november progress update!
It’s been a while since we shared an update with you, and acknowledging that Covid has put a halt on many things, we wanted to assure you that... this is certainly not the case for the ECA. We’ve been throwing efforts into a range of projects around the township and wanted to share some of our progress with you.
Echunga Community Park
Our work ‘behind the scenes’ on the Community Park has by far taken the lion’s share of our attention. We have been working hard to scope and define the work required in the short term, to get the ball rolling and commence with the clean-up of the 2.2ha area that has been so poorly maintained and completely overgrown. This has taken many meetings; internal, onsite, with council and contractors... and a lot of planning and process to work through.
The good news is, that some of our recent grant applications have been recognised towards this effort:
We have secured tremendous support from several local businesses eager to 'support the community' by either heavily discounting or donating their services to help progress the Community Park space:
It is worth mentioning again (as has been mentioned before), that the community park was approved in the Strategic Township Plan, and that ECA ‘put up a hand’ to get the ball rolling – but this does not exclude community input and we encourage everyone in the community to come to our meetings if you want to get involved and hear about the progress of the Park.
The Woodgate Park Playground Upgrade
Since our initial working bee in February where ECA, with the help of willing local volunteers, cleaned up the planted area of the park and laid a new nature path, Mount Barker Council have supplied mulch and plants for around the new path and, with the assistance of the north neighbour, installed two new fences.
Although Covid delayed much of our planned works for 2020, Macclesfield Mens Shed are in the midst of constructing our new wood picnic table to be installed by ECA in mid December, along with the plants and mulch and play equipment has been decided on, however install has been delayed until early 2021.
There are of course, many projects outlined in the Township Plan. Be aware; ECA is not responsible for delivering these projects – ECA has elected to help drive some, with our attention focussed primarily on a select few. At present, the Community Park (as above) and advocating for the undergrounding of the Powerlines are a key focus (the undergrounding of the power being a precursor to the Main Street Upgrade).
ECA sought to ‘get the ball rolling’ on the powerlines, by approaching DCMB for advice on the appropriate process and lodging a written letter of request to support. Phil Burton, Head of Infrastructure at DCMB, attended our last meeting and has since confirmed to ECA that the project has been included in DCMB’s 10 Year Budget, however this is still subject to PLEC commitment. ECA will continue to seek details about the process and progress of the application to PLEC.
Finally, we are regretful that this year we will not be running our usual Christmas ‘Mingle & Jingle’ event due to the ongoing uncertainties arising from Covid. We have missed some opportunities through the year to fundraise towards some of the projects we are driving, but more importantly, we are mindful that our community has missed some of the events that would usually bring us together and we are hopeful that horizon shifts in this direction in 2021.
Watch this space for further progress updates to come across the projects and plans for the coming year, and progress updates on what’s been happening – and please reach out via the Contact Us page, if you have any questions, suggestions or feedback for us.
Woodgate Park Revamp!
In late 2019, ECA secured a Stronger Communities Program grant through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science to upgrade Woodgate Park, located on the corner of Hagen Street and Woodgate Street. In addition to the grant amount, the District Council of Mount Barker committed funds from the 2020/2021 budget that enabled the ECA to dream ‘a little bigger’ with the upgrade.
The project kicked off when ECA undertook an initial clean up of the park late in 2019, tidying up a very overgrown perimeter of prickly bushes, trimming back trees and shrubs, and picking up rubbish. Since then, Council have also attended to maintenance issues at the park and installed a new fence on the north side.
Our 'newest' addition to the park, installed in July 2020, is a nature pathway for small bikes, and some general ‘nature play’ space through the trees. With help from the local community and some members of the Echunga Football Club, the ECA held a working bee to dig, fill and compact the ~70m meandering path, which was immediately road tested by some of the smaller members of our community in their prams and on scooters…. And reportedly, it was only an hour or two before the locals appeared with bikes! It is so very cool to see the kids enjoying their new space; it’s why we do, what we do!
There are more additions planned for the 2020 upgrade of this space, including a new picnic table with bench seats, an additional piece of play equipment (aimed at <5 year olds) and fencing on the west side of the park. We hope to involve the Macclesfied Men’s Shed in the construction of our picnic table, and will be asking the community to vote on some options for the additional piece of play equipment. Stay tuned for further updates!
Thanks to all those that have rocked up with shovels, trailers, pruners and wheelbarrows… that have taken excavated dirt, prickly bushes and rubbish away… and who have ‘chipped in’ the hours to help with this project – we are super proud of the transformation but also of our community coming together to ‘get the job done’.
Woodgate Park... Upgrade coming soon!
You might have heard... ECA has recently secured a 'Stronger Communities Program' grant through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, to put towards an upgrade of Woodgate Park, our 'toddler park' located on the corner of Hagen Street and Woodgate Street. ECA spent some time there late in 2019, tidying up the space and trimming back trees. We'll be looking to organise another working bee there soon - any additional hands are welcome! Please reach out via the Contact Us page if you can help!
BUNNINGS SAUSAGE SIZZLE
A small and enthusiastic group ran the sausage tent at Bunnings this week – donning our ECA aprons and smiles all round, we raised funds that the association will be putting towards a revamp of our toddler playground at Woodgate Park in 2020!
Oh we are so proud of our little town! A big thanks to our wonderful community for a sterling effort in pulling together to put our 'heart of gold' on show. Echunga was awarded the 'best dressed town' for the daily category (day 1 of the Women's TDU) but we are so excited to have also won OVERALL SILVER for the 2020 TDU ...
From the organisers: "Congratulations on nominating ECHUNGA and winning SILVER in the 2020 Santos Best Dressed Town Competition of the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under! I would like to thank you and the community of Echunga for your participation and efforts in this competition. Your hard work and that of your community was sincerely appreciated as it contributed to creating a fantastic atmosphere during the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under. We hope you enjoyed participating and are as proud of your efforts as we are.
Efforts of nominees do not go unnoticed by the teams and visitors to South Australia who genuinely love the support and amazing atmosphere created and it is always wonderful to see such pride and community engagement during the judging process. Choosing winners in each category was extremely difficult this year as the level of effort and commitment was extremely high as was the number of participants involved.
Thank you once again, for your nomination, it proudly showcased your commitment, time and effort to the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under, the spectators, cyclists and general public. We hope you enjoyed participating as much as we enjoyed viewing your beautiful town and properties."
What an incredible display our little town put on for the Women's Tour Down under - gold, gold and more gold!