Mission to Mars…Creek

Mars Creek within the campus of Macquarie University is undergoing a facelift. The Reach 1 works, designed by Storm, have created one of the most impressive creek projects in Australia.

Stormwater NSW picked a fantastic, warm day to host the most recent NSW technical tour themed “What’s Hot and what’s not in WSUD”.  Run on the autumn equinox (Mar 21), this tour travelled across the north shore and northern beaches of Sydney.

Stop No.1 was Macquarie University which boasts a range of cutting edge WSUD projects.  The Uni campus is experiencing significant growth in buildings and facilities, and sustainability is integrated into the planning and design.

Over the 250m long Reach 1, a new creek channel has been created with pools, riffles, planted benches, a cascade, on-line pond.  Blended into the design is an upstream GPT and treatment wetland, a backswamp floodplain wetland which is activated in higher flows, and WSUD channels that convey stormwater from existing pipe outlets into the creek system.  Landscaping including planting, paths and a bridge crossing complete the reach.

This must surely be one of the best creek reconstruction projects undertaken in Australia demonstrating a rich variety of elements in an elegant design.  The works result in a creek reach that is fully integrated with the campus and which will attract people to the water’s edge. The water environments will provide a shady cool haven within the campus grounds and a variety of fauna will use the created habitats as their home. On top of all that, the creek works will provide a stunning backdrop as the University grows over the next 20 years.   Storm Consulting was the designer and presented the works with construction contractors Total Earth Care.

The works follow on from Master Planning that Storm prepared for Mars Creek which won an Award of Merit by Stormwater NSW.

David Hellot from Storm was the Senior Environmental Engineer who designed the works.  He has a wonderful skill in creating 3-D designs that are practical, constructible and beautiful.  “The variety of elements in this project is very dense, it is really impressive.  It creates a whole creek and wetland ecosystem” he said.

Macqurie University’s John Macris is coordinating the works and is very excited about the biodiversity and aesthetic outcomes that will be achieved.