Eaton Possum Sanctuary officially opened

Published on Friday, 17 December 2021 at 5:30:00 PM

Eaton Possum Sanctuary officially opened

Shire of Dardanup Environment Officer Jacquie Nicholl, Deputy Shire President Tyrrell Gardiner and LCC’s Biodiversity Program Manager Katrina Zeehandelaar-Adams.

An official opening ceremony for the new Leicester Reserve Possum Sanctuary in Eaton provided a heart-warming opportunity this week to reflect on the power of partnerships between the Shire of Dardanup and its community for creating positive change.

Development of the sanctuary was managed by the Leschenault Catchment Council with support from the Shire of Dardanup and a $20,000 funding grant from WIRES and Landcare Australia.

But the spirit of working together to ensure this vision for a unique environmental project that would help rescue Western Ringtail Possums from the brink of extinction, didn’t stop there.

Conversion of the reserve to a haven and ideal habitat that would encourage possums in, needed extensive plantings of peppermint trees and creation of a healthy understorey.

Pinching in to help the Shire’s Parks & Environment Team were community volunteers including children from Eaton Online Childcare Bush Kids and the Department of Corrective Services, Bunbury Regional Prison – Pre Release Prisoner program.

The sanctuary is a fenced safe-haven for our Ringtail Possums and is designed to help their dwindling numbers recover and thrive. Without intervention, it’s estimated the local population could become extinct in just 10-15 years.

Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, local Aboriginal Elder Francis Khan provided a Welcome to Country and an overview on the history and cultural significance of the land while LCC’s Biodiversity Program Manager Katrina Zeehandelaar-Adams and Deputy Shire President Tyrrell Gardiner provided information on development of the project and the partnerships involved. 

“This project has provided a terrific opportunity to develop a strong working relationship between the Shire of Dardanup and the Leschenault Catchment Council while also engaging the community to be part of an important environmental initiative,” Cr Gardiner said.

“We know that over time, the Sanctuary will become a real tourist attraction and educational ‘outdoor classroom’ with the project funding allowing for installation of fantastic interpretative signage.

“We hope that future special events and other opportunities designed to engage the community in this project will raise awareness about our unique possums and work being done to protect their species.”



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