15077: The Bulla Biddi project

    Sawyers Valley Primary School Wetland
    Sawyers Valley Primary School Wetland

    Sawyers Valley Primary School is a historic, Independent Public School, located in the Perth Hills, situated on land traditionally home to the Wadjuck Noongar people. The school's south-eastern edge has a stand of relatively intact remnant Marri/Jarrah forest, adjacent to a disturbed area of historic pine trees. The disturbed area is the school's popular "Nature Play" site, of which further development is proposed to meet the requests for extra opportunities in this area. Adjoining the school to the south is the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail corridor and Jarrah Creek reserve, vested in the Shire of Mundaring. These reserves contain the headwaters of the Jarrah Creek (a tributary to the Jane Brook), an ephemeral wetland, a patch of remnant / partially rehabilitated native vegetation, and a regionally significant corridor that provides connectivity for flora and fauna species. 

    The greater area has been surveyed for flora and fauna and hosts a diverse and locally significant range of habitats and wildlife. The Federally listed Baudin's, Carnaby's and Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoos are known from the site, as is quenda, listed on the State's Priority fauna list. Long-necked turtle, brush-tailed possum, and many species of birds and frogs were also recorded. Brush-tailed phascogales and chuditch have been recorded nearby. The values of the area are being impacted by a range of largely unmanaged threats, notably; weed invasion, surface water interruption, litter and habitat degradation. 

    Without intervention, this significant area will continue to deteriorate. Invasive weed species will increase in area and density, which will increase the bushfire risk and outcompete native species. A shift in the vegetation structure and diversity would mean loss of habitat or food resources for many native fauna species, including the threatened cockatoos and quenda. If flora or fauna species drop out of the area due to weed invasion, areas may become fragmented. If weed invasion continues in the Jarrah Creek it will facilitate weed invasion downstream.

    Following a supportive consultation process, an experienced committee of volunteers has formed to manage this area and to facilitate the proposed project. The team includes an Early Learning Teacher/School sustainability representative, P&C member, and environmental biologists. This volunteer committee, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, intends to put in place long-term project management to:
    - Develop and implement a Site Management Plan, focussing on weed management, revegetation and habitat enhancement. 
    - Involve the school children and families to facilitate long-term community participation, site management, monitoring and maintenance.
    - Engage with local Noongar Elders to facilitate connection to people and place.
    - Provide on-going eco-educational opportunities that promote understanding, participation and stewardship.
    - Provide school children with an outdoor classroom and dynamic nature playground that interfaces with the values of the surrounding natural environment and cultural aspects.
    - Provide the community with interpretive information regarding the site's cultural and environmental values and threats.

    In summary, the Bulla Biddi project provides an opportunity to engage students and the wider community with a richly diverse and locally significant example of a unique natural environment.

    Investment: $ 22 500
    In-kind contribution: $ 88 630
    Delivery organisation: Sawyers Valley Primary School
    Project duration: July 2016 - June 2017
    Location: Sawyers Valley
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