Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cowies Creek, Part 3

The Ring Road

Geelong's Ring Road crosses Cowies Creek just west of Bluestone Bridge Road. Marcus Wong's photo on Flickr shows the construction of the double bridge in June 2007. I don't know what it looked like before but the creek itself must have been completely reshaped and lined during the process.

The banks of the creek between the bluestone bridge and the ring road, as well as the area under the bridge, have been landscaped and planted and there is a wide concrete footpath/bicycle path incorporated into the design. The plants are still young but it looks quite attractive - I haven't had a good look yet to see what species have been planted.

Unfortunately there is a scouring problem that will need to be addressed promptly - most of the damage would have been done during the January 2011 flood and maybe in the future the more mature plants will bind the soil more effectively but I'd like to see more aquatic vegetation planted immediately. 

Because of the presence of Growling Grass Frog in the creek downstream Aboltins, in a commissioned report last year, recommended the following:
High quality habitat for the Growling Grass Frog would include the presence of still or slow flowing wetland habitats (e.g. creeks and ponds) with extensive submerged and floating vegetation, as well as emergent and fringing aquatic vegetation...At the Geelong Ring Road bridge, the planting of shade-tolerant aquatic species may also improve frog habitat here. Any revegetation or landscaping works should be undertaken using native species of local provenance with follow up weed control essential. A large number of trees or large shrubs should not be planted within 20 metres of Cowies Creek or nearby water bodies, as the shading of wetlands can render them unsuitable for Growling Grass Frog. The provision of terrestrial habitat around the banks of the creek should also be included. For example, small scattered rock piles and large woody debris (hollow branches/logs) could be provided as terrestrial shelter for frogs. Large rocks could also be added to pools within the creek to provide emergent rock habitats for frogs. Cowies Creek Amphibian Study and Targeted Growling Grass Frog Survey, Summer 2009-2010, Annette Aboltins (Commissioned by City of Greater Geelong)

Click on photos to view large.
...to be continued

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