RiverConnect has had over 20,000 locals, students and visitors participate in one of their activites, events or programs since its inception in 2005.
RiverConnect Paths Master Plan - November 2015
Numerous Council and community plans and strategies have identified a desire for an increase in physical linkages between Shepparton and Mooroopna to establish a greater connectedness to the natural environment. Extending the existing path network has become a priority for Greater Shepparton City Council via the RiverConnect program.
Initial discussion with community and agency stakeholders resulted in some draft concept plans, initial project planning and genuine passion to deliver this project.
In May 2013, RiverConnect submitted a Project Proposal to Regional Development Victoria, Putting Locals First Program, seeking funding for project planning for the RiverConnect Paths Project. RiverConnect was successful in receiving this funding with a funding agreement signed between Greater Shepparton City Council and Regional Development Victoria in December 2013.
Due to the significance and number of stakeholders involved in this project, a RiverConnect Paths Focus Group was established in January 2014 with the intent to provide advice, guidance and assistance with the development of the RiverConnect Paths Project Master Plan.
Numerous community, agency and Greater Shepparton City Council staff then contributed to the development of the draft RiverConnect Paths Master Plan which was released for community consultation during October and November 2014.
Over 165 feedback forms were recieved of which over 85% were in support of the paths project. Most respondents were female, aged over 51 years of age and located in Shepparton, Mooroopna or Kialla. Routes 1 and 2, as outlined in the Master Plan and below, recieved the most community support as the preferred option for implementation.
The final RiverConnect Paths Master Plan was adopted by Council at their November meeting in 2015. Council officers and the RiverConnect Implementation Advisory committee will continue to progress the implementation of the Master Plan.
Thank you to all those who submitted feedback to the draft RiverConnect Paths Master Plan and thank you to all those who have been involved in the lengthy process.
Boulevard Bush Reserve - June 2015
In 2010 Greater Shepparton City Council purchased the block of land in north Shepparton, commonly referred to as “Tassickers” for its high conservation significance and values.
Boulevard Bush Reserve has a good representation of native understorey plants and large old trees that support a large number of hollows. Some of the species that have been seen in the reserve include echidna, woodland birds such as the Azure Kingfisher and platypus in the river.
During the past three years there have been some small works undertaken by a number of community members to enhance the environmental and recreational values of this site. Works have included fencing, track maintenance, weed removal and the formal naming of the site, Boulevard Bush Reserve.
An Environmental Management Plan (EMP) was developed by agency and community representatives for Boulevard Bush Reserve. This EMP was adopted by Council during August 2014 and outlines management options for the unique River Red Gum Woodland located in North Shepparton.
Historical Flood Markers
Floods are and will continue to be a large part of Shepparton and Mooroopna’s' histories. Over the past 100 years or more, we have experienced a varying severity of floods. Some of the larger ones remain clear in people’s minds: 1916, 1954, 1974 and 1993.
Four historical flood markers were erected across Shepparton, Mooroopna and Murchison in May 2014. These markers give an accurate meter reading of previous flood levels at that specific location. The markers also feature a QR code, which when scanned by any smart device, will give further historical information on flood events relevant to that area.
The four locations and their QR pages can be found at the below links:
Thank you to funding partners RiverConnect, Greater Shepparton City Council, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority, Department of Environment and Primary Industries and the State Emergency Service.
Shepparton Fishway Upgrades
Access, parking, revegetation and table construction works have been completed by Parks Victoria, assisted by Shepparton High students, at the Shepparton Fishway as part of a joint project to improve angler access and facilities.
The upgrades, south of the Shepparton Cemetery, are a result of a coordinated effort between Parks Victoria, Goulburn Broken CMA, Department of Primary Industries Fisheries, Shepparton Mooroopna Urban Landcare Group, Trelly's Fishing and Hunting World, Shepparton High School and RiverConnect.
Despite some vandalism of fencing and signage in the area, the Shepparton Weir is now an attractive place for fisherman, river users and our community.
Activities in the Park - 2013 - 2014
Greater Shepparton on the Moove program partnered with Park Victoria and Greater Shepparton City Council to deliver the "Activiteis in the Park" program for the Greater Sheppparton region. Over 11,000 participants attended over 160 local outdoor events. RiverConnect successfully ran the below events as part of the 2013-2014 program.
- Art along the River
- Photography along the River
- Breaky with the Birds
- Clean Up Australia Day
Interperative Signage at 'The Flats' - May 2013
RiverConnect, Greater Shepparton City Council, Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation, Parks Victoria and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority have worked with the Aboriginal community to develop interperative signage located on 'the Flats'. The Flats is a significant area for the local Yorta Yorta people.The signage was officially launched on 2 May 2013. The Flats walk is one of the many walks in the soon to be launched 'Walk in Greater Shepparton' Booklet.
Gemmill's Wetland is a wonderful hidden treasure that borders north Mooroopna. It is not only an important bird and wildlife habitat but a great source of pride for the Mooroopna community and is featured as a priortiy area in the Mooroopna Community Plan.
The newly formed Gemmills Wetland Working Group will focus on updating managment and action plans for the area, focusing on increasing access to the site, amongst other things.
'Activities in the Park' Program 2012-2013
Greater Sheppartons on the Moove program partnered with Parks Victoria to deliver the first 'Activities in the Park' program for our municipality. Over 8,000 participants attended 70 local events which ranged from kite making to yoga to canoeing. RiverConnect are keen to partner with the program again next summer.
ANU and RMIT Field Studies Program 2012
In 2006 RiverConnect partnered with the Australian National University (ANU) to deliver a field studies program that saw a variety of artists respond to 'rivers' in the Shepparton and Mooroopna area. Some of these works were featured as part of the Sixrospective Art Exhibition 2012 at the Butter Factory during the SheppARTon Festival.
In 2012 RiverConnect again linked with ANU and, for the first time, RMIT, to conduct another field studies program that focus's on water. Art and architectual students visited Shepparton and Mooroopna to speak with various community organisations and groups,to produce a range of works which were showcased in September 2012 as part of the Water Water exhibition.
Bioremediation Wetland at Gemmill's Swamp 2011
A Greater Shepparton City Council project that is now complete, the Gemmill's Bioremediation Wetland was developed to complement the existing gross pollutant trap in trapping sediment and removing nutrients from the storm-water run-off from Mooroopna before it enters Gemmill's Wetland. The Bioremediation Wetland is located at 55 McFarlane Road Mooroopna and consists of extensive indigenous vegetation species.
DPI Go Fishing Project 2011-2012
As part of the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Go Fishing in Victoria program, the Goulburn River from Murchison to Lock Gary was identified as one of the 4 Premier Rivers in Victoria. Boat ramps have been installed at various locations within the RiverConnect project area, improving access to the river.
Bug Blitz Soil Project 2011 and 2012
RiverConnect, through co-ordinator Dianne Hanna, introduced the Science staff of Shepparton High School to John Caldow, the field officer for the Bug Blitz program. This program aims to reignite in students, the spark of discovery in Science by inviting them to participate in various biological projects and is sponsored by founder and philanthropist, O.E Wilson .
The Bug Blitz project was undertaken by all students in Year 8 at Shepparton High school under the guidance of Science teachers, Cat Jenkins, Leigh McIntyre and Pauline Pettigrew. It formed part of an overall program called “Reach out to your River” which involved the students in a full term program of activities centred around the Goulburn River, supported by Landcare and WaterWatch members. With Bug Blitz, working in pairs, students were required to select an area of soil approximately one metre square and then collect one centimetre depth with leaf litter etc. This sample was then placed in a simple version of a Berlaise Lamp with the aim of collecting any ‘bugs’ present. The term ‘bugs’ in this case referred to a wide range of small invertebrates. The sample was then analyzed with magnifying glasses and a Dinolite with the purpose of being counted, identified and photographed. The experiment was conducted over 2-3 weeks.
The results varied, as expected, depending on the location and therefore richness of the soil sample. but some life collected included worms, insect larvae, cockroaches, centipedes and millipedes and many spiders.
True to the scientific method, this trial showed many areas that would be modified for future repetition.The catch was not as large as expected and the Berlaise Lamps were a worry to keep going over a long period at school, using lots of power and with the danger of overheating. Identification and photography were difficult due to poor resolution of available lenses and cameras.
The students however, were excited by their bug collecting, which did enable them to branch out whilst in the field and look under tree bark and in leaf litter and collect quite a variety of life. They enjoyed examining their samples and attempting to identify their specimens.
The program is continuing in 2012 in Term 3 with some modification to the collection method, and stronger emphasis on identification and documentation of the collected samples.
Special thanks to John Caldow who travelled from Gippsland to check on and assist us. This type of hands on activity was just what was needed to bolster the Reach program.
Written by: Pauline Pettigrew, Science Dept ,Shepparton High School.
Victoria Park Lake Nesting Boxes 2010
Shepparton High VCAL students with support from the Shepparton Field and Game Association, consturcted 5 parrot and 5 duck nesting boxes that were installed on the island at Victoria Park Lake during 2010. These boxes are an important habitat for various duck and parrot species at the lake.
Oral History 2009
RiverConnect: An Aboriginal Oral History was launched in June 2009. The publication features Aboriginal peoples stories and recollections of life growing up on the area know as ’The Flats’, after it was settled during the Cummeragunja Walk Off in 1939.
VCAL Tour (Aug 2009, 2010)
One of RiverConnects successful ongoing projects is the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program which sees local secondary college students undertake RiverConnect as an elective subject. Students are given the opportunity to visit their schools allocated 'reach' on a river to utilise this as an outdoor class room and conduct a range of activities.
During 2009 and 2010 students were able to share and celebrate the various works they'd achieved by hosting other VCAL students at their site. It is hoped these VCAL tours will continue in 2012.
Native Fish Awareness Week 2010
RiverConnect participated in Native Fish Awareness Week during November 2010. A series of events were held in various locations along the Goulburn River, one of which was Shepparton.
The Shepparton event was held at the newly constructed Shepparton Fish Ladder behind the Shepparton Golf course and celebrated works carried out at this site by various community and school groups that focused on improvements to water quality.
Water Way Health Activity Plan Developed
The Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and RiverConnect developed a Water Way Health Activity Plan in 2008. The plan outlines priority areas for various works including revegetation, rubbish removal and track rationalisation and upgrades. The RiverConnect Land Management Working Group oversees the implementation of this plan.
McGuires Punt Art Work
During June 2009 RiverConnect launched McGuire's Punt, an art work by Wendy Cook and Barb Lorrains. The art work features the Goulburn and Broken Rivers and the old punt that was used to cross the river in the early 1900's. The work is located above the Eastbank Cafe and can be viewed from the Alex Rigg room.
ANU Field Studies Program 2006
Art students from the Australian National University created artistic responses to various inspiration over a series of visits to Shepparton. This program was again rolled out in 2012. Please refer to ANU and RMIT program 2012 for futher informaion and links.