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We love our rivers

We love our rivers In the City of Canterbury Bankstown – We Love Our Rivers! We’re a City of three rivers – the Cooks, the Georges and Duck River. Yes   Canterbury-Bankstown is a city of 3 rivers: Cooks River, Georges River and Parramatta River. These rivers provide important habitats for plants and animals, and they’re a great place to enjoy with family and friends! 17/02/2024 12:00 AM 26/04/2024 12:00 AM Cooks River, Georges River and Parramatta River. Events; What's On
we love rivers 2021

In the City of Canterbury Bankstown – We Love Our Rivers!


We’re a City of three rivers – the Cooks, the Georges and the Duck River.

Our rivers are all different but each play an important role in the ecosystem we live in. 

The Cooks River is one of Australia’s most utilised waterways and is very important to the industry of New South Wales, with examples of this still seen in Canterbury Sugarworks and historic dams at Tempe and Canterbury. However, the Cooks natural environment is always improving! You can find events exploring and helping clean the river below.

The Georges River is one of Sydney’s most biodiverse, from its fresh headwaters in the Dharawal Nature Reserve down to its lower, tidal sections flowing past Canterbury-Bankstown. The river is around 100km long and is home to 1.4 million people, 454 fauna species and 29 endangered plant communities throughout its total catchment.

The Duck River accounts for the smallest area in Canterbury-Bankstown, including only a portion of the upper river from Sefton to Yagoona that was channelised in concrete in the middle of last century. The river does benefit from a naturalised wetland which we have built at Maluga Passive Park, and Sydney Water plans to naturalise more of the concrete channelling in the coming years.
 
From March to May each year is when We Love Our Rivers by hosting and promoting events in and around our rivers. Check out the range of events below!

 

Mudcrabs working bee

Join the Mudcrabs and Council’s Bushcare team on a working bee helping to rewild the Cooks River. Please bring your own gloves, hat and water.

When: Saturday 17 February, 9-10.30am
Where: The reserve at the end of Avoca Avenue, Belfield

Bookings: No RSVP required, for more information on similar programs click here 

Bat Watch Picnic

This is a great family event and an opportunity to see one of the great ‘urban David Attenborough moments’, as thousands of Grey-headed Flying-foxes stream out from their roosting camp beside Wolli Creek. It is an opportunity to enjoy an early evening picnic with family and friends and to learn more about these fascinating endangered native mammals. No need to book. Just bring your picnic and your family and friends.

When: Friday 1 March, 6-9pm
Where: Turrella Reserve, Earlwood

Bookings: No need to RSVP. Click here for more information

Wolli Creek Valley Walk Bexley Nth-Turrella Res

Celebrate the Wurridjal Festival with this guided tour of the one of the gems of the innerwest the upper section of the Wolli Creek. This medium grade walk will take you through a section of the two valley trail to learn about the natural wonders of the Wolli Creek. With guides from the Wolli Creek Preservation Society this is a great way to learn how the valley has been preserved by the actions of community volunteers.

When: Saturday 9 March, 9-11am
Where: Bexley Nth to Turrella Res

Yoga by the river with Stanja 

Immerse yourself in the serenity of Cooks River Reserve as you engage in the practice of yoga along its tranquil banks. Surrounded by trees, the reserve transforms into a haven for mindful movement, guided breathwork and, most importantly, inner deep listening. All levels of ability and experience are welcomed. 

Cost: $25 per person.
When: Sunday 17 March, 8.30-9.30am
Where: Gough Whitlam Park, Bayview Avenue, Earlwood

Birdwatching with The Flock

Join local birdwatching group, The Rockdale Flock, for a spot of amateur birdwatching to celebrate the Wurridjal Festival. The walk will begin by exploring the Cup and Saucer Creek wetlands which has lots of birds visible from well-placed lookouts. Followed by a stroll along the Cooks River Foreshore, crossing bridges to explore both sides of the river, before ending up back at the reserve for a well-deserved morning tea.

When: Sunday 17 March, 8.30-10.30am
Where: Heynes Reserve, 60 Berna Street, Canterbury

Yana Badu Wetlands tour

Come and join us on a tour of the Yana Badu Wetlands in Chullora. Celebrating the Wurridjal Festival this guided tour is of a site rarely open to the public. The Yana Badu wetlands give a window into the natural beauty of the Cooks River as it would have been. This tour is a partnership between Sydney Water and Council.

When: Saturday 23 March, 10am-noon
Where: Yana Badu Wetlands, Muir Road, Chullora


Creating a bee friendly native garden workshop

In this interactive workshop for the whole family, we will explore the diversity of native bees, where they live, and what flowers they feed on. Then together we’ll design gardens to support people and pollinators! A fun workshop suitable for both kids and adults. Bookings are essential. 

When: Sunday 24 March, 2-4pm
Where: Hurlstone Memorial Reserve Community Centre, Crinan Street, Hurlstone Park


Yana Badu Wetlands tour

Come and join us on a tour of the Yana Badu Wetlands in Chullora. Celebrating the Wurridjal Festival this guided tour is of a site rarely open to the public. The Yana Badu wetlands give a window into the natural beauty of the Cooks River as it would have been. This tour is a partnership between Sydney Water and Council.

When: Sunday 24 March, 10am-noon
Where: Yana Badu Wetlands, Muir Road, Chullora

Nature connection and wellbeing walk in the Wolli Creek Regional Park

Being in nature is restorative and often inspiring. This is an invitation to join a small group to explore our relationship to nature through a number of connection practices that invite silence and close encounter. This is a great opportunity to slow your pace and see the world around you with new eyes. Also a great opportunity to meet others and share this immersive experience.

The walk is led by volunteer members of the Wolli Creek Preservation Society (WCPS) and will commence at Girrahween Park.

This walk is brought to you by the WCPS and sponsored by Canterbury-Bankstown Council. 

Please email us at info@wollicreek.org.au if you have any questions. Details about where to meet, and further walk information will be provided following registration.

When: Sunday 24 March, 10am-noon
Where: Girrahween Picnic Area

For information on the WCPS


​Live Discussion: Human health and river health 

In this live panel discussion, we’ll be joined by Jennifer Newman, Dr Megan Sharkey from Better Streets, Kiran Kashyap from Regen Sydney and Dr Andrew Thomas from the Cooks River Alliance, to discuss the Cooks River, as an active transport corridor, animal habitat and public space. Together we’ll discuss the health of the Cooks River and how it affects the health of the communities around it.

When: Thursday 28 March, 6-8pm
Where: Hurlstone Memorial Reserve Community Centre, Crinan Street, Hurlstone Park


Native plant giveaway

Our native plant giveaway is back! Come to your closest participating library to collect FREE native plants for your home garden or balcony. A selection of native trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcovers seedlings, grown from locally-collected seeds, will be available to residents. Please note, there is a limit of four plants per household, with limited plants available.

When: 6-12 April, during usual library operating hours
Where: Campsie, Chester Hill, Greenacre and Riverwood Library and Knowledge Centres

Bookings: No need to book, just come and collect your plants during library hours. Please note this is available only to residents of Canterbury-Bankstown 


​Creating a garden for local wildlife

Learn what native animals may be visiting your garden or local park. From birds and possums to lizards and frogs, our local urban environment is home to many critters. During this interactive talk, our speaker will chat to you about some of the wildlife present in the Cooks River catchment and share tips and tricks on selecting the right plants to create a wildlife-friendly garden. All participants will receive FREE native plants to take home for their gardens.

When: Saturday 6 April, 10.30-11.30am
Where: Campsie Library and Knowledge Centre, 14-28 Amy Street, Campsie

​​Book here


Cooks River photo walk and lumen print making workshop

Join artists Emilio Cresciani and Remi Siciliano on a photo walk along the Cooks River, followed by a lumen print making workshop at Reverse Garbage. As we walk along the river we'll observe the contrasting industrial remnants, the river ecosystem and human relationship to the riverscape through the lens of photomedia. We'll collect objects and document our walk using camera-less lumen printing techniques. Over 18 only.  Please bring your phone camera. 

Cost: $5 per person
When: Saturday 6 April, 10am-12.30pm
Where: Cooks River Foreshore, Marrickville


Image: Remi Siciliano
Wolli Creek Valley Walk Girrahween Park to Tempe

Celebrating the Wurridjal Festival this guided tour of the lower section of the Wolli Creek Regional Park is a great way to experience this natural gem! This medium grade walk will take you through a section of the two valley trail to learn about the natural wonders of the Wolli Creek and Cooks River. With guides from the Wolli Creek Preservation Society this is a great way to learn how the valley has been preserved by the actions of community volunteers.

When: Sunday 7 April, 9-11am
Where: Girrahween Park to Tempe



Cooks River Kayak with RCC

Come and experience the wonders of the Cooks River and Wolli Creek from the water!
To celebrate the Cooks River Alliance Wurridjal Festival, we will be running a river tour supported by the River Canoe Club of NSW and hosted by City of Canterbury Bankstown. 

When: Sunday 7 April, 8.30-11.30am
Where: River Canoe Club of NSW


Companion planting with natives

Learn how to use native plants to attract beneficial insects and birds into your garden, which helps to control pest insects. Companion planting is about creating garden diversity to maintain plant and garden health through beneficial relationships. Whilst we often consider exotic plants like herbs and aromatic flowers to be the good companion plants, native plants work well too.

When: Tuesday 9 April, 13 April, 6.30-7.30pm
Where: Chester Hill Library and Knowledge Centre, 12 Chester Hill Road, Chester Hill

​​Book here



Planting for pollinators

Learn about the diversity of pollinators visiting your garden which can include flies, mosquitoes, butterflies and native bees, to name a few. During this interactive talk, you will discover the fascinating world of pollinators and their vital role in our ecosystem. Our speaker will share tips and tricks on selecting the right plants and features to create a pollinator-friendly garden that will attract lots of beneficial insects. All participants will receive FREE native plants to take home and grow their own pollinator garden.

When: Saturday 13 April, 10.30-11.30am
Where: Riverwood Library and Knowledge Centre, 80 Kentucky Road, Riverwood

​​Book here


Image: ANBG © A. Lyne 2002
City Nature Challenge

Join in the 2024 City Nature Challenge! Make observations of wild plants and animals and take part in one of the largest community science events in the world while helping us better understand – and therefore, take care of – nature that lives in and around urban areas. You don’t need to be an expert, just snap a photo and upload to the iNaturalist app.

When: Friday 26 April- Monday 29 April
Where: Everywhere

​​Download here


​Bushcare

Are you passionate about the local environment? Are you ready to roll up your sleeves to make a difference in the community? Then why not join other volunteers lending a hand in caring for our catchments! Many opportunities to get involved across the We Love Our Rivers Program.

When: Multiple days available, multiple times
Where: Multiple locations 


Creating canopies in Canterbury-Bankstown
Come along for a morning of tree planting at Pat O'Connor Reserve in Canterbury. We're planting trees to help cool down Sydney and create valuable habitats for birds and other wildlife. Bookings are essential.

This event is a collaboration between CBCity and Greater Sydney Landcare.

Where: Pat O'Connor Reserve, Canterbury
When: Saturday 4 May, 9am-2pm

​​Book now


How We Love Our Rivers 

From litter booms to underground trash racks and manmade wetlands, we have more than 75 gross pollutant traps and 90 biofilters (natural filtration through planted areas) removing approximately 300 tonnes of waste and excess nutrients from our waterways each year.

We have helped develop a 2021 Cooks River Litter Prevention Strategy, aiming to reduce litter entering the Cooks River by 50% by 2025. We are also developing a Clean City Strategic Plan and work with industry and community on many litter prevention programs, including Get The Site Right and We Like Our Parks Litter Free. Read more about these programs here.

On top of this, our dedicated street sweeping team clean up leaves, litter, dirt and other debris from our kerb and gutters removing almost 1,700 tonnes over 12 months in 2020-21. We also have partnerships with Corrective Services NSW where people fulfil their community service hours by collecting rubbish from our riverside parks. We're continuing to work closely with other river-surrounded Councils on whole-of-river litter strategies as an active member of the Cooks River Alliance, Georges Riverkeeper and the Parramatta River Catchment Group.

​Croydon Park litter boom on the Cooks River​Cup and Saucer Creek Wetland, Canterbury beside Cooks River

 

How can you Love Our Rivers?

Whether it's picking up after your dog, washing your car on grass, gardening or putting your rubbish in the bin, there's something we can all do to help reduce pollution in our local waterways and make them clean and safe for everyone to enjoy.
Learn more here:

 

Reduce your rubbish
Dispose of your litter correctly and swap single-use plastics for reusable products. Place wet wipes, nappies, tissues, ear buds and other hygiene products in a bin and never flush them down the toilet.

Leave only paw prints

Pick up pet waste to stop bacteria and other bugs from entering our waterways.

Wash it wisely
Where possible, wash your car, barbeque, outdoor furniture and gardening equipment on the grass so that it soaks up the detergent, dirt and water. Or use a commercial car wash or apartment washing bay that filters the water.
Cover it up
Keep dirt, leaves and other garden waste away from stormwater drains. Sweep or blow leaves and dirt from driveways and curbs back onto garden beds or place into a bin.
Keep it clear
Rainwater is the only thing that should go down a stormwater drain. Never pour, hose or wash paint, oil and other chemicals down a stormwater drain.

 #clean_and_green