Volunteers at the River Heads reserve include Alan Baxter, John Davies, Lisa Kong, Fay Davies, Warren McLaughlin, Carol Baxter, Judy Sponder, Neville Watson and Bob Sponder.
Volunteers at the River Heads reserve include Alan Baxter, John Davies, Lisa Kong, Fay Davies, Warren McLaughlin, Carol Baxter, Judy Sponder, Neville Watson and Bob Sponder.

River Heads reserve receives grant

AN EDEN of 750 native plants will transform River Heads reserve over the coming 18 months thanks to a Federal Government grant worth more than $16,000.

An ecstatic Joanne McLaughlin phoned the Chronicle after hearing of the approval this week.

Ms McLaughlin is a member of the River Heads Reserve Community Management Group which applied for an $18,000 Caring for Our Country grant last year.

She admitted she was starting to get nervous about the funding as the group’s volunteer numbers have climbed to 39 since a sign-up day in November.

“I was starting to worry about it; what if there was no grant and we had all of these volunteers?

“I found out about our success by one of the volunteers who had looked on the government website. I couldn’t believe it.”

Ms McLaughlin said that over the years 4WDs had accessed the foreshore via the reserve and in doing so had damaged the mud flats and mangroves.

Now the group will be able to restrict vehicles from driving across the 22-hectare block and will be able to revegetate sections of the site as well as create buffer zones to secure bird habitat.

The River Heads reserve group will be holding a working bee for council registered volunteers on February 7 to talk about the course of action and to start weeding.

It will run from 3pm to 5pm at the reserve off Seafarer Drive. Anyone interested in signing up before that date can contact Ms McLaughlin on 4125 8280.

The group will also organise for the grass to be cut and for a contractor to prepare garden beds ahead of planting in March.

Future plans include walking tracks, barbecue areas, toilet blocks, a community oval for picnics and watering points and interpretative signage.

Three workshops will also be held focused on plants and ecosystems of the salt marsh, marine and mangrove issues and lifecycles of international wader birds.



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