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Upper Pages River Community Workshop
1 Nov 2008

Community action on the Upper Pages River

For two days in October 2008 the Upper Pages River had the focused attention of over 60 students from Murrurundi Public School as part of a broader program aimed at enhancing and protecting the Upper Pages River.

Murrurundi Public School is located on the banks of the river and the students spend a lot of their free time playing in and around it, so they have a very good understanding of why it is so important to protect it.

On 16 October the students were taken through some educational activities on river health and ways of improving the health of the Pages River, by staff of the CMA and Hunter-Central Rivers Waterwatch.

A week later the team regrouped with the students to put what they’d learnt into action. The students undertook water quality testing, water bug surveys, habitat assessments and helped plant over 110 trees on the riverbanks adjacent to Murrurundi Showground.

The involvement of the school community is part of a ‘whole of community’ approach to improving the health of the Upper Pages River for the long term. A management plan, developed in consultation with the local community, outlines actions to be achieved over a three year period that aim to enhance aquatic habitat along the Upper Pages River above Camerons Gorge, returning some of the pools, native fauna and other natural features of the river that locals have observed a decline in over the years.

Actions completed to date include the control of giant bamboo reed, willows and privet in the river at Murrurundi, and replanting with native trees and shrubs including river oaks. Major areas of erosion are also being stabilised through revegetation, stock management and in some areas, placement of rocks to protect the stream bed and stream banks.

The workshop days were a wonderful success with excellent feedback from both the school students and teachers. CMA staff were extremely pleased with the events, and will become a model for other River Community Days to hold through the Hunter-Central Rivers CMA region.

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