Biodiversity projects

Working to safeguard biodiversity and sustain healthy natural areas.

The City of Adelaide is continually working on exciting projects to improve the health of our local environment. Water is an essential part of any living system and underpins many of our biodiversity projects. By working to safeguard biodiversity, we can sustain healthy natural areas in which people, plants and animals can live, work and play.

Below are just some of the exciting projects undertaken:

Did you know that over 300 species of native bees live in Adelaide and the Mt Lofty Ranges? Most of these bees live alone and don’t have stingers, so they are no threat to humans. Sadly, urban areas don’t provide much food for these bees to survive and our native species often come out second-best to the European honeybee in the struggle to find food and shelter.

That’s where Native Bee BnBs come in!

The Native Bee BnB project is about supporting our native bees by creating a corridor of flowering plants all the way from the Adelaide Hills to the ocean.

You can get involved by creating your own bee-friendly garden or by visiting one of our native bee hotels.

What are Bee Hotels?

Bee hotels are made from a variety of materials to accommodate many species of native bees. Wooden blocks, bamboo and mud bricks are all common materials found in a bee hotel.

There are three bee hotels installed by the City of Adelaide as part of the project. Find them at:

  • Magic Forest Garden in the Bonython Park /Tulya Wardli play space
  • GS Kingston Park/Wirrarninthi
  • Mistletoe Park/Tainmuntilla biodiversity site.

Watch the video below to find out how we made the first bee hotel in the Tulya Wardli Magic Forest Garden.

The City of Adelaide is transforming the stormwater creek in the South Park Lands to improve biodiversity, reduce water speed and provide a space where visitors can connect with nature.

The creek was constructed 100 years ago, so needs an upgrade. The team are taking the opportunity to turn it into a corridor for native biodiversity and visitors. Work has already begun and includes the planting of up to 135,000 plants, including trees, aquatic vegetation and local native shrubs in three parks, Carriageway Park/Tuthangga, Peppermint Park/Wita Wirra and Pelzer Park/Pityarilla (Park 19).

The image below shows the condition of the South Park Lands creek before the revival project commenced.

Before picture showing the biodiversity project at south parklands creek
photo-icon City of Adelaide

The image below shows the condition of the South Park Lands creek after the revival project commenced.

After picture showing the biodiversity project at

Bonython Park/ Tulya Wardli is a hidden natural oasis close to the heart of the city. A concerted revegetation effort has transformed this area of the River Torrens/Karrawirra Pari into a natural riverbank ecosystem from its degraded (unhealthy) state.

You can now visit and walk through this delightful space, which provides an insight into how the area may have been when the Kaurna people were the original inhabitants of the land.

Early stages of the restoration removed large woody weeds such as willow and ash trees, as well as smaller invasive weeds. This was followed by the planting of 100,000 native plants as part of the SA Urban Forest One Million Trees Program. The native vegetation has continued to grow and is providing food and habitat for native animals.

The image below shows Bonython Park/Tulya Wardli riparian restoration works.

Biodiversity project tulya wardli creek

The Kaurna People are the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains and the culture of the Kaurna People is inextricably linked with the ecology of our region. The sustainable management of the land, including the use of fire, by the Kaurna People had a major impact on the evolution of the ecosystems of the Adelaide Plains.

The City of Adelaide has been working with the Kaurna people for many years. We are planning to conduct a controlled burn with the assistance of the Kaurna community in a biodiversity area of the Adelaide Park Lands. This will be an historic occurrence and the first such project to be undertaken in a capital city in Australia.

You probably have seen a big carp swimming along our river Torrens. Have common carp (Cyprinus carpio) always been here? No, they were introduced. Are they a problem for our river? Well unfortunately yes. Carp are exotic species renowned for altering riparian ecosystems. They pull up and disturb submerged vegetation while searching for food. Carp reduce water clarity and stir up bottom sediments, which may contribute to algae blooms.

The City of Adelaide has been actively removing carp from the Torrens Lake for several years. This is part of an ongoing and adaptive maintenance plan to reduce the negative impact of carp on water quality and aquatic biodiversity.

Carp image credit davide gaglio

Image credit: Davide Gaglio

The Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design approach was recently adopted by the City of Adelaide as a way to reduce the impacts of urbanisation on native flora and fauna. It aims to expand and improve habitat resources in the urban area to contribute to the conservation of native biodiversity and to enhance environmental connections and wellbeing within the community.

The Biodiverse Carbon Offset Planting project aims to restore an area of Reservoir Park/Kangatilla (Park 4) with native vegetation from the Mallee Box Woodland ecological communities and therefore enhance habitat quality by creating a biodiverse carbon offset planting demonstration site. The project will not only improve native biodiversity and opportunities for urban cooling, but with the creation of an interpretive trail with informative signs it will create multiple opportunities for education and recreation for park visitors to enjoy.

Find out more in the Guide to Carbon Planting in SA report.

Biodiverse Carbon Offset Planting Reservoir Park/Kangatilla (Park 4)

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding these or other biodiversity projects, please contact: