A walk around Armidale’s Black Gully Reserve and Mike O’Keefe Woodland is about to become a lot safer and more enjoyable thanks to a $32,970 grant from the NSW Nationals in the state government grant to purchase and install a timber truss footbridge to span Black Gully Creek.
Nationals Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall said the Armidale Tree Group applied for the grant after members identified a safety risk for visitors to the woodland and were hoping to create a safer, more enjoyable loop walk.
“To walk through the woodlands and access both sides of the wetland, walkers need to cross a hazardous section of Kentucky Street,” Mr Marshall said.
“With the installation of the footbridge and establishment of a loop path, this street crossing can be avoided and will allow for improved visitor enjoyment and access to the reserve.
“The planned riparian restoration surrounding the footbridge will also improve the habitat value for native birdlife, while improving the aesthetics of the reserve.
“It’s a great project and I’m hoping that people who enjoy visiting the Mike O’Keeffe Woodland will soon be enjoying the ease and safety afforded by the new bridge.
“Well done to Alicia and her team on securing the funds.”
Armidale Tree Group General Manager Alicia Cooper said they intended to have the project fully delivered by the middle of this year.
“While the footbridge will need to be purchased further afield, we will be using local contractors for the associated earthworks and we will be providing native plants to revegetate and rehabilitate the creek banks after construction,” Ms Cooper said.
“We were very happy to hear that our application was successful and we’re looking forward to being able to increase visitor accessibility to this wonderful piece of remnant urban woodland.
“The mature native plantings and constructed wetland provide a wonderful environment for outdoor classes, workshops and guided tours, all of which will be improved with the addition of a timber footbridge to allow visitors to safely cross the creek.”