A Public Health Emergency has been declared in the ACT for the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the COVID-19 website for more information.
On 11 September 2020, the ACT Government assumed a Caretaker role, with an election to be held 17 October 2020. Information on this website will be published in accordance with the Guidance on Caretaker Conventions until after the election and conclusion of the caretaker period.
A nature strip, sometimes called a street verge, is the strip of land between a residential property boundary and the adjacent roadway and includes rain gardens. It provides a safe public walking area and is designed to complement your neighbourhood's natural settings. The nature strip or roadside verge is public land and is not part of your lease from the ACT Government.
It is accepted practice in the ACT that maintenance of nature strips, including rain gardens, is undertaken by the resident or lessee of the adjoining leased land. Street trees on your verge are maintained by the ACT Government.
It is important to note that nature strips usually contain essential services such as sewerage, water pipes, telephone, power and gas. Unapproved works or alterations to the nature strip may result in limiting accessibility or causing damage to these services. This can prove to be a very costly exercise for those responsible. Changes such as tree plantings or landscaping require consultation and approval.
The nature strip or roadside verge is public land and is not part of your lease from the ACT Government.
It is accepted practice in the ACT that maintenance of nature strips, including rain gardens, is undertaken by the resident or lessee of the adjoining leased land. This includes residential properties, single unit dwellings or, in the case of a units plan, the corporate bodies and commercial premises. Street trees on your verge are maintained by the ACT Government.
If you feel that you are unable to maintain your nature strip due to health reasons, organisations such as a Home Help Services ACT may be able to provide assistance. For further information call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
A rain garden is a bio-retention basin that has been installed in urban streets as part of water sensitive urban design measures implemented to improve water quality downstream. The rain gardens help to filter the storm water before it enters larger basins such as lakes and ponds. Rain gardens rely on bio-filtration processes to reduce stormwater pollutants.
To maintain the effectiveness of the rain garden and the amenity of your street, hand pull weeds without the use of chemicals. Rain gardens are to be kept clear of debris, including litter, grass clippings and other organic martial. This will allow stormwater to be filtered as it passes through the soil profile and be utilised by trees and other plants in the rain garden.
Well-maintained rain gardens
The photos below show well-maintained rain gardens. Rain gardens should have good vegetation, and both weeds and leaf litter removed.
Poorly maintained rained gardens
The photos below show poorly maintained rain gardens overrun by weeds and leaf litter.
Lawn clippings have been deposited in this garden, resulting in a decline in native vegetation and the introduction of weeds. Lawn clippings also slow the rate at which water passes through the soil.
Weeds should be removed by pulling them out by hand and leaf litter should be removed to allow water to pass through the soil.