Colac Otway Shire Council is looking forward to creating a new picnic area at the entry to Colac’s Sculpture Park, with funding secured and plans for picnic tables, shelters and barbecues to be in place by the end of winter.
Council’s Infrastructure and Leisure Services General Manager Tony McGann said Major Roads Projects Victoria had advised that the next stage of works occurring as part of its Barongarook Creek Bridge Works would start next week.
“The picnic tables, shelters and barbecue which are currently located between the bridge and public toilets will be relocated to the Sculpture Park, north of the toilets,” Mr McGann said.
“The creation of the new area, funded by the State Government, will enable the creation of a commemorative space and other landscaping around the bridge.
“The new commemorative area will be planted with locally indigenous native trees and grasses and include pathways and a seating and reflection space around a feature commemorative stone.
“The landscape has been designed with input from Eastern Maar, for whom the area is place of cultural significance. The area is a well-documented Gulidjan burial place and the new commemorative space will reflect that history and its enduring significance for the community.
“Three large elm trees will be removed as part of the project. The aging trees were found to be in poor health and will be replaced with advanced native trees, such as River Red Gums, which better the suit the creek environment.
“The new plantings will create an attractive feature at this key entry to Colac and highlight the significant history of the site for our local community and visitors. The new picnic area will include shelters, picnic tables, barbecues, plantings, pathways, bins and bike rails near the creek and adjacent to parkland.
“The new space is an opportunity to create a more user-friendly setting away from the traffic, where families can come and spend some time and children can play in the adjacent parkland.
“The facilities will still be nearby to the existing toilets and parking area and wayfinding signage will be installed as part of the project to guide visitors to the new space.
“The BBQ and picnic shelters will be stored temporarily at the Council depot until the design has been completed for the new space,” he said.
“It is anticipated that the facilities will be available again to the public in time by the end of winter.”