Nature Euphoriasharing adventure and sustainability
About the Yea River Project
Yea Wetlands, Yea Victoria.
The Yea River Project
( Update in progress )
Within the Central Highlands of Victoria, the forested mountain ranges and valleys collect and direct the falling rain into trickling mountain streams that cascade throughout rainforested gullies, combining into streams that grow and twist through the land. As the forests release water from mosses and the moist soil, the streams grow into rivers that flow north and south off The Great Dividing Range on their journey to the ocean.
One of these rivers is the Yea River, forming on Mt St Leonards and Mt Tanglefoot in Toolangi state forest, flowing north towards the Goulburn River and onwards down the Murray-Darling basin to the ocean. Along the nearly 100km journey, after passing through the temperate rainforest lined gullies, nestled within the giant mountain ash forests the Yea River continues through the montane forests around Castella. The river valley then opens up into open woodland and agricultural lands of Glenburn to Yea and the Murrindindi river joins, the largest of the many tributaries flowing in. At Yea, the river divides into several anabranches that form an extensive flood plain; which includes the Yea wetlands. From the billabong covered river red gum forest of the Yea wetlands the river then meanders its way to the confluence of the Goulburn River at Gin Gin.
The vision of the Yea River Project is to engage young people (school students and youth groups) from the region with the natural world around us and the conservation community. By engaging young people with experienced and passionate conservationists, the project aims to enhance the health of the Yea River and communities’ knowledge and connection to rivers.
The project is focused on empowering young people and community members to learn about and enhance local riverine environments, by participating in workshops that assess the health of the environment, and design and implement regeneration projects.
The aims Yea River Project is to:
- Engage young people with local riparian environments through participating in workshops facilitated by local environmental groups that focus on environmental assessment, hydrology, fauna and flora, and the importance and function of healthy river systems.
- Improve the health of riverine environments along the Yea River, focusing on the rejuvenation of vulnerable and endangered environments (EVCs).
- To increase and improve natural public spaces within the region that enhance community wellbeing and eco-tourism.
- Plant trees, lots of trees!
Along the river, there are many sections that would benefit greatly from landcare work of this nature. For this project in its early stages, the below areas have been selected for there access and useability for the community and tourism, type and value of EVC (ecologic vegetation class), and potential to improve river health.
(During the project, locations are subject to change.)
Boundary Creek flows from the south, passing through the west end of Yea before joining the Yea River. Between the Goulburn Valley Hwy and Racecourse Rd, there is a small patch of public land where Boundary creek flows. This patch is sparsely vegetated with native plants with the remainder consisting of open parkland that rarely sees use. The Great Victorian rail trail also passes through this park, making this area the gateway to our town.
The riparian area of the creek in this park is eroded and neglected, making this section of Boundary Creek perfect of the Yea River Project.
Devlins bridge crosses the Yea River between Glenburn and Yea and exhibits a great compassion of remnant riparian forest on one side and the common sight of clear farmland on the other.
This public area would greatly benefit from rubbish and weed removal, improved access, facilities, and interpretive signage. In addition, a riparian buffer and revegetation on the opposite bank would massively improve riverine health, decrease erosion, siltation, and aesthetic.
Other areas of importance and future work
Perts Reserve is an existing nature conservation area of grassy woodlands and Riparian woodland.
The headwaters of the Yea River lies in the mountain forests of Toolangi where cool temperate rainforest, remnants of Gondwanan forests fill the gullies. This uniques environment provides the Yea river with perennial flows while providing critically important habitat for native fauna, storing carbon, and preventing server bush fires.
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