A research and education facility by council and school
Situated on the southern side of Cross Road in Netherby, Urrbrae Wetland is a teaching wetland jointly managed by the City of Mitcham and Urrbrae Agricultural High School. With both the council and the school wanting to resolve flooding issues, they worked together to prepare a stormwater detention basin concept plan. Funding was subsequently secured and construction of the wetland started soon after.
Main wetland pond
In April 1997, Premier John Olsen officially opened Urrbrae Wetland which doubles as a research and education facility. The wetland has since reduced pollutants and pathogens in stormwater entering the basin. Incoming stormwater passes through trash racks before flowing into two sedimentation basins where the sediment 'settles out'.
One of the sedimentation basins
The wetland provides habitat for local native animals. Many birds, bats, frogs and yabbies now call the wetland home. Throughout the years, a significant number of local native flora has been planted by both school students and Friends of Urrbrae Wetland volunteers. Well-maintained footpaths go around the main wetland pond. There's a boardwalk, native bee hotel, bird hide and two jetties along the way.
Native bee hotel
The Friends of Urrbrae Wetland hosts a couple of open days in spring and autumn each year. On these days, you are welcome to come and wander around with your family. I had the opportunity to learn about the wetland's ecology on a self-guided tour during my recent visit. If you're interested, do keep an eye on their website for the next open day.