Friday, August 6, 2010

(1) Nov /Dec 2006. - Clearing the top dam of hyacinth

In November and December 2006 a project got under way to clean up the top dam at Delta Park.  As is common with many waterways in the area, the dams in Delta Park had become almost completely covered with water hyacinth.

The bottom dam was being used for research so the top dam was chosen for the clean-up.
It took six weeks and a lot of effort - many of you will remember those six weeks well, as you were involved in providing food and wages for the workers.

The end result was well worth it - a beautiful expanse of water for all to enjoy, including more wildlife now able to enjoy the freedom of the open water. Some people didn't think it was possible to keep the dam clear, but four years later it's still beautiful and weed-free!

Shirley Tebbutt shares her first hand experience from the time:

Four years ago in November and December 2006, a group of us decided we were really upset at seeing  the top dam totally covered by  hyacinth weed, which was so dense we could walk on it in places, and spontaneously decided to clear it.
A friend, John Barrow, had a front end loader and loaned it to us for a weekend. With it, we managed to pull great “mouthfuls” of weed out onto the bank. It took a while and many experimental methods on the first day before we got it right. A bit of  “Heath Robinson“  but it worked!
Two guys went out in the canoe and laid a rope around an “island” of weed, and then the men on the bank slowly pulled it in. Once close to the edge, large pieces of plastic were laid on the ground and the men grabbed handfuls of the weed and threw it onto the plastics. As they filled up, two more men grabbed the corners and ran it up the bank. We estimated that we had about 2 tons of weed on the bank in the end. Over the next three months it rotted away into compost.
When we started, we had no money to pay the 20 unemployed labourers so we “begged “ money from the walkers and they all gave generously. Others brought food, fruit and cooldrinks for them and we always had enough money to pay the workers at the end of every day.
It took six weekends and in the end we did three consecutive days as well.
The result was a weed-free dam which is still clear to this day. It's an ongoing project: w
e regularly pull out any sprouting baby plants and today the dam looks as good as it did then."

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is amazing. Such a lot of hard work, but looks wonderful now!