We have undertaken a transformation of Small Creek from a straight concrete channel in Raceview to a living waterway.

From the beginning in 2016, the naturalisation of Small Creek has been led through community ideas and input, the design responding to the concerns and needs of residents and those who use the space.

Stages 1, 2 and 3 (Warwick Road to Poplar Street Park) are now a meandering stream fringed by leafy trees and plants, opening to larger pools and lined with paths that invite a pleasant walk or ride.

Stage 4 (Poplar Street Park to Whitehill Road) is still a concrete drain. This stage is on hold while negotiation with nearby property owners is undertaken.

Your input has helped to shape this important project with the best outcomes for the environment and the community.

Update - Stage 3 design released

The design for Stage 3 (Briggs Road to Poplar Street Park) is complete and due for construction in the 2020-2021 financial year.

Features include:

- Another 350 metres of creek naturalisation, to extend the 800 metres completed in stages 1 and 2

- The existing concrete channel will be recycled and incorporated into the new design

- 3600 cubic metres of soil will be removed

- New community assets such as pathways, nature play and a viewing platform

Flooding was the main concern raised during community engagement for the Small Creek transformation.

It is the reality of living next to a waterway that flooding will be a risk. It has been a fundamental design consideration - and Council's highest priority - that the design will not worsen the flood risk to private properties.

The design includes removing 3600 cubic metres of soil. Much of that is to create larger 'pond' areas that are deeper and able to hold more water.

Our flood models use the most recent data available (2016) as we know Raceview and surrounding areas have changed even since the last flood.

We first modelled the flood water on the current concrete channel. Then we modelled our design, taking into account the trees and grasses as well. Our modelling demonstrates there will be no worsening of the flood risk to private properties as a result of this project.

The return to a natural environment was the biggest positive that the community found in the completed stages 1 and 2.

We have taken the best of what worked in stages 1 and 2 and applied it to stage 3. Plants and trees are selected because they are relevant both to the local area and to waterways. Lomandra, for instance, has a large root system perfect for holding soil together and preventing erosion. Other species include rusty gum and narrow-leaf ironbark, and flowering natives such as grevillea and callistemon.

Stage 3 will become a corridor for the wildlife already flourishing in stages 1 and 2. The concrete aprons under Briggs Road will be modified to create small 'riffles' that will allow fish to pass during rain events. This is a good thing as juvenile fish eat mosquito larvae and help keep them in check!

The greenery and shading that will grow over time has another benefit for residents - urban cooling. Corridors of cool water and trees such as Small Creek can help offset the heat generated by our hard urban surfaces such as roofs, roads and concrete.

The community engagement found that recreational use of the space, ensuring resident safety and proper maintenance were all priorities.

Sightlines are important for safety. The area behind people's houses will be maintained as short turf. Any trees planted here will be single-stemmed to ensure residents have visibility.

Encouraging positive recreational use of the space, such as dog walkers or families on bicycles and scooters, will provide 'passive surveillance' that helps deter unwanted behaviour. This will be achieved in several ways:

- Concrete footpath connecting Briggs Road to Poplar Street Park

- Viewing deck at Poplar Street Park will be a wonderful vantage point to take in the naturalised creek

- Nature play elements, such as informal paths, stepping stones, logs and sandstone blocks to bring people closer to the creek and to build appreciation for this community asset

A trash basket will also be installed on the major stormwater drain to help prevent pollutants entering the creek.

Small Creek before works: Small Creek before works Small Creek after works: Small Creek after works

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