15 June 2021

Towamba River will spring back to life after fires with activity-filled regeneration day

| Albert McKnight
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Towamba River

The banks of the Towamba River in June 2021. Photo: Kiah Wilderness Tours.

The community is invited to help the banks of the Towamba River recover after the devastating Black Summer bushfires.

An upcoming Green Shoots day of tree planting, kayaking and environmental education sessions will bring life back to the river in Kiah this month.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Council’s environmental education officer Natalie Ryan said the bushfires burnt much of the riverbank trees and groundcover species, both of which help stabilise the riverbank and prevent erosion.

She said a recent survey and community drop-in session helped council get community feedback on where residents would like to see post-bushfire environmental restoration carried out.

“We chose the Towamba River site as most people wanted planting along the riverbank and it’s a popular and well-used location locally, which means the community can watch the plants grow over time,” she said.

“Our surveys revealed the community is interested in learning more about the ‘what now’ in the environment after fire.

“For example, what stages of growth will we see? How will we deal with weeds? Will the black wattle stay? Where are the animals and when will some of them come back?”

READ ALSO: Bega Valley Shire Council’s Black Summer recovery response recognised for excellence

The tree planting session will be supported by an environmental education walk and talk by botanical expert Jackie Miles and Atlas of Life in the Coastal Wilderness member David Jenkins will discuss bird life while kayaking with the support of Kiah Wilderness Tours.

“Other members of Atlas of Life will carry out an environmental survey on the different species in the area and show the community its new interactive platform, iNatulralist,” Ms Ryan said.

“This is a great app for recording sightings of plants and animals which is a particularly useful resource to use now when our environment is going through so much change.”

She said the day of planting and education will allow community members the opportunity to come together, learn more about their environment and be involved with its regeneration.

READ ALSO: Slow progress on the road to recovery for fire-affected Bega Valley residents

The Kiah Green Shoots Day will be on Saturday, 19 June from 9:30 am to 2 pm at Towamba River, Hazelnut Drive, Kiah.

There will be a free morning tea from 9:30 am as well as the walk and talk and kayak tour, before a free barbeque lunch starts at noon and tree planting runs from 12:30 pm.

Bring sturdy walking shoes and sun protection, a water bottle and a keep cup if you have one. If you are kayaking, wear lightweight trousers.

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Before you start planting trees!
Why does some government body or organisation , step in and try to fix the problem of ALZl the trees growing in the river !
It causes the silt and sand that is built up over many years ,- so that this is NzoT a deep river now , it is a mare shadow of what it was 50-60 years ago !
iF,-and I say IF this was done it would alleviate the flooding of the Towamba Bridge,( when we gave a hat full of rain )•
A long time deceased resident, said to me that,”He used to ride on his horse whilst standing on it,- ride under the bridge,- and with his arms stretched upwards, the Bridge was another 8 to 10
feet above his hands !
This was not in one spot, but all the way across !
Now,- you could NOT ride a horse under the bridge,(it would have to be a Shetland pony at best, if you did)•

If you cleaned the noxious trees and removed the sand,- Then and ONLY then, will the river run as it was before ALL the Pine clearing and logging started in the high country, all those years ago !!!

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