Like a welcoming mat, a carpet of autumn leaves led the way around Bundaleer’s Maple Walk on the weekend as visitors returned following its reopening with an easing of COVID-19 restrictions last week.
Bundaleer Forest Community Areas Association chair Greg Boston said the re-opening of the grounds – including the toilets, picnic tables and Maple Walk – had been welcomed by all.
In return, Bundaleer turned on “a magnificent display of nature” for its visitors.
“I was out there myself on Sunday and noted a number of cars in the car park that appeared to have come in from outside the immediate area, and I guess that’s the beauty of Bundaleer, being such a big open space there is plenty of room for people to enjoy it while being able to maintain the social distancing regulations,” Mr Boston said.
“People were disappointed when we had to close the Maple Walk and playground when we did, but we had to comply with the rules the government had set.
“We’re very happy to be able to re-open the site,
“Now the COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, we’d really encourage people to get out and enjoy Bundaleer.
“However, our priority is to keep our visitors healthy and safe from COVID-19, and we ask people to keep to smaller groups of 10 or less, to respect social distancing of other forest visitors, and please don’t come if you are unwell or experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.”
The camping ground adjacent Bundaleer sports oval is expected to re-open on May 25 (see the My Bundaleer website for full details).
Mr Boston said the brief closure of the Maple Walk and playground highlighted what a special place Bundaleer was to people of the Mid North and beyond.
“I think what is so special about Bundaleer is that it appeals to different people for different reasons,” he said.
“Some people go there to enjoy a picnic and some people go there for a walk or just to sit in nature.
“It’s a welcoming activity centre, very pretty and an inviting environment, but it’s really its versatility that makes it absolutely special.”
Having previously fought a battle to keep the 22-hectare Bundaleer Picnic Ground open for community use following divestment of the entire Bundaleer Forest Reserve, Mr Boston said the brief closure of the facilities over recent weeks also drove home the importance of support for its future.
“We are a group of volunteers who give up a lot of our time to ensure Bundaleer remains freely open to the public,” he said.
“It was a reality that we very nearly lost access to this special place so now more than ever, a spin-off of COVID-19 is that it really shows how important it is for us to continue to maintain this site for the public.
“I’d urge anyone who has enjoyed Bundaleer to consider becoming a Friends of My Bundaleer member, and the $20 membership will assist us to continue to make improvements and keep up the ongoing maintenance so it can remain open to the public, hopefully forever.”
See www.mybundaleer.com for details.