Posted: 11 June 2014
Albury-Wodonga is fortunate to have such a great natural asset in the form of Nail Can Hill Reserve right on its doorstep. The reserve has significant environmental values and also plays host to a range of recreational and educational pursuits, including mountain bike events and drawcard events like the annual Nail Can Hill Run each May.
Nail Can Hill is used by thousands of residents and tourists each year, and numerous community groups also stage events and utilise the area for recreation, environmental and educational purposes. In recognition of the important role this bush reserve plays for the region, local community groups, nearby residents and fitness enthusiasts, attempts are currently underway to unite the wide range of users into a Nail Can Hill ‘user group'.
An information night was held in Albury on Tuesday June 10th to bring together interested people to discuss the potential to form a new user group. Despite the onset of chilly weather, 28 people braved the low temperatures to turn up to the meeting in support of forming a Friends of Nail Can group.
There were a number of representatives from existing community groups on the night, including Murray Valley Bushwalkers, Albury-Wodonga Orienteering Club, Albury Wodonga Mountain Bike Club and the [SR1] Albury Wodonga Field Naturalists. It was great to have such a wide representation of user groups and the discussion was able to touch on a range of issues, from recreational uses, educational opportunities, environmental conservation initiatives and fitness-based event opportunities for the reserve.
Guest speakers on the night included Joy Bayes from Bonegilla Rail Trail Advisory Group, and Bart Citroen from Friends of Willow Park. Joy and Bart did a great job of discussing how their groups formed, what it takes to keep a community group functioning and active, and they both showed examples of what community-driven ‘people power' can achieve, such as infrastructure works, environmental works, as well as the staging of awareness raising, fitness-focussed and educational events.
Presentations were also heard from the two government land managers responsible for maintaining Nail Can Hill. David Armstrong from Albury Council outlined council's role in managing parts of Nail Can Hill and discussed the issues of fire prevention and recreation management. Richard Ahearn from Crown Lands NSW discussed the legislation in place to safeguard areas like Nail Can Hill, mentioned Crown Land's goals for managing the reserve and welcomed any actions from the Friends Group that were in line with these goals and the permitted uses for the reserve.
The main outcomes from the night were a interest among the group to plan and run more events in the reserve, and an equal desire to have a further meeting to help formalise the direction that the Friends of Nail Can Hill group can take from this point forward. A meeting has been schedule for Tuesday July 8th at 6:30 pm. Everyone with an interest in Nail Can Hill is welcome to attend.
If you would like to attend the upcoming meeting and play a role in forming the new Friends of Nail Can Hill group, or if your community group feels that it should be represented to ensure that its voice is heard, then please RSVP to Stuart Roberton on 0413 817 840 or email firstname.lastname@example.org