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Australia : Para Wirra upgraded to a conservation park.

Northern Adelaide s favourite natural space will be given a higher level of protection under the national parks system.Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said reclassifying Para Wirra Recreation Park as a conservation park would better recognise its natural and heritage values.

Para Wirra covers 1512 hectares of bushland at One Tree Hill, making it one of the largest blocks of remnant native vegetation in the Mount Lofty Ranges, he said. It holds important native vegetation such as pink gum and river red gum woodland, and important species like the yellow-footed antechinus a tiny mammal listed as vulnerable in South Australia. The park is historically important as well, protecting remnants of gold mining heritage including mine shafts, tunnels and stone ruins that date back as far as the 1860s.

Mr Hunter said despite the name change, the park would continue to be an important recreational area for the northern suburbs. Conservation and recreation are not mutually exclusive we want the community to continue to care about our parks and reserves, and we encourage people to get out and enjoy them, he said.

Para Wirra is home to a wealth of wildlife including western grey kangaroos, echidnas, bearded dragons, and more than 100 species of birds; it also has walking trails, picnic and barbeque facilities, a sports oval, lookouts and a lake that make it a relaxing spot to visit, or be active by cycling on sealed roads, horse riding and dog-walking. Friends of Para Wirra President Patsy Johnson said the group has sought conservation status for many years, at the instigation of founding President, the late Ted Hughes, OAM. Para Wirra is a special park, and deserves recognition of its largely intact native vegetation and the variety of native wildlife it contains and protects, which we hope will remain for our future generations and the beautiful plants and animals within its boundaries."

Mr Hunter congratulated the Friends of Para Wirra for their advocacy, as well as the numerous volunteers across the state who give time and resources to our many parks and reserves. Friends of Parks volunteers work tirelessly to maintain and improve our state s national parks and reserves, and the Friends of Para Wirra have long recognised this area s value we re very pleased to be able to celebrate those values with this higher level of protection.

The State Government has committed $10.4 million to improve metropolitan Adelaide s parks and reserves, with further details about how it will spend this funding to be released soon.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Nov 3, 2015
Words:435
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