Ginninderry residents and the broader community will soon get to immerse themselves in even more of their natural surroundings thanks to the first walking track in the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor.
The track will connect the urban area of Ginninderry to the popular Shepherd’s Lookout. Starting from The Link, the track will weave its way for 3 kilometres through the Conservation Corridor before connecting with the existing ACT Government track network. From there it will be a further 800 metres to Shepherd’s Lookout.
The track will allow the community to walk through areas that were previously inaccessible to the public. It weaves through two forest types and native grassland areas and passes ever-changing vegetation types and landscapes, including the vista captured in the painting On the Murrumbidgee (1927) by Elioth Gruner.
“We identified this route for the first track as it introduces people to a variety of vegetation communities, landscape types and views down the Murrumbidgee. The track will include a number of lookout points that capture stunning and quite different views of the surrounding environment with one of the lookouts capturing the views from the area where Gruner’s famous artwork was done,” says Matt Frawley, Ginninderry’s Urban Design & Landscape Manager.
Ginninderry is working in collaboration with the Ginninderry Conservation Trust, local company Makin Trax and the Ginninderry Aboriginal Advisory Group (GAAG) to develop the track, using a light touch method that incorporates local materials and ensures minimal impact on the natural environment while highlighting the area’s cultural heritage.
“It was important for us to work with GAAG to capture the stories of First Nations people and culture through the tracks, so we can tell those stories authentically and respectfully within the landscape,” says Ginninderry’s Development Manager (Planning) Imogen Featherstone.
The track is expected to open to the public in late November and will be a class three or four walking track, with some rocky terrains along the way, so it won’t be suitable for prams or bikes. Once delivered, the track will be managed by the Ginninderry Conservation Trust as part of their vision to conserve land through outreach, restoration and research.
“It is important that a well-defined track network is provided so that people don’t walk off and damage cultural and environmentally sensitive areas. We’re hopeful that by providing education throughout the track network, people will understand the importance of the environment and be more courteous and respectful to the landscape,” says Jason Cummings, Ginninderry Conservation Trust CEO.
The first track is just a taste of what’s to come. It will be the gateway to what will become a whole network of tracks throughout the 596ha Conservation Corridor, with more tracks to be added in the coming years.
“This first track will give people a good introduction to the Ginninderry Conservation Corridor, which is proposed to encompass 596 hectares of land. The overall master plan includes about 120 kilometres of tracks that run through the Conservation Corridor and will be developed to complement the development of the urban areas. This track is a taste of what we hope to deliver over the next 30 years,” says Matt.