Created By: Tree Street Area Art Safari
In 1962, a twenty year project plan was proposed create a landfill (rubbish dump) and to reclaim the Big Swamp wetlands for community use. The dumping of refuse closed in the 1970s and the ‘rubbish hill’ has since been rehabilitated to form a vantage point for the observation of wildlife. The complex was formed by artificially creating wetlands through the clearing of native vegetation and directing the run-off into a natural depression. Big Swamp was also the natural drainage outlet for Five Mile Brook, which is now diverted to flow along an open drainage channel and discharges directly into the Indian Ocean via floodgates. Provision is made for water to be diverted to Big Swamp when needed. A market garden had been established on the northern perimeter of Big Swamp by Chinese who sold their produce in local shops. Earlier land uses also included cattle grazing. In the late 1880s, a vineyard and orchard were established by E M Clarke and Dr O’Meehan on the edge of the swamp land. Their property was later owned and operated by the Gibson family, who lived at 68-70 Clarke Street. Their wine was stored in a substantial cellar built in the nearby limestone cave system. In 1981, a Bird Park was built in the south west corner of the Swamp. It was a joint venture between the City of Bunbury and the avicultural society. Over the years, strategic plantings and judicious management of the wetland environment has attracted a variety of wildlife and birds to the area. Big Swamp consists of recreational areas and a series of islands forming ecosystems which incorporate a number of natural habitats to support large populations of both flora and fauna.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Tree Street Art Safari Architecture Tour