Hunter Water is enhancing the amenity of sections of our open stormwater channels to provide the community more benefit from urban spaces and to help improve the natural environment.
The amenity improvement work varies from site to site, and some changes include replacing sections of concrete walls and installing sloped embankments or tiered sandstone blocks. Others will feature murals by local street art companies, upgraded fencing, or a link to planned Council cycleway routes.
The amenity work will support biodiversity through the planting of over 13,000 native plants across the four locations, which are at:
- Winding Creek in Wilkinson Park, Cardiff
- Throsby Creek in Litchfield Park, Mayfield
- Bellbird Creek in Manning Park, Cessnock
- Dark Creek in Heaton Park, Jesmond
Work has started in Cardiff, Mayfield and Cessnock, with Jesmond set to start in October and continue into next year.
Hunter Water Executive Manager Strategy and Engagement, Emma Berry, says the work helps protect the natural environment while also creating a space for the community to reconnect with their local waterways.
“Many of the concrete-lined stormwater channels around Newcastle, Cessnock and Cardiff are actually creeks that eventually drain to the Hunter River or Lake Macquarie,” Ms Berry said.
“So, while we’ll never return to a fully natural landscape, this project will improve the amenity of these areas, re-establish native plant species, and hopefully deter graffiti and littering.”
Hunter Water has worked closely with Lake Macquarie City Council, City of Newcastle, and Cessnock City Council to decide the sites for amenity improvement. The selection process prioritised recreational spaces accessible to the broader community.
“The amenity improvements are designed so they won’t have an impact on flooding in the catchment but will serve as a reminder that our waterways have been and always will be, part of our community.
“Over 13,000 native plants will create a habitat for local animals to thrive. At some locations, the waterway’s health will be improved, benefiting aquatic life.
“The intent behind creating these beautiful spaces is to inspire our community to take care of our waterways so together we can keep them clean,” Ms Berry said.
Hunter Water and its delivery partners will make every effort to reduce noise and movement of personnel and construction vehicles while these upgrades take place.