Residents get wild at wetlands open day

A WATER pistol fight, a sausage sizzle and a chocolate frog treasure hunt are some of the activities on the agenda at Sunday’s Somerset Park Wetland open day.

Wild at the Wetland  kicks off at 10am and is designed to showcase the area as a thriving wetland and a recreation area for residents.

Orange City Council’s work on the wetland began in 2010 when it transformed the site from a blackberry-clogged creek-line behind housing estates  on Molong Road and Burrendong Way, to a breeding site for native water birds.

In the past two years four ponds have been built and planted with a blend of trees, native bushes and water plants.

It is currently the only created wetland in Orange where native swamp hens are breeding.

Orange mayor John Davis said a generation ago Orange residents saw places like this as mosquito-infested swamps.

“It’s been terrific to watch the transformation, both of these sites and of the way locals see them,” he said.

Cr Davis said the wetlands had become a selling-point for real estate agents. 

“They’re a place residents want to live beside, and the walking paths are drawing people from other parts of town to use them as recreation areas,” he said.

Cr Davis said the wetlands were a key part of the city’s stormwater harvesting scheme and a tremendous asset for Orange.

Entry to the site is by walking in from either Northstoke Way or Kent Avenue, where is there is limited parking in residential streets. 

The timetable includes yabby catching at 10.30 am, an official opening at 11am and a free sausage sizzle at noon.

The community day is jointly funded by Orange City Council and the NSW Government.

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