On March 27th this year, Judi Edwards, President of the Boolarra South Landcare Group, welcomed the community to the Mill Site. Our first sign was unveiled by Rob Herni representing the Boolarra Community Development Group (BCDG). The $6,000 from the BCDG enabled the project to proceed and we wanted to acknowledge this contribution and support. The BBQ was an enjoyable way to celebrate the making of the sign and progress so far. Funding for the BBQ and sign came from the Community Events Fund, administered by Latrobe City Council for the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority (VBRRA).
Development of the tracks is continuing thanks to John Lubawski’s skill with a wheelbarrow. He has spread many loads of crushed rock so if you would like to get fit you could offer to help him!
The recent heavy rains showed us exactly where water runoff was happening, not always where we had predicted. We have been putting in some larger pipes to cope with the run off.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has been removing more dangerous trees, and we are very appreciative of their work. However, we were far from happy with the person who drove his tractor in to get the firewood. He got bogged on the way and caused quite a lot of damage to the track, which took two men a good few hours to repair. It is disappointing to work so hard to build something, only to have thoughtless people damage it and we have to do it all again. Motorbikes have also done some damage and generally young people on unregistered bikes seem to be the problem. It would be great if parents could encourage responsible riding and explain that those particular tracks are walking tracks for the community to enjoy. We are beginning to erect a fence and a gate on Foster Road and have put some bollards around the car park.
The walking tracks that have been mapped out so far are almost complete. There is a map box at the car park and maps are also available at the shop to help you navigate your way around. We are planning a return track to the cemetery so that there is a good circular walk, however at the moment we are still trying to determine the best route. Mick Crowley has been busy with his compass and thinks he has found a good way through.
We had a lovely surprise with a visit from Carol Sanders (nee Thorburn) who now lives in Beulah. Her grandfather began milling on the site and she is very interested in the development of the area and the preservation of the history. She provided us with some beautiful quilted pieces, including a quilt, for a raffle to raise some funds for the project.
The next stage of development will be the picnic area with benches, seats and gazebo. There are a couple of seats along the tracks but it would be good to have some more and we will also have proper DSE signage. We are still looking for more funding and if any becomes available we will certainly find ways to spend the money. It is pleasing to see walkers using the tracks and enjoying this lovely environment.
Boolarra South Landcare Group.