Lending a hand to support conservation, volunteers at South Australia’s reservoir reserves achieved a number of impressive milestones during 2022, including planting 4,400 seedlings and stocking 7,000 native fish.

Reservoir volunteers achieve bumper first year in 2022

The growing community – which now boasts more than 50 registered volunteers after only its first year – took part in 85 activities across seven reservoir reserves, clocking up a combined 460 hours of volunteering, while caring for more than 85 hectares of land.

Volunteer Jan Hillyard, who was involved in 30 activities last year, said her favourite part about volunteering at reservoir reserves is being surrounded by nature.

“Immersing yourself in these natural environments provides you with an opportunity to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of nature, and it’s incredibly relaxing and good for the soul,” Jan said.

“One of my most memorable activities has been planting seedlings at Happy Valley and Myponga, as I’ve since pointed out to my grandchildren that I was involved and knowing they’ll be able to watch the plants grow and show their own children one day is a lasting legacy that fills me with pride.

“You get to meet a lot of like-minded people and the program’s completely flexible, so you can sign up to whichever activity interests you. I was also fortunate to be involved in the release of fingerlings into Happy Valley Reservoir, which was an experience I never thought possible.

“I’ve learnt a lot by working alongside SA Water’s reservoir rangers, who share a passion for conservation and always host a range of engaging activities such as bird surveying and revegetation projects.”

Among the other achievements last year, volunteers surveyed more than 1,000 individual birds and supported native habitat restoration for threatened wetland birds, including the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu Wren and Australasian Bittern, at Myponga Reservoir Reserve.

SA Water’s General Manager of Strategy, Engagement and Innovation Nicola Murphy said there’s plenty of upcoming opportunities for people to get involved with the volunteering program.

“In only a year since the program’s inception, our volunteers have made a real impact on preserving the vital biodiversity at the state’s reservoir reserves for generations to come,” Nicola said.

“Our volunteering program is about bringing people together to foster a healthy and sustainable environment and I encourage anyone who’s interested to sign up and play an active part.

“We’re planning a range of exciting conservation initiatives at Happy Valley, Myponga and South Para over the next few months, and with your help, we’ll continue to nurture these delicate ecosystems.”

Find out more about how to apply to become a volunteer.