Keysborough Wetlands

Finalist 2019

The Keysborough Wetlands is a unique wetland sanctuary built into the heart of a residential development, providing an important habitat for many birds, fish and turtles, and a place where people connect with nature. While the wetlands sanctuary is cherished, feeding the birds, fish and turtles was causing a significant detrimental affect on the health of the wetlands ecosystem and existing signage was not solving the problem.

The solution implements an exhibition style of 3D “guidebook” to inform people of the implications of their actions in a subtle way, rather than a “DO NOT” approach. Long panels follow the curved handrail and present water scenes that allow visitors to identify the prevalent species. The narrative of these panels is one of connectedness and fragility, a story reinforced through the linear connection of the illustrations, carefully crafted text and headings.

The negative impact of feeding the animals is subtly woven throughout the narrative. The animal illustrations are presented as life size, with larger species standing proud of the viewing platform, with names routed into the timber. This pragmatic solution adds visual interest and invites viewers to look over, under and around existing structure, increasing engagement, particularly for children.

This engaging and immersive solution has been highly successful as it stopped the behavioral issues it set out to stop. People are now more connected and feel invested in the health of the site and the ROI is significant as the alternative is extremely expensive and time consuming.

Design Firms: 

HeineJones

Client: 

City of Greater Dandenong

Project Area: 

320 sq ft

Open Date: 

December 2018

Project Budget: 

$35,250

Photo Credits: 

Mark Wilson Photography (photography, videography)

Design Team: 

Mike Heine (design direction), Larni Williams (design, project management), Steve Jones (technical management), Georgia Quinn (research, content)

Consultants: 

Brendon Rankin (engineering and structural advice), Maxine Hamilton (illustration)

Fabricators: 

Banana Graphics (fabrication, installation)

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