Re-building the Bush in Boolarra
Boolarra is a small township in the Latrobe Valley, Central Gippsland. Lying at one end of the Grand-Ridge Rail Trail, it is a bush-walking destination with a friendly rural atmosphere.
The Old Mill site, originally home to a timber mill established in the 1880’s, occupies five acres of land surrounded by State Forest. Devastated by fires in 2009, the site’s popular walking tracks through the bush became covered in regrowth and the area was not being used.
Boolarra South Landcare Group (BSLG) decided to re-establish the site, which boasts lovely fern gullies and a dam. An FRRR Repair-Restore-Renew grant enabled the completion of the project, which includes five kilometres of walking tracks and a picturesque recreational site to benefit residents of Boolarra and visitors to the area.
Volunteers began the work in early 2010, clearing pathways and collecting seed to establish local plant species. Among the plants identified were beautiful pink Trigger plants, three native orchid species and native grasses. The Boolarra Community Development Group kindly funded construction of the first kilometre of wheelchair accessible track running from the Old Mill site at Foster Road to the cemetery and back.
With FRRR’s assistance, the BSLG was able to lay the rest of the crushed rock paths, construct a gazebo complete with wheelchair ramp and railings, and install picnic tables and seats. The grant also covered the cost of trees, plants and signage for the area.
Restoration of the Old Mill site has provided access to one of Boolarra’s natural assets, which can once again be enjoyed by the community and visitors.