The Dickson Road Wetland was reclaimed from an inaccessible and weed-infested area and turned into an artificial wetland. Community volunteers were recruited and trained to assist with the early work stages, which included intensive weeding and plantings. Because it is bordered by the campus on one side and Black Mountain Nature Reserve on the other, the wetland demonstrates sustainable land management at the urban/bushland interface.
The wetland is located adjacent to Ursula Hall, corner of Dickson Road and Clunies Ross Road.
Site conversion took place 2007-09. Now that it is established, the wetland requires only minimal maintenance.
Water sensitive urban design
Planning and construction of the wetland incorporated Water Sensitive Urban Design principles. The site is sustained by runoff from Black Mountain, which passes under Clunies Ross Street. The layout of the site is designed to purify water and reduce sediment runoff into Lake Burley Griffin.
The site is home to the oldest tree on campus, a 300-year-old Apple Box. A range of native plants and structural features such as rocks and logs provide a mixture of micro-habitats. The site has become established as a prime frog habitat and also supports a wide diversity of native wildlife.
Community awareness and engagement
The wetlands are the result of staff and student volunteers preparing the site. Today it is being used as an outdoor classroom and important citizen science programs on species monitoring and habitat assessment. Interpretative signage is installed to highlight volunteer efforts in establishing the wetlands and engage the community.