Hero Image

Over 60,000 new plants added along the Yarra as monumental Melbourne Water project reaches mid-point

Over 60,000 native plants and grasses have now been planted as Melbourne Water’s Yarra Capital Improvement Program celebrates its halfway milestone. The vast rejuvenation project that began in 2021, breathes new life into over 60km of the Yarra River from Abbotsford to Warrandyte.

This section of the Yarra River is home to an incredible array of wildlife, including fish, birds, frogs, reptiles, and land mammals, including bats, gliders, and bandicoots.

The Yarra Capital Improvement Program

The Yarra Capital Improvement Program, a monumental $4.5 million, five-year endeavour, harnesses the collective strength of Melbourne Water, Parks Victoria, Yarra River Keeper, local councils, and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Cultural Heritage Aboriginal Corporation.

Melbourne Water's Managing Director, Dr. Nerina Di Lorenzo, emphasized the importance of a healthy Yarra River to our way of life.

"The Yarra River is the lifeblood of Melbourne, and the Yarra Capital Improvement Program is crucial to ensuring its protection from the impacts of climate change, urbanisation, and population growth.

"That's why, at Melbourne Water, along with our valued partners, we are continuously caring for all the rivers, creeks, and surrounding land in our greatest backyard."

Along with the 60,000 native trees and grasses that have been planted along the Yarra River between Dights Falls and Warrandyte since 2021, over the last year, Melbourne Water has begun planting 1500 semi-aquatic plants across the Birrarung Estuary, where salt water from Port Phillip Bay travels about 10km upstream, to improve the health of the Yarra’s aquatic life.

The new plantings, along with weed control, has not only improved the habitat for our unique and diverse wildlife but also enhances our way of life of life today, ensuring the Yarra River remains Melbourne’s most valuable natural asset now and for the future.

Janet Bolitho, President of Yarra River Keeper, stated that the Yarra Capital Improvement Program is extensive and practical, and will significantly contribute to the restoration of a waterway facing pressure from a growing city.

“Melbourne Water is an excellent partner,” Bolitho said. “Collaboration is essential for the health of the Yarra, and we are committed to leaving this iconic river in better condition for the next generation.”

The Yarra Capital Improvement Program delivers on a key objective of Burndap Birrarung burndap umarkoo (the Yarra Strategic Plan) and Healthy Waterways Strategy, bringing to life the 50-year Community Vision and Traditional Owner aspirations to help the Yarra River thrive into the future.

Media contact:
 03 9679 7004
 [email protected]