of water have trickled into Parkes Wetlands, supplying the site for the first time in more than five years. While only a small portion of the total area has been flooded, waterbirds have already been observed returning to the wetland. Flows to the site will continue for several weeks until the ponds are flooded to capacity.

Mayor of Parkes Shire, Councillor Ken Keith OAM, is delighted by the immediate appearance of native waterbirds. He believes the Parkes Wetlands will herald a new era for local birdwatching opportunities, ecotourism, and nature-based recreation.

“Parkes Shire Council is in the process of transforming a disused area close to town into a vital, thriving refuge for wetland-dependent species.”

“Once completed, the site will be an attractive and accessible public space for residents and visitors to connect with nature and the broader community. The expected positive outcomes are wide-ranging and include benefits for regional biodiversity, the local and regional economy, public health, and social connection,” he added.

Planned future projects at the site will enable universal use of this space by providing walking tracks, double-story bird hides, an amenities block, car parking, interpretive signage, cultural art and sculpture, over-water viewing platforms, and an outdoor learning space.

Members of the Lachlan Valley National Parks Association were invited to inspect the site once earthworks were complete. The group includes several highly experienced bird watchers who provided input into the design of the wetlands.

Branch President Martin Bell congratulated Council on this initiative. “We look forward to watching as the site develops, and walking tracks and bird hides are completed. It is great to see old railway timbers and tree trunks from the cemetery avenue be given another life as perching spots for birds.”

Local Parkes resident Andrew Tom has been monitoring birds at the site over many years. Mr Tom said some of the more notable visitors have included migratory shore birds that fly from regions as far north as Siberia. Historical bird records at the site include the Freckled Duck, Black-tailed Godwit, and Curlew Sandpiper, all listed as ‘threatened’ in NSW.

Central West Lachlan Landcare Chair Margot Jolly, a long-time advocate of the project, said she is thrilled to see Council develop an asset that will enhance important waterbird habitat. “Parkes and our surrounding region stand to benefit greatly from the rehabilitation of these wetlands. The site will soon provide a home for many species of native plants and animals, which is increasingly important in the face of a changing climate,” she said.

Council is partnering with Central West Lachlan Landcare to hold a community planting event on site on Saturday 16 September at 10am to help plant some of the many thousand water plants that are needed to help create habitat on site. Individuals interested in participating in the planting event are asked to contact Central West Lachlan Landcare on 0418 611 053 or at [email protected].

This project has been supported by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, whose Restoration and Rehabilitation program assists community and government organisations to contribute to the ongoing sustainable management and stewardship of significant environmental assets and services in NSW.

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