Your Yarra goes through a 242km journey towards Port Phillip Bay. It meanders through forested valleys, rural towns, vineyards, farms, suburbs and the city. Sometimes, parts of the River stretch out into the surrounding land leaving behind creeks and wetlands.
At the start of its journey, in the pristine closed upper catchment, the River’s water is fresh and surrounded by forests. In rural areas, the riverbanks have been squeezed out to make room for crops and farmland. As your Yarra travels towards more urban areas the water is shadowed by apartments and the banks are covered by pathways. Throughout this journey, the river collects litter and pollutants – which have made their way from the houses, retail precincts, streets, construction sites and industrial areas through the system of manmade stormwater drains.
The fragmentation and different states of the landscapes that your Yarra witnesses are the result of colonisation, urbanisation, climate change and other pressures. The health across the entirety of the Yarra’s length influences the ability for species, to call the catchment home and to greet the River on its journey.
The River is a ‘corridor’ of connectivity. Its waters, the surrounding land and the species that visit or live there, are vital to the health of the environment and the community. When the river is connected it links up habitat and supports natural processes that are needed for a healthy environment, like the ability for species to move from one area to the next while they search for food, water and habitat.
Regeneration is supporting this connectivity and working towards landscapes that have ecosystems that are healthy, resilient and biodiverse.
The Yarra Riverkeepers have a vision for reconnecting your Yarra to be a connected corridor. In 2020 we prepped and planned our regeneration sites. In 2021 we were able to get wild and involve the community through planting events. We’re looking forward to continuing this work and seeing how these sites grow and flourish.
The journey towards regenerating your Yarra is shared with the greater Melbourne community. Like with most conservation work, our regeneration projects are building upon the legacy of work that has been done by community groups, government agencies and volunteers.