Hospital Creek Signboard
A new signboard has just been installed at the site of the old Hospital Creek Bridge which was destroyed in the 2011 bushfires.
The sign was sponsored by members of the Orbost Community. This completes the set of 9 signboards between Nowa Nowa and Orbost. It is hoped these signs add interest for travelers with information on some history as well as information on flora and fauna.
The signed was installed By Friends of East Gippsland Rail Trail Committee members. This photo is of Geoff Preston and Marlene Robb with the newly installed sign board. The area around Hospital Creek has experienced substantial weed regrowth after the bushfire. Black Wattle regrowth is a particular problem with dense patches of young trees dominating the area.
The area around Wombat Creek and Tostaree which experienced the worst of this rather intense bushfire still shows the impact. In this area you can see the Eucalypt tree's response to this bushfire which would have destroyed most other species. Eucalypt trees have extensive epicormic buds which sprout following a fire thus allowing the vegetative regeneration of branches from their trunks.
Rail Trail Restoration Grants
Eleven East Gippsland Landcare groups will each receive grants for environmental projects on public land. Two of these were: Nicholson River Landcare Group, rail trail restoration at Nicholson, $14,800;and Snowy West Landcare Group, rail trail restoration at Newmerella, $22,700.
Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Ryan Smith and Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull announced the funding on Monday March 25. “These grants give Landcare groups across East Gippsland the support they need to lend a hand on public land,” Mr Smith said. “Each project will assist in protecting and enhancing their local environment. “The grants will be used to improve 15 public land reserves across East Gippsland and will focus on improving accessibility and the appearances of public places and recreational reserves, as well as enhancing habitat for plants and animals.”
Mr Bull said around 300 volunteers would be involved in a range of projects including restoring some of the region's popular rail trails, planting indigenous vegetation, restoring rainforests and controlling weeds and pests.
This photo shows Mr Tim Bull inspecting the Newmerella site with Snowy West Landcare members Dawn Parker, Keith Law and Marlene Robb.
Historic signal mast gets armed!
On the last day of 2012 the signal mast at the Trail entrance in Bairnsdale was fitted with a replica 'home' signal arm and top capping. These had been fabricated and donated by Trail supporter Robbie Fraser, one time steam engine driver on this line. Committee member John Nelson and another great Mitchell River Rotary Club supporter Leigh Venables (Venables Precast - Crane Hire P/L), under Robbie's watchful eye, used a 'cherry picker' lift to reach the top of the mast and bolt on the new components.
The mast had been retrieved from near the Bairnsdale railway station several years ago and installed beside the Trail pathway and now forms one of the few remaining railway artifacts from the steam train era. This was the 'home' signal which was used to give the engine driver permission to leave the Bairnsdale yard and proceed towards Nicholson. A similar mast has been installed at the Burn Road end of the Trail, forming the 'book ends' for this long rail trail.
The Bairnsdale mast also carries the bronze plaque which was unveiled at Nicholson on the occasion of the formal opening of the first section to Bruthen in December 1998.
The next phase of an upgrade for the western entry area is to review present vegetation in preparation for another round of planting and in readiness for the anticipated installation of a new visitor shelter which will have a roof profile modeled on an old goods shed located at Rosedale. The intention is to also replace the pine post and rails at the entrance with a traditional white picket fence.
Snowy River Cycling Sponsor Story Board at Partelli's Crossing
Liz Mitchell of Snowy River Cycling not only sponsored a story board about the impact of fire on the Hospital Creek area of the Rail Trail she also helped in installing the board.
Marlene Robb and Liz Mitchell with the Story Board. There are now 8 story boards installed on the Nowa Nowa to Orbost Section.
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