The benefits of community volunteering were shown when members of the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail joined staff from the City of Greater Bendigo council for a combined working bee, held at the Campaspe River Axedale. This was the second effort in this area by the Friends group members, to repair the damage to these community plantations of young trees and shrubs caused by recent severe flooding from the Campaspe River.
The height of the flood waters had completely submerged the adjoining McIvor Highway bridge over the Campaspe River, closing the highway for a period of time, as well as naturally the adjoining young plantation. With the river height having returned to near normal flows, such has enabled the plantation works to be undertaken. This included removing dead plants, installing replacement tree guards, re-staking, some replanting, and mowing of the surrounding grass. Due to seasonal changes, it is hoped that these efforts will give the surviving plants a chance to endure the coming summer period.
With this concerted effort helped by the support and knowledge of the Parks & Natural Reserves staff, the outcomes are expected to enhance this immediate area adjoining the O’Keefe Rail Trail in the future. Such outcomes is likely to have trail users spending more time exploring this natural river environment, using the tables and seats provided by the Friends group, as well as enjoying the added attraction of a unique natural timbered shelter with its animal carvings.