Parklands Albury Wodonga has developed a regional parks framework and philosophy based on the protection, restoration and development of public bush reserved lands in the Albury Wodonga region for conservation, recreation and heritage outcomes.
Over the past 14 years, i.e. 1996 to 2009, the strategic open space plan has been implemented in response to opportunistic funding and in response to community led projects. Activities over these years were guided by a September 1996 Framework Plan developed by Parklands Albury Wodonga. The majority of the restoration and park infrastructure activities have been focussed on the hills that encompass Albury-Wodonga. Ownership and on-going management for most of these lands has, or is being transferred to local and state governments. Other sites have been restored to a stage where ongoing maintenance will require fewer resources.
Over the past 14 years Parklands Albury Wodonga Ltd has implemented a strategic open space plan based on the inner hills and valleys in the Albury Wodonga region. This included; ◾Bush restoration of the main hills surrounding Albury-Wodonga (McFarlanes, Federation, Huon, Baranduda and Nail Can Range area). The scale of works included in excess of 124km's stock exclusion fences; 513,000 seedlings planted; 100's of hectares of woody weeds hand removed and considerable winter and summer broadleaf weed control (chemical, biological and mechanical); ◾Created 35km's of pathways, lookouts, facilities, information shelters and maps; ◾River frontage restoration and pathways along the lower Kiewa River, portions of the River Murray in the Gateway Island and Padman Park areas, and important tributaries including Six, Seven, Eight and Nine Mile Creeks; ◾Developed the High Country Rail Trail (revegetation, construction of 3 new footbridges and upgrades to 4 existing footbridges; track surface upgrades, signage, barriers and railway platform restoration works); ◾Heritage building restoration and conservation works to the 18 heritage buildings at the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park; developed visitor services; produced information booklets, website and promotional information; organised Back to Bonegilla community events and secured National Heritage listing for the site.
This work has been implemented in partnership with Community, Councils, Agencies, Businesses and Governments with $15.6 million worth of volunteer hours contributed by the regional community during this time. This role has been very much a community-led, hands-on, in-the-field partnership;
Baranduda Parklands (406ha) Threatened Box Gum Grassy Woodland ecological vegetation community. Managed in partnership with Baranduda Landcare Group.
Bonegilla Migrant Experience Heritage Park (20ha) listed on the National Heritage Register in December 2007. Managed in partnership with the Bonegilla Migrant Experience Steering Committee, Albury Library-Museum and City of Wodonga until June 2012 when City of Wodonga took over all management, and now manage with internal resources.
Eight Mile Parklands (650ha) Transformed from degraded farmland into the higher conservation value Thurgoona Threatened Species Conservation Network. Managed in partnership with Riverina Institute of TAFE and Regional Skills Inc until land transferred to NSW Lands Department, who now manage with internal resources.
High Country Rail Trail (250ha) 57km of 112km accessible to public. Projected to become one of the six top rail trails in Australia. Managed in partnership with the Bonegilla Rail Trail Advisory Group, Tallangatta Rail Trail Advisory Group & Koetong Shelley Development Association.
Huon Hill Parklands (380ha) Threatened Box Gum Grassy Woodland ecological vegetation community. Developed by three Wodonga Rotary Clubs (Wodonga, Wodonga West and Belvoir), Indigenous community, Border Bushwalking Club, Corrections Victoria and many other groups. Managed in partnership with Wodonga City Council.
Kiewa River Parklands (200ha) 8kms of restored floodplains said to be “of state-wide significance due to its floristic diversity”.
Kiewa River Upper (125ha) 25kms of riparian land currently licensed for grazing. To be restored incrementally as and when funding secured. Stock-proof pedestrian gates installed to facilitate 21kms public access for recreational fishing in 2011. Negotiations are ongoing with three key access points at Killara, Baranduda and Kiewa township.
McFarlanes Hill Parklands (256ha) One of only two remaining habitats for the threatened Swansonia Pea in North East Victoria. Developed in partnership with local Indigenous community and Wodonga TAFE. Mountain bike track network developed in partnership with Albury Wodonga Mountain Bike Club.
Murray River frontages (60km) Developed in partnership with Bidja Bila Landcare Group, Rotary Club of North Albury, Hume Bank, Corrections Victoria, Cooper Hand Tools, Smart Air, Mars Petcare, Albury Wodonga Health and others. Working to establish Groups to adopt sections of river frontage and drive future restoration and recreational infrastructure development.
Padman Park (15ha) Degraded woody weed and pest infested riverine reserve that has involved over 30,000 volunteer hours over the past ten years in natural area restoration works. Managed in partnership with Friends of Padman-Mates Park.
Nail Can Hill, Eastern Hill and Mungabareena Reserve (400ha) Bush restoration and walking track maintenance. Managed in partnership with Albury City Council and regular volunteers. Friends of Nail Can Hill Group established in 2014.