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Donations from a government associated entity and a community member have helped two Avondale College lecturers improve a historic walk on the Avondale Estate.
The 2.4-kilometre Girls Walk, which begins and ends behind women's residence Ella Boyd Hall on the west bank of Jigadee Creek, is the beneficiary of about $15,000 in donations and hours of volunteer service coordinated by brothers Drs Darren and Jason Morton.
Jason, a lecturer in biology in the Faculty of Science and Mathematics, applied successfully for a $10,000 grant from the Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority to protect and regenerate 70 hectares of native riparian and wetland vegetation, to project the banks of the creek and to control weeds. He and Darren, a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Education, used the money to build three kilometres of fencing.
Some 45 of the hectares were already protected by fencing built with a grant former dean of the Faculty of Arts and geography lecturer Dr Howard Fisher received from the authority.
A $1000 donation from Matt Wilson, the owner of Morisset Motor Body Repairs and neighbour of Darren, helped the Mortons lay an ash surface along parts of the walk. The willing financial contribution of a member of the local community is encouraging, says Darren. "It shows us how much the people of Cooranbong value the environment."
With help from others, including the supervisor of Avondale's Lake Macquarie campus, Bruce Cantrill, the Morton's father and some of their students, Darren and Jason completed the work in about six months.
In recognition of the volunteers, the Mortons have named three bridges on the walk: Ben's Bridge honours Bachelor of Science student Benjamin Weekes; Danny's Bridge honours Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Teaching student Danny Green; and Pete's Bridge honours Darren and Jason's father, Peter.
The biggest job--the eradication of lantana--is still to be completed. The mowing of the grass is almost as big a job, but users of the walk can help. The more people who walk, the less the grass grows. "It helps us out a lot," says Jason.
The Mortons opened Girls Walk in November this past year. This followed the opening of the new Sandy Creek Walk in May. The brothers will now begin improving the estate's other historic track, Boys Walk. When completed, the tracks will form part of a new seven-kilometre loop of the estate.
Caption: The opening of Girls Walk in November this past year followed the opening of the new Sandy Creek Walk in May. The brothers responsible for establishing and improving the tracks, Drs Darren and Jason Morton, will now begin improving Boys Walk. When completed, the tracks will form part of a new seven-kilometre loop of the Avondale Estate.
Credit: Ann Stafford
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