Shared pathway project complete

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Nailing it . . . Neil Lyons (right) drives in a nail, while Graeme Leith steadies things and David Neill looks on during the final Rotary Club of Dunedin West Harbour beautification project working bee on Monday. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

A five-year community project to improve the West Harbour cycleway-walkway has come to an end.

On Monday, Rotary Club of Dunedin members gathered for a final working bee to build a shelter wall for picnickers and people exercising at the boat shed end of the shared pathway.

The wall was the final task for the Rotarians who, led by joint project managers Darrel Robinson and Neil Lyons, have put thousands of hours into the West Harbour Beautification Project.

“It has been a huge voluntary effort for a lot of people over a long period of time, but the results are worth it,” Mr Robinson said.

Passing cyclist Barbara Nomad stopped to thank them for their efforts, saying the pathway had been vastly improved.

“It is so nice to see the families and children out enjoying it, and having fun with the exercise equipment,” she said.

Originally budgeted at about $200,000, the project had come in at about $150,000, thanks to some helpful discounts along the way, Mr Robinson said.

“We have had some really good support from throughout the community,” he said.

Led by the Rotary Club of Dunedin, with support from Taskforce Green workers, fellow Rotarians and community volunteers, the project has included spreading tonnes of woodchips and planting about 2000 native plants along a 2.5km stretch of the pathway, the creation of a picnic and barbecue area, a t’ai chi area and installation of 13 pieces of all-weather exercise equipment.

Catching their breath . . . Dunedin youngsters Sarn Corson (5, left) and Toby Cooke (4) relax on a recently installed bench on the cycleway-walkway. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD

The landscaping and a series of historical interpretive signs were designed by landscape architect Mick Field.

A barbecue shelter is being donated and built by Naylor Love this week, and a barbecue provided by the Rotary club will be installed.

The placement of signs and a final spread of wood chips will be the finishing touches.

West Harbour Community Board chairman Steve Walker praised the efforts of all involved.

“As the project comes to an end, I would like to express the whole community’s gratitude at the amazing efforts of all the Rotary Club of Dunedin members involved in the venture,” Mr Walker said.

“Their tremendous work and the significant input from Taskforce Green workers truly is appreciated by so many,” he said.

The completed project will be officially dedicated by Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull on April 22.

Mr Cull said the Rotary club had “gone to extraordinary efforts to complete this work”.

“As well as raising the money required to purchase equipment and materials they, along with others, have volunteered many hours to complete the work.

“I’m sure I speak on behalf of the West Harbour and wider community when I say I am incredibly grateful to everyone involved for their efforts.”

Not only had the work helped to further beautify the area, it had added to its amenity value by creating other points of interest and reasons for people to visit.

“It also follows a trend of community efforts to reinvigorate parts of the Otago Harbour in recent times,” Mr Cull said.

“These projects help enrich one of Dunedin’s greatest assets.”