Watercourses are the lifeblood of our landscape because they play many important roles that are essential to the lives of people and animals.

We are fortunate that in our region more than 35 creeks and rivers flow within 10 separate catchments. Catchments in our region include the Aldinga Washpool, Pedler Creek, Christies Creek, Maslins Creek, Willunga Creek and Sellicks Creek. They also include the lower part of the Onkaparinga River catchment, the majority of the Field River catchment and a number of creeks within the Sturt River catchment.

The water that flows through a watercourse and the adjacent land is called the riparian zone. Healthy riparian zones contain native plants that are specially adapted to cope with an environment that has varying water flows. Some of these plants include different species of reeds and sedges (coarse grass-like plants), shrubs, groundcovers and magnificent River Red gums.

Why are our creeks so important?

Sacred KingfisherNative animals including fish, frogs, lizards and birds need healthy watercourse vegetation because it provides food, shelter and a corridor to move from place to place. Natural corridors are particularly important for isolated populations of threatened bird species including Black-chinned Honeyeaters, Sacred Kingfishers, Red-capped Robins and Brown Tree Creepers.

To stay healthy, watercourses need a variety of native plant species that each performs an important function including soil stabilisation, restricting the movement of nutrients and cleaning water before it flows into the sea or a reservoir.

Natural areas are amazing places to explore. Research from around the world has shown that spending more time in nature is good for our physical and mental health. To give you an idea of what lives in a healthy creek, we have developed ‘Creek Heroes’

Urban Creek Recovery

What are we doing to help our creeks?

Every watercourse is unique and needs careful and ongoing management so it can function properly. The City of Onkaparinga has recognised this and in 2013 we started delivering an exciting large scale, 5 year watercourse restoration project called Urban Creek Recovery with funding support from the Australian Government and the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board. 

The aim of Urban Creek Recovery is to improve the health of our watercourse vegetation condition so that the natural ecosystem can function better and provide critical habitat for native plants and animals. Project works are being undertaken over 5 years (2013- 2018) within 35 creeks, across 9 catchments, covering more than 61km of creek line reserves that are being managed by the City of Onkaparinga. To see which creeks we are working on and find out what we do, check out the Urban Creek Recovery StoryMap below.

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Look out for our frog logo on signage at many sites around the region where work is taking place! 

For further information on this project please check out Urban Creek Recovery or our frequently asked questions page or contact the City of Onkaparinga Natural Area Conservation Team on 8384 0666.

Did you catch the recent episode of Network Ten’s Totally Wild?

The episode featured Ben from our Natural Areas Conservation Team. The team and some local children were invited to feature on this Australian children’s TV series to talk about the creek rehabilitation work we are doing as part of the Urban Creek Recovery Project. Check it out.

View it online here.