Greening Australia has fired up its weed whackers, washed out its herbicide sprayers and headed to the Gleeson Wetlands in Clare to help eliminate introduced plant species.
Starting works with the Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council last week, a small team of workers made their way along the Hutt River towards Main North Road and removed plants which were preventing native species from growing.
Workers initially cleared and treated woody weeds, drilled and filled the larger trees, removed invasive grass and reed through slashing and spot spraying, and processed and chipped green waste.
Greening Australia site supervisor Jarrod DiMauro said the main exotic plant issues they found were ash trees, periwinkles, dog roses and introduced weeds.
“A lot of our work is the removal of invasive species because of the impact it has on the environment,” he said.
“You get these introduced species and they out compete with the native ones.”
Exotic plants such as ash trees “shade out” and prevent most native plant life from growing underneath theme.
Ground crews removed multiple ash trees which had grown along the banks of the river as well as drilled and poisoned them to ensure they did not regrow.
“When they shade out, not much grows underneath them,” Mr DiMauro said.
He said ground crews also used a herbicide to poison weeds which was “frog friendly”.
Once stage one of the project was complete, the contracted section of the Hutt River would be maintained seasonally to ensure a cleaner and weed-free native environment.
Ongoing maintenance would also help with flood mitigation at the lower end of the Hutt River.
Greening Australia has provided cleansing and maintenance services to projects across Australia, including the re-vegetation project along the Wakefield river.
While working in the Gleeson Wetlands, Mr DiMauro noted the incredible job local volunteers had been doing in maintaining, growing and developing the wetlands.
“I know they get the Lions club and a few other volunteers, and they are simply doing an incredible job,” he said.
“You can see how they are maintaining the wetlands which is enhancing the habitat for native animal species.”
Works will continue until Thursday, April 20.