Fund My Neighbourhood: Rail trail, wildlife app among applications from Monarto, Callington and Mypolonga

Rail trail: Denise, Sophie and Harry Frahn, Judi and Phillip Carr, Rosemary King and Leonie and David Hartshorne gather where they hope a trail may be built. Photo: Supplied.
Rail trail: Denise, Sophie and Harry Frahn, Judi and Phillip Carr, Rosemary King and Leonie and David Hartshorne gather where they hope a trail may be built. Photo: Supplied.

The countryside east of Murray Bridge is filled with rolling hills, rocks and wildflowers – but too few walkers and riders.

Beyond Kinchina Conservation Park, a couple of kilometres outside the city, there are not many trails leading through Monarto.

The members of the Southern Carriage Driving Society would like to change that.

A Fund My Neighbourhood project of theirs calls for the state government to commit up to $135,000 to a trail along a disused railway line between the Old Princes Highway and Monarto Road, parallel with Schenscher Road and the boundary of Monarto Zoo.

The ground is rough and stony and would need to be flattened; a sturdier base would also need to be laid.

Secretary Rosemary King said the society wanted to improve the accessibility of the bushland area, and perhaps plant some extra native trees wherever the vegetation became a bit sparse.

"We are very keen to see the rail corridor converted into a beautiful trail suitable for walkers, bicycle riders, horse riders, carriage drivers and any other groups who would like to travel through the native bushland," she said.

"We have initiated this application to benefit a large cross section of the community."

More good ideas

Murray Bridge mountain bike trails at Kinchina CP

This proposal for Kinchina Conservation Park, near Murray Bridge, includes a kids’ mountain bike loop of 700 metres and an extension to the existing trail network that caters for enthusiast locals and regional events. The kids’ loop is targeted at novice riders, total beginners and families, with the intention to provide a nature play space where riders can progress skills and ability in a safe and suitable area. The larger loop out to Rocky Gully and back provides five kilometres of ecologically sustainable single track to enhance health, well being, access to public space, recreation and event potential for the region.

An interpretive nature guide app for the Monarto region

Our wildlife is declining and many species will disappear if we don’t rebuild habitat. Home to a diversity of threatened flora and fauna, the Monarto woodlands provide an excellent example of how effective revegetation can be. We want to encourage the community to explore this area with the help of an educational, user-friendly field guide app for the plants and animals of the region. The app will also guide users along an interpretive walk through remnant and restored habitat so they can appreciate the importance of this area for conservation and how they can rebuild habitat in their own backyards.

The Monarto history wall

This project will bring focus back to a community that has seen many changes over its history, from early Indigenous people, from whom we get the name Monarto, to the recent rezoning. Placed in a key location between the War Memorial Hall and the CFS, it will beautify and enhance the hall precinct. Monarto has a rich agricultural history with some of the best red-brown earth in South Australia. Resilience and ingenuity were features of farming families, many who served during times of conflict. The high profile location will ensure many people can better appreciate Monarto's history.

Biodiversity signage, Callington, Woods Point and Murray Bridge

The Rural City of Murray Bridge has three significant reserves, being Callington Hill grasslands; Morphett Reserve, Woods Point; and Dorset Reserve, Murray Bridge. All of these reserves are maintained by community volunteers. Entry signage at all three sites will be installed with flora and fauna species, reserve names, history and map. Flora and fauna signs will include a picture, English, Latin and Ngarrindjeri names where possible.

Heritage trail, Mypolonga

Mypolonga Heritage Trail will tell history of Mypolonga 1904, from settlement in 1914-16. Mypolonga is a very scenic seven-kilometre drive following the bend in the river. Mypolonga Primary School has 140 children who study the environment and history of Mypolonga. The children would benefit greatly from a history trail, as would many visitors, surrounding towns, and community. Mypolonga Combined Sports Club supports and sponsors the history group. A walking trail from Murray Bridge to Mannum passes our river bank adjacent to our historical township and district. The Institute houses a concise documented history compiled by an active history group.

Mypolonga Landcare reserve

Mypolonga has an area along the river where the Landcare group and Mypolonga school children planted trees for the public to use for fishing, camping and nature walks. Since the river level dropped a few years ago, the road access to the area was badly damaged and has been inaccessible ever since. What we would like to happen is to have a pipe put in with a road over, leading up over the river bank to allow water to continue to flow through to the wetlands. This will allow the locals, school children and public to access the recreational area.

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