Yesterday was World Rivers day. Here in Albury Wodonga we had plenty to celebrate, with our local waterways still brimming after several wet years. Nature is celebrating with a spring burst of growth and reproduction along the Murray, the Kiewa and their numerous tributaries. Wattles are blooming, wildflowers are out, birds are nesting and frogs are calling.
On the fourth Sunday every September, millions of people across the world celebrate their life-giving waterways. Parklands celebrated a year of river-centred projects; planting 20,000+ native plants into the catchment including revegetation in the Upper Murray after the Black Summer bushfires and the creation of a major conservation corridor on Lake Hume, invasive weed removal and stewardship activities on the Lower Kiewa, guided nature walks on the Murray, Kiewa wetlands and local creeks, and installing footbridges, boardwalks, stock exclusion fences, signage and pedestrian access gates on numerous local waterways.
Most of all, we celebrated the community support that led to the launch of ‘Project 66’ this year, and the volunteers and partners who are joining the effort to connect 66 kilometres of the Murray River Red Gum trail between Albury and Lake Hume.
Parklands are privileged to be able to work with the landholders, volunteers, community groups, and regional businesses who care so passionately for our local waterways – groups such as Wodonga Men’s Shed who designed and created numerous bespoke pieces for waterway projects, from boardwalks to sculptures, and FC Circular and Bank WAW who sponsored community planting events this year in order to improve water quality and river health. Whether by removing invasive species, restoring wetlands and bringing back native vegetation, improving amenity and public access to these magnificent community assets, or simply offering nature based activities, we strive to support local on-ground projects and create opportunities that connect people with nature and ensure our waterways are healthy.
In celebrating World Rivers day, we thank the many funding partners that have contributed to the important regional projects we have delivered in the past year; the Australian Government’s Murray–Darling Healthy Rivers, Black Summer Bushfire Recovery and National Landcare Programs, the North East Catchment Management Authority, the Victorian Government and philanthropic organisations including the Ross Trust, the Scanlon Foundation, Border Trust, the Rotary Club of Albury Foundation, the Towong Community Bushfire Disaster Relief Fund and the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal.