Reflection from Youth (Denise)- The Redhill Valley

The Red Hill Valley parkway was opened in 2007 and cost approximately 245 million dollars. The construction took the space of indigenous communities, the relocation of animals, and rerouting of the Red Hill creek, which is the habitat to hundreds of native species. The construction brought criticism from indigenous peoples, environmental activists, and local residents who had to be displaced. Even the federal government withdrew the project’s funding, in which the Hamilton government reacted by launching a 75 million dollar lawsuit against the federal government. The federal government eventually gave Hamilton the adequate funding and we now have what we know as the Red Hill Valley parkway. However, a simple hike along the valley’s trails shows just how much of an impact the parkway had on the ecosystem. When we took a hike on Monday, the loudest sound was that of the passing cars and large transport trucks. Not only does this affect our serene interaction with nature, but it can also have negative effects on wildlife. According to the Australian Academy of Science, noise pollution changes how animals hunt, hear nearby predators, and where they choose to live, but as our focus is on water, I was interested in the effect on the creek. In the creek there are many sources of pollution, such as plastics, litter, and the invisible runoff of highway accidents. For example, if a car on the Red Hill parkway crashes and leaks oil or fuel, it will end up in the water, ingested by the wildlife and affecting their health. The rerouting of the creek also affects the wildlife and us. As our camp counselor Kelly pointed out, using concrete on the highway, in the nearby industrial areas, and the trail’s path creates more runoff which can lead to flash floods. Since the concrete doesn’t absorb water, it flows to the creek, which often floods in the spring. Finally, the rerouting of the creek moved the animals along with it. Water is life. All animals need water to survive, but when the creek was moved it made finding food for the animals more dangerous as the Creek was too close to the roads and close to too much human activity. In conclusion, they took a natural ecosystem to better our roads, economy, and infrastructure at the price of the well-being of our “flora and fauna” as well as our residents.