Yankee Pools


The project

The section of Rapid Creek between Marrara and the Airport is known as Yankee Pools. During the war years American servicemen used this area for swimming, hence the name. The group's work here focussed on the City of Darwin land which includes a significant section of monsoon forest. The project also worked with all landholders in the general Yankee Pools area towards better weed management, particularly in relation to Gamba grass.


Weeds threaten the integrity of the special monsoon forest at Yankee Pools. Gamba grass is prevalent and creates a massive fire threat to the sensitive forest. The group wrote the Yankee Pools Weed Management Plan in 2010. The group worked specifically on weed management on the City of Darwin block near the creek, and more generally with all landholders to improve weed management. Gamba grass and other weeds have been greatly reduced in the area although ongoing management is needed, in particular on Australian Government land managed by Defence in relation to Gamba grass, and on NT Government controlled land in relation to mission grass.


Yankee Pools had Gamba grass infestations posing a serious fire risk to the woodland and sensitive monsoon forest communities adjacent to the creek and the downstream creek system. Herbicide spraying on the Darwin Clay Target Club woodland section was followed up by a controlled burn by NT Fire and Rescue Service. The spray and burn have helped to reduce one of the large Gamba grass infestations.

Erosion control and clean up

The group's project included removing litter and cleaning up large amounts of dumped material and old fencing using machines. The material was hindering access, was aesthetically unpleasing, and also harboured weeds. The machinery was also used to carry out erosion and sediment control work in the woodland adjacent to the creek system. Controlling vehicle access has also assisted with protecting this special site from weed introduction and vegetation damage.


The group's volunteers planted hundreds of locally provenanced native seedlings into the forest near the creek to rehabilitate degraded old tracks on the City of Darwin land. This work has eliminated inappropriate vehicle access into the sensitive riparian forest and assisted in enhancing and strengthening the monsoon forest. Ongoing weed management by all landholders will be crucial to the project's long term success.