END IN SIGHT: The short boardwalk at the Cumbebin wetland, near the market grounds at Byron Bay, offers visitors a scenic tour of regenerated bushland, but ends abruptly thanks to a funding shortage during its initial construction in 2002. The boardwalk will be finally completed next month.
END IN SIGHT: The short boardwalk at the Cumbebin wetland, near the market grounds at Byron Bay, offers visitors a scenic tour of regenerated bushland, but ends abruptly thanks to a funding shortage during its initial construction in 2002. The boardwalk will be finally completed next month. Megan Kinniment

Hope for boardwalk to nowhere

MORE than a decade after securing funding for a nature walk in Byron Bay’s Cumbebin wetland, the Byron Environment Centre is preparing to finish the town’s boardwalk to nowhere.

The little-known boardwalk runs through a rehabilitated section of the Cumbebin wetland, next to the market grounds off Wordsworth Street, and gives visitors a close-up look at a thriving swamp of the type that once covered the Byron Bay township.

It is built from reclaimed eucalypt timber from trees knocked down by the Roads and Traffic Authority when it was building the Brunswick Heads to Ewingsdale Pacific Highway upgrade.

Byron Environment Centre and Cumbebin Wetland Trust treasurer Sharon Curry said the money used to build the boardwalk ran out back in 2002, leaving a scenic and educational walk that ended abruptly in a scatter of concrete pylons.

Ms Curry said volunteers from the environment centre put up a barricade at the end of the boardwalk and still monitored the path to mark damaged boards and remove leaves that could encourage the timber to rot. However, vandals had repeatedly knocked down the barricade and the volunteer-based centre now plans to spend four days late next month finishing off the path.

Ms Curry said the original plan for the path had been for a loop that would circle deeper into the wetlands, but that plan had been revised to create a new closed seating area for people to stop and admire the view after their short walk.

The walk shows off the dramatic transformation of a patch of wetland that, until the 1980s, was a garbage dump. Ms Curry said volunteers had pulled everything from honey jars to old refrigerators to car bodies out of the wetland, and even now had to deal with some residents dumping green waste there.

Ms Curry said the centre wasdoing up flyers to distribute to tourist facilities around the town to let visitors know about the boardwalk.

Work on the boardwalk would take about four days and would begin on October 22. However, Ms Curry said the centre needed people willing to donate time, money or materials to the project.

Call 6687 1538 to help.



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