Natimuk's 'The Verj' transformation underway, Sarah Scully, The Wimmera Mail-Times

TRANSFORMATION: Natimuk Verj project manager Carolynne Hamdorf and Horsham Rural City community development officer Melissa Morris and community facilitator Martin Bride inspect works at Natimuk’s Main Street. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

TRANSFORMATION: Natimuk Verj project manager Carolynne Hamdorf and Horsham Rural City community development officer Melissa Morris and community facilitator Martin Bride inspect works at Natimuk’s Main Street. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

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.

See your ad here

“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.”

Natimuk and Ouyen Get Creative, 1089 3MW Radio

image courtesy 3WW Radio

image courtesy 3WW Radio

Original article here

Two small but creative towns in the Wimmera Malle have been selected as recipients of a Small Town Transformation grant.

Applications from Natimuk and Ouyen were chosen from 65 from across the state to receive $350,000 each to undertake an arts project within the community.

Minister for the Arts Heidi Victoria announced the recipients on the weekend and says the funding has been awarded to projects that have the potential to transform the town and it's people.

Natimuk's winning application 'The Verj' will see the creation of a new outdoor gathering space framed by public artworks, installations and landscaping. 

The project for Ouyen titled 'Mallee Up in Lights will be a major new public artwork and light installation out the front of Ouyen’s iconic Roxy Theatre.

The projects are set to be complete by the end of 2014