A vision to return water to parts of the Terang lake precinct and transform it into a haven for wildlife, tourists and residents is taking shape.
Lake project chair Michael Reicha said after years of planning, the progress being made at the once-disused edge of the town’s recreation hub was hard to miss.
Two large dams have been excavated, which will form part of an ornamental lake, with water expected to fill them within a month.
“It’s taken many, many years of planning and all of a sudden we’re flying, actually,” Mr Reicha said.
Tree planting on the approximately four-acre site has begun and re-vegetation and wetland planting would continue. Stonewall features are also planned and bluestone plaques have been created for the area.
“It’s amazing just watching it develop. It will be a great area, not only for the town but hopefully the whole region,” Mr Reicha said.
“Our vision is that people will have a barbecue or two and long, long-range plans are we may even have toilets here.
“We’ll be welcoming people into it hopefully next year.”
Committe member Frances Bryant said it was hoped the area would become a drawcard.
“We’re hoping the lake will attract people to the town and be a place for people to stop and have a break on their trip. And for the community as well to bring their kids here for a picnic,” she said.
The wetlands will also attract birdlife and wildlife and will eventually link with nearby walking tracks and could also form part of the nearby pony club’s cross country track.
Revitalising the lake precinct was identified as a priority in Terang’s community planning process.
“It’s been a great project in co-operation with a lot of different bodies,” Mr Reicha said.
He said the group had been lucky with the amount of people donating their knowledge, time and resources to the project.
“We’ve been really fortunate that Corangamite Shire have supported us and Garry Moorfield (Corangamite Shire community development officer), he’s been amazing,” he said.
Mr Reicha also credited Geoff Clifford, Matthew Cust, Tony Heffernan, Grant Picone and Terang Resources, among others for going above and beyond for the project.
With the latest work putting a “fair hole” in the budget, Mr Reicha said the group was now looking at other funding opportunities.
The next project for the group is on International Tree Day on July 30 when it will host a planting day from 9am-2pm. There are about 800 trees, shrubs and grasses to plant and everyone is welcome.