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Published February 24th 2014
A work of art in a plant paradise
Interpretive Signs in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens First Creek Wetland - a Work of Art
The First Creek wetland in Adelaide's Botanic Gardens is a triumph of form and function. While its primary purpose is water conservation, its uniquely colourful yet practical design makes the wetland habitat and surrounding area a destination to see in its own right.
Designed to ensure that the Adelaide Botanic Gardens is self sufficient for its water supply, the First Creek Wetland diverts a small portion of the water from First Creek as it flows down to the River Torrens in Botanic Park near the historic Speakers Corner.
Boulders Depict Cracked Earth Against a Backdrop of the Bicentennial Conservatory & Storage Pond
At each stage of the wetland process there is an explanatory sign and at least one work of art, making it a pleasure to follow the trail of the water as it meanders on its travels. It's ideal for families and kids, and the trail is both educational and fun. You even pass by a bit of Adelaide Botanic Gardens history - the former Lunatic Asylum Morgue - now used as a storage shed.
The Settling Pond Allows Particles to Sink to the Bottom
After an initial filtration process underground, the water is held in a settling pond where clay and other particles can drop to the bottom. The pond is located quite close to Hackney Road, south east of the grand Bicentennial Conservatory.
A Kaurna cultural presentation in a work of art nearby explores the meaning of water to local indigenous people, and its impact on their lives and the native animals that live in a wetland habitat. This thoughtful presentation was completed by the same group responsible for Kaurna art at the Pennington Gardens Reserve, once the site of the Pennington Migrant Hostel.
The cleaner water flows on to a filter pond, where native plants and microscopic life remove pollutants, viruses and bacteria from the water. Beautifully illustrated translucent panels explain what plants are used in the First Creek wetland, and how this stage of filtration contributes to effective purified water conservation.
The Stunning Viewing Platform Adjacent to the Filter Pond
After a final mechanical filtration the water is pumped 100 metres underground and stored in a rock aquifer. When it is needed, the clean water is pumped back to a storage pond at ground level ready for use.
A stylish viewing platform allows visitors to survey the entire wetland habitat from above, with interpretive signs and seats to enjoy the art works. This part of the First Creek wetland is truly attractive and both its form and function are elegantly executed. I think in time the wetland will become a landmark addition in the Adelaide Botanic Gardens history, like the Bicentennial Conservatory has already become.
Adelaide Botanic Gardens First Creek Wetland - A Triumph of Design
Look great , I must admit it has been many years since I have wandered around the botanic gardens . Always to much to do . After seeing these pictures I must make an effort and do more in and around our beautiful city .
Hello Dave! Thank you for the great article! I am working for the Adelaide Botanic Gardens on an interpretive trail in the wetland. I wanted to ask if I could use one or two of your images within the trail? That would be great!