ACT News

New boardwalk enhances walk through Jerrabomberra Wetlands

Conservationists hope a $340,000 eco-friendly walking trail and boardwalk will help mark the somewhat hidden Jerrabomberra Wetlands firmly on the map.

The new walkway was officially unveiled on Monday after getting an early workout a day earlier.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands Management Committee chairman Warren Nicholls enjoys the new board walk.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands Management Committee chairman Warren Nicholls enjoys the new board walk. Photo: Rohan Thomson

More than 550 wildlife enthusiasts streamed through the wetlands on Sunday as part of World Wetlands Day activities.

Jerrabomberra Wetlands Management Committee chairman Warren Nicholls said the new boardwalk provided clearer views of the popular Kellys Swamp, away from fast-moving cyclists.

News
The opening of the new boardwalk at Jerrabomberra Wetlands.
Shane Rattenbury
2 Feb 2015
Photo: Rohan Thomson
The ...
News The opening of the new boardwalk at Jerrabomberra Wetlands. Shane Rattenbury 2 Feb 2015 Photo: Rohan Thomson The Canberra Times Photo: Rohan Thomson

"We're not trying to have a glorified glass or chrome boardwalk or anything," he said.

"It's to provide a different view of the wetlands and to get right in amongst the wetlands. You can't see Kelly's Swamp in a circular route so, this is a route which avoids cyclists.

"We are worried now and in the future of very fast cyclists riding through the reserve while people in school groups etcetera are watching the birds or enjoying nature."

With an improved and accessible walkway, Mr Nicholls hoped a future visitor information centre would continue to attract more people to the wetlands.

The area holds environmental and cultural significance as an early Ngunnawal meeting place, a World War I training area and a sanctuary for birds, turtles, platypuses and frogs.

"What we want to do is have this information centre as a tool for the public to come along here and learn not just about wetlands but Australia," he said.

"Young people are disconnected from the environment. We are hoping to appeal to the people to come here, for families to come here."

In the meantime, nature-lovers and bird-watchers are less likely to slip or be knocked over on the new boardwalk, which has been created from recycled materials.

Makin Trax director Darren Stewart said his team had worked within a pre-established corridor to minimise disruption to the wetlands 200 identified birds species.

"We scoped the design given to blend in with the environment," he said.

"There's also a really high water table so, we've had to use an innovative footing design.

"There's no concrete used in this environment, there's only natural materials and we've got a reinforced fibreglass walkway which is really good in the frosts - it's completely non-slip."

Territory and Municipal Services minister Shane Rattenbury hoped the recent activity around the wetlands would attract more people to the area. 

"Something like the boardwalk makes Jerrabomberra all that more accessible for people," he said.

"You can see the CBD from here. To have that on our doorstep is an enormous privilege and one that's really easy accessible."