River revamp almost complete as picnics begin
BY ALEX CRAIG
TWO years ago Steve Gardiner of the Mt Beauty Caravan Park noticed that families were having problems gaining access to the river by Embankment Drive, near the entry to the Pebble Beach walking track, opposite the Park.
“The area was very overgrown with blackberries and other weeds, and the ground was rutted so they had trouble getting pushers over the ground,” he said.
Mr Gardiner decided to clean up the riverbank a little and this started a dialogue with various local authorities which resulted in the establishment of a new picnic area by the Kiewa River.
After a meeting involving Mr Gardiner, the Upper Kiewa Valley Community Association ( UKVCA), the Alpine Shire, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ( DELWP) and the North East Catchment Management Authority ( NECMA), the Alpine Shire has agreed to manage the riverfront area from Pebble Beach to the beach opposite the caravan park.
“With the help of the Alpine Shire, I am now being encouraged to not only go in and remove weeds, but to leave the natives and plant more natives next year,” Mr Gardiner said.
“There has been input from community members, especially local builder Mike Smith who supplied equipment and expertise in removing blackberries.
“VicForests gave us $2000 to help with beautification of the area, and the UKVCA and the local Chamber of Commerce have supplied funds for some picnic tables.”
The UVCA has also volunteered to look after the finances.
“The tables and benches were supplied very promptly by Don Shields of Porepunkah, and are expected to be properly installed this week, and we hope that the local scouts and the primary and secondary schools will help with the new plantings when the time comes,” Mr Gardiner added.
“Hopefully everything will be in place within a week or so, and ready to be used by locals and visitors over the coming holidays.”