Gum Scrub Creek
Creating a 10-hectare wetland in an urban growth area degraded by agriculture takes vision and quality of execution. Gum Scrub Creek is such a project. Located in Officer, Melbourne, the project has taken five years of planning to deliver and sets a benchmark for quality urban development.
Exploring the project even at the basic level reveals innovations in engineering interventions, including bio-filtration systems and habitat ponds. But the results go deeper, the completed project reveals crafted natural patterns, architectural interventions and, most crucially, community pride. Combining natural restoration with creative stormwater management, the project provides a habitat for threatened species and promotes the restoration of diminishing ecosystems.
Gum Scrub Creek incorporates a meandering low-flow system connected by sedimentation ponds, bio-filtration systems, lateral fingers and habitat ponds that will be surrounded by public open space and connect the new suburbs via shared paths and bridges. Its construction included the relocation of 600,000 cubic metres of silty soil for re-use within the housing areas, the propagation of 5kg of site-collected indigenous seed by 6 locally based nurseries, the installation 60,000 square metres of biodegradable jutemat and the planting and maintenance of 400,000 plants over the hottest, driest, wettest, windiest, muddiest and coldest months by a committed team.
Gum Scrub Creek supports the regeneration of a range of endangered and threatened flora and fauna. Two dedicated Growling Grass Frog ponds were constructed with innovative passive systems for their maintenance. Habitat corridors were designed through plant species selection and planting profiles. Open, Closed and Permeable planting profiles, responded to movement patterns of the Southern Brown Bandicoot, as well as providing opportunities for public open space connections along the length of the creek.
Once a farmers’ drain, Gum Scrub Creek has become a centre for community engagement and a developing natural environment to be cherished by generations to come.