Winner of the 2009 LCALCALCA Eco AwAwareness — Commercial Award, the Rouse Hill Infrastructure Works project is all about being eco aware. Simpson Landscapes & Consultants Pty Ltd was contracted to undertake the work on regeneration and revegetation sites in the Kellyville and Rouse Hill areas of Sydney. The sites were designed and overseen by Landscape Architects EDAW, with the work undertaken on behalf of Rouse Hill Infrastructure Consortium (now called Australian Water) and Sydney Water.
The four-year-long project was completed in 2009. The requirement was for large detention basins that could contain the one-in-100-year flood and be fully vegetated with reconstructed bushland communities characteristic of Cumberland Plain Woodland and Sydney Coast River-flat Forest.
The revegetation work comprised native trees, shrubs and grasses, with more than 70 species of native plants planted. All plant material was required to be of local provenance, and was collected and grown-on for the project. The revegetation area was approximately 14.5 hectares.
Seed collection took place over the first two growing seasons of the contract. This duration enabled enough seed to be collected, ensuring production of the large number of plants that were required — approximately 1.7 million plants.
Revegetation works carried out over a five- to six-month period included spraying of several sites to control weeds; installation of a rabbit fence around all boundaries; the addition of ameliorants to enhance soil condition; cultivation of the soil to provide friable soft soil for improved plant growing conditions; placement of erosion-control matting and rock spillways; installation of an irrigation system; and propagation of a number of plants required, and planting where revegetation was required.
Plant conditions and soil moisture were monitored daily, enabling plants to be watered as required.
Direct seeding trials of native grasses were undertaken over a one-hectare site at Second Ponds Creek. A monitoring program was put in place, suitable for recording data and scientific results, with the assistance of Cumberland Plain Seeds.
To provide biodiversity, native trees and shrubs were also planted in the native grass seeding trial area.
Bush regeneration work was also carried out over approximately 16,500 square metres. This work included primary and secondary weeding together with maintenance of the regeneration areas. A two-year maintenance program was implemented once all plants were planted across the sites.
Since its completion, more than 90 delegates from councils and national parks, including contractors and developers, have visited the site. The project was also entered into the 2009 Green Globes Awards.