Perth’s Gardeners Can Help Save Our Waterways

The Swan Canning River system is an iconic part of the Perth landscape and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. It’s cultural, recreational and environmental values are immensely important and we all have a role to play in caring for it – especially gardeners. 

Each year around 250 tonnes of nitrogen and 26 tonnes of phosphorus enter the river – nearly double what it can safely receive. The impact of this includes algal blooms, deoxygenation and fish deaths. Algal blooms can also be toxic to humans, causing skin irrigations and other health problems. 

Research shows that the main source of nitrogen entering the Swan Canning catchment is from the residential sector, primarily through fertiliser application on gardens and lawns. It’s also the second highest source of phosphorus. The good news is that we can all do something about it by rethinking the way we use fertiliser in our gardens. 

To help tackle this issue ABC TV Gardening Australia presenter and environmental scientist Josh Byrne, is delivering a series of free workshop events to provide Perth residents with the ideas and inspiration to create a successful garden while doing their bit to help the Swan and Canning Rivers. 

“This isn’t about tearing up your lawns and covering everything in mulch,” says Mr Byrne. “There are simple and cost effective steps we can take to reduce nutrient pollution and it starts with building healthy soil and only feeding plants what they need, when they need it.” 

Supported by the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions River Guardians program and Water Corporation’s Waterwise program, each two-hour long workshop will showcase the latest ideas in river-friendly gardening, as well as provide participants with the practical information needed to get the best results from their garden, including tips on design, plant selection and irrigation. 

This spring’s free Your Garden with Josh Byrne series will feature some of Perth’s leaders in habitat and fauna protection talking about biodiversity, urban wetland rehabilitation and dolphins. 

City of Canning 

Featuring City of Canning Landscape Architect Giles Pickard and his important work with the Canning catchment and the City’s new high tech wetland project. 

Wednesday the 6th November 2019 

6:30pm – 8:30pm 

Canning Town Hall, Cnr George Street West And Albany Highway, Cannington 

City of Stirling 

Featuring Consultant Ecologist Mandy Bamford and her understanding of and inspiration for preserving backyard biodiversity. 

Tuesday the 12 November 2019 

6:30pm – 8:30pm 

Stirling Community Centres – Bob Daniel – Inglewood 

895 Beaufort Street, Inglewood 

Western Suburbs 

Featuring River Guardians Program Manager Jason Menzies and his work with the Swan and Canning river dolphins and the Reel It In fishing line bin project 

Thursday the 14 November 2019

6:30pm – 8:30pm 

Adam Armstrong Pavilion, David Cruickshank Reserve. Dalkeith 

Register for free tickets via Eventbrite or go to for more information and direct booking links.