Restoring and improving the liveability of Breakfast Creek
Living Waterways is a best practice environmental management approach that assists practitioners and government to deliver enduring and affordable outdoor spaces which engage the surrounding communities.
The framework promotes interaction with water to inspire, promote adventure and discovery, and to educate visitors about the delicacy of our ecosystems. The Living Waterways approach is site-driven and aligns traditional stormwater principles with place-making benefits. Living Waterways directly links to the Queensland Government’s Stormwater Quality Design Objectives (SMDOs) and is a recognised innovation pathway to ‘business as usual’ WSUD installations.
About the project
- Co-designed approach recognising that communities holds the legacy to local urban design outcomes.
- Improved public access to the creek.
- Restoration of local native ecosystems.
- Passive irrigation components added such as raingardens to treat stormwater runoff.
- Habitat features added such as habitat boxes and native beehives.
Why this project is important
When communities develop an emotional connection with their local waterways, they are more likely to take an active role in helping protect the health of those waterways.
Co-designed urban development projects not only ensure strong and enduring environmental outcomes they also forge social links and networks within a community. Acknowledging the inherent value that communities hold to drive and lead their own needs ensures that investments into waterway restoration and urbna design projects are fit for purpose and align with the values of the local community.
Research by Healthy Land and Water in 2017 showed that over 60% of residents living in the highly-urbanised Lower Brisbane catchment were interested in using their local waterways on a weekly basis, yet only 30% were motivated to protect them.
Community offers ideas
Restoration plan finalised
On-ground work begins
Path and landscaping completed
The community was heavily involved in the planning process and their ongoing involvement in the project was used to devise positive water sensitive urban design outcomes.
A series of community events were held across the life of the project enabling residents to share their ideas on how to improve the creek and explain what the local environment meant to them.
Using intel gathered from these events, Healthy Land and Water devised a masterplan for the restoration. It included:
- Habitat boxes and native beehives to encourage the return of urban wildlife.
- Revegetation of native species.
- An interpretation trail co-developed with local Year 5/6 students from St Ambrose Primary School.
- A creek viewing area.
- Shade and rest areas for local retirement village residents to enable utilisation of the site.
- Including local residents in the design of the restoration project was an important step in helping establish an emotional connection between the creek and the community.
- The local St Ambrose school continues to be involved in the project, using the site as an outdoor classroom for students.
- A new habitat group was established at the site with residents now contributing their time and effort to ensure the project is maintained. This group has successful extended the restoration of the site to include an additional 200m of restoration works.
- Residents from the local retirement village can now visit the site for a walk beside the creek and a rest using newly installed rock features and the shade that is now provided from the restoration works.
- Nature play elements provide opportunities for kids to interact with nature and the interpretation trail and other integrated site features have created a popular community space and meeting point for local residents and visitors.
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water, through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.
The Davidson Street Creek Restoration project is an inspiring example of community, government and industry working together to improve and protect the environment.