In the aim to help bring back biodiversity to degraded areas of the Serpentine River, PHCC, the Alcoa community and local landholders recently came together to plant more than 2,000 native seedlings.

The Bindjareb Middars (local Noongar community group), Alcoa, local landholders and other community members came together to plant over 2,000 native seedlings along Hymus Creek as part of PHCC’s ‘Hymus Creek Streamlining Restoration’ project.

As one of three drains that flow into the Serpentine River from adjacent farm paddocks, Hymus Creek lies within private property between two high conservation value sites in the Serpentine River corridor: the Lowlands Nature Reserve, a reference site for the Serpentine River project, and Hymus Swamp a ‘Bush Forever’ site (Site 372). Hymus Creek is identified in our Serpentine River Action Plan as a priority area at which to undertake restoration activities to help restore the health and biodiversity of the river by filling in a gap to improving the linkage between these two high conservation value areas.

In January 2020, Hymus Creek was severely burnt by a wildfire resulting in the loss of more than 30 years of restoration works. In response, PHCC developed the ‘Hymus Creek Streamlining Restoration’ project to meet the objectives of two of our projects: ‘Connecting Corridors and Communities: Restoring the Serpentine River funded by the Alcoa Foundation and ‘Wetlands and People – a Community Restoring the Ecological Character of the Peel-Yalgorup Ramsar 482 Wetlands’, funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program / Regional Land Partnerships.

Through the ‘Hymus Creek Streamlining Restoration’ project, a planting and cultural exchange event was organised and hosted by the PHCC in early August. This event saw community members from diverse backgrounds but with the same shared vison come together to restore the site. It was clear that all involved were eager to develop a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of the site, as well as to play an active role in bringing back biodiversity to the Serpentine River.

The event opened with the leader of the Bindjareb Middars, Theo Kearing, carrying out a cultural blessing of the site through a Welcome to Country, Smoking Ceremony and the sharing of traditional stories. The group then performed a spiritual dance to signify unity and prepare for new beginnings. Each attendee had the opportunity to be blessed and cleansed through connecting with the smoke from the Smoking Ceremony.

The planting component of the event saw 1,500 sedges (Lepidosperma persecans) and a mixture of 600 Melaleuca species planted within the riparian zone along the 800 m stretch of Hymus Creek. Previously through the project, the landholders had installed fencing around the site to exclude livestock entering the area. Together, these restoration activities will help to protect banks and riparian foreshore zones, as well as prevent erosion and sediment movement from the creek line into the Serpentine River.

We would like say thank you and acknowledge the Bindjareb Middars, the Alcoa community and State Government representatives who attended the event. A special thank you to our landholders for your ongoing support, dedication and commitment in playing a pivotal role in restoring the Serpentine River and protecting the values of the Ramsar 482 Wetlands.  

This project is supported by the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council through funding from the Alcoa Foundation’s ‘Three Rivers One Estuary’ Initiative and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program / Regional Land Partnerships.

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present