In recent years Bega Valley Shire Council and South East Local Land Services have jointly delivered a program of projects aimed at managing and improving spaces where urban areas and native bushland meet.
This successful program has been rolled out at several sites across the shire and continues at Bermagui with works currently underway on Lamont Street, south east of Bermagui Bridge.
Of the 2.25ha of existing mown parkland, about 0.25ha will be planted out with native grasses and low flowering shrubs to create a buffer between the urban parkland and sensitive coastal vegetation.
This leaves 2ha as general parkland for passive and informal recreation, as well as large open areas closer to the town centre.
Further works are planned at Bermagui Point to better define parking, pedestrian, parkland and cliff edge areas through the use native plants, bollards and post and rail fencing.
John Grady, council’s manager of leisure and recreation said that one of the real standout successes of the program so far has been the ‘Bega River Bridge to Bridge’ project along the Bega River Reserve, Old Bega Racecourse and Bega Cheese Heritage Centre.
“A key aspect of the project has been establishing a thick band of native grasses which act as a buffer between mown parkland and bushland areas, as well as providing competition for weeds,” Mr Grady said.
Shannon Brennan from South East Local Land Services said, “Managing this type of area in the traditional way can have negative impacts on native vegetation and habitat.”
“Typical issues include the gradual encroachment of lawn areas into bushland and the dispersal of grass and weed seeds into sensitive areas; which can all be costly and time consuming, particularly for mowing teams, Ms Brennan said.
Furthermore, in the case of coastal vegetation like salt marsh, many species are endangered and don’t tolerate such invasive management.
“This program has been a real win for the environment, council’s maintenance program and collaboration between local and State Government, it’s great to see it rolling out in Bermagui,” Mr Grady said.