Community Tree Planting Day O'Connell - Wednesday 25 May 2016

Did you know that the Fish River is an important habitat for an endangered species of frog - the spotted Booroolong Frog?

This species is a native stream-dwelling frog, occurring in rocky westerly flowing rivers and streams in highland areas and was once abundant in the Fish River and its tributaries.

The Booroolong Frog lays its eggs in small rock crevices along slow flowing sections of the Fish River. Willow infestations along stream banks in Oberon including the Fish River and sediment inflows due to land clearing clog these rock crevices severely interrupting the breeding cycle of the Booroolong Frog. This has lead to a dramatic decline of this species in recent decades. The Booroolong Frog is now listed as critically endangered.

Oberon Council has recently undertaken a project to restore the habitat of the Booroolong Frog by controlling willows along the river bank at Hassall Park at O’Connell.

Following control of willows and other environmental weeds at Hassall Park one hundred native tube stock including River She Oaks and mid and understory native have been planted along the riverbank by year 5 and 6 students from the O’Connell School.

The students were excited about being involved in this stage of the project as part of their Environmental Educational Programme.  During the community tree planting day held on Wednesday 25 May students learnt about the importance of restoring the habitat of the Booroolong Frog. Bill Josh from Habitat Connect provided expert instruction and hands on experience to the students about the correct way to plant and care for native tube stock.

The new under story plantings will help prevent sediment from the car park area of Hassall Park from entering the river.  Filling the gaps left by controlling willows along the river bank with native trees will help to shade the aquatic environment and stabilise the river bank to prevent erosion during flood periods.

A further one hundred native plants will be planted in Hassall Park once further willow control work has been completed.

Oberon Council was delighted to have had the enthusiastic assistance of O’Connell School students in this important environmental project.

This project has been funded by a $9,598 grant from the Central Tablelands Local Land Services Waterway Values Program and has been kindly assisted by expert advice from the staff of the Central West Councils Environmental and Waterways Alliance.