In 1993, the Balnarring Primary School community, together with local environmental groups, set out to develop a wetlands and woodlands on what was virtually 9 hectares of grazing land, adjacent to the school. They could see the huge potential for something very special! The vision was to create a thriving habitat for indigenous plants, animals and birds which would become an integral part of the school curriculum and a valuable natural resource for the community.
The successful establishment of this habitat involved a great deal of hard work by a lot of people but, with great satisfaction, the Balbirooroo (a Koori word meaning ‘ibis’) Wetlands were officially opened in October 1995. It now also encompasses the Pun Pun (Temporary Waterhole) and Korra Bun Yun (Growling Grass Frog) Wetlands.
Over the years, this wonderful asset has continued to be developed and nurtured by the school and local community groups. It has been enhanced by ongoing indigenous revegetation plantings, the construction of meandering pathways, the positioning of nesting boxes up in the trees, the building of boardwalks, footbridges, a bird hide, a lookout, viewing platforms, picnic tables and quiet seating areas dotted around the Wetlands. Walkers can stop, take a breath, look around and marvel at the beauty of the area!
There are also interesting interpretative signs which have been placed along the walkway, depicting drawings by the indigenous artist Nambooka, which pay tribute to the traditional custodians of the land and also detailed drawings of the flora and fauna by local environmental artist Peter Strickland.
Much has been achieved but of course there is always more work to do! Regular working bees are scheduled and supported by the dedicated Friends of the Balbirooroo Wetlands group. New members are always welcome!