Announcing more big Walker Swamp news…. with your help, we can double the restoration area to 1000 acres!

Last month we introduced NGT’s newest restoration reserve at Walker Swamp, and today we have a further special, major announcement.

With your help, we’re aiming to double the project area, to a total of over 1000 acres (more than 400 hectares) of floodplain wetlands, and physically link Walker Swamp back to the Wannon River floodplain and the Grampians National Park.

To achieve this outcome, Nature Glenelg Trust has just launched a new, 12-week community fundraising campaign with the ambitious target of bridging our final $150,000 gap in land purchase funding – before our proposed permanent restoration works at the site begin.

The new campaign has just been announced in this interview with Gavin McGrath on ABC Ballarat:

Map showing the Stage 1 and Stage 2 project areas at Walker Swamp.

It has now been almost six and a half years since NGT began operating, and to embark on this path and ask for public donations is not a decision we take lightly – in fact this is only the second time that we have asked the community to directly support a project in this way.

The last time was in 2016 when, thanks to your amazing support, we bridged a $110,000 funding shortfall to purchase Mt Burr Swamp.

Although we’ve now attracted the bulk of funding required for the Walker Swamp project from other sources, we’re aiming to close the final gap in land purchase funding to enable Stage 2 of the project to proceed.

A partially restored Walker Swamp in 2017 (thanks to our minor restoration trial in 2014) – this is a taste of what we’ll be able to achieve over 1000 acres of floodplain, with your support.

Brolga are expected to return to the Walker Swamp floodplain

Doubling the project area will not only enable us to fully restore the original water level of Walker Swamp and other wetlands in the Stage 1 project area, but it will also make a huge difference to the way we can manage water flows within and through the floodplain across the entire 1000 acre site. This will benefit a wide range of animals from endangered crayfish and frogs to native fish and waterbirds, like the iconic Brolga, as we work hard over the next few years to turn the site into a major community asset and drawcard.

We are also proud to announce that 100% of donated funds will go towards the project, both now and in the future. Donations will be split as follows: 80% will help us cover the immediate land purchase costs, and 20% will be set aside to cover long-term property management costs, invested within the recently established NGT Foundation.

The campaign will run until the end of August and be followed by a community event and celebration at Walker Swamp on World Rivers Day, Sunday the 23rd of September 2018.

All donors will be invited to the celebration (details to be provided closer to the time) and also be recognised on permanent signage that will be displayed on the newly erected bird observation tower that overlooks the main wetland.

Please remember that every contribution – large and small – counts, and that donations over $2 are tax-deductible.

We’ve literally just kicked things off, so it would be really fantastic if you can help us get off to a solid start…

and the live tally is…

Mark Bachmann