NATIMUK’s Main Street is undergoing a transformation as work gets underway on ‘The Verj’.
The median strip section between the skate park and the rotunda is being redeveloped with a $350,000 Small Towns Transformation grant.
The project will use art, active participation and sustainable principles to create a functional, inviting and attractive public space.
Project manager Carolynne Hamdorf said the work phase followed an extensive planning period.
“We had about 10 meetings with the Natimuk community, along with stakeholders Horsham Rural City Council, VicRoads and Wimmera Catchment Management Authority,” she said.
“We wanted a design that reflected community expectation and that would be used by both the community and visitors to Natimuk.”
Three artists and a landscape architect contributed to the plans, which were finalised in April.
Ms Hamdorf said council was completing most of the preparatory work, including levelling of the area, removing damaged trees and preparing pathways.
“There was a vehicle path through the area, which is going to be replaced with walking and bike paths,” she said.
“We’re putting an emphasis on safety – we want a lot of people to use the space and to be safe, so there won’t be any interaction between vehicles and pedestrians.”
Ms Hamdorf said the space would include clear entry and exit points, as well as new infrastructure near the skate park.
“At the moment there isn’t anywhere to sit and enjoy the skate park,” she said.
“We’re addressing needs brought up by the community.”
Ms Hamdorf said the project group was in the process of getting quotes for seating, shade and a pergola.
“We’re also going to have a community dining area,” she said.
“We will have a nine-metre community table for people to sit at and share a meal and conversation.
"It’s going to be a really gorgeous place in the summertime.”
Ms Hamdorf said the space’s aesthetics were important.
“We want it to be both visually appealing and functional,” she said.
“The Natimuk community will also have opportunities to contribute to the space through a number of art projects planned for the next few months.”