Walka recognised with national award
A new project called ‘Explore Walka’ has been recognised with a National Award of Excellence by Interpretation Australia.
Explore Walka celebrates the rich ecology and birdlife of Walka Water Works and was completed in December 2017. It is the first stage of the Walka Water Works Interpretation Plan.
Council's Heritage Officer Clare James says, ‘This project seeks to reimagine how the site could offer new experiences for the local community, raise the profile of Walka Ecology, along with promoting the value of the site to an education audience.
‘The heritage value of the Walka extends well beyond the bricks and mortar of the former pumping station and reservoir. The place has outstanding landscape beauty and has ecological significance and that has been reiterated by the award.’
The Ecology Viewing Platform set on the lake's edge, represents the centre of the program of interpretation works, and has been developed as a destination in the project's Walka Ecology Walk. It features information panels and also provides a new seating area for small groups.
The Walka Bird App has been developed as a starter's guide into birdlife at Walka. It was generated from information relating to habitat, bird descriptions, behaviour, food and photography, and is specifically designed to focus on improving observation skills. Eye catching imagery provided by the Hunter Bird Observer's Clubhas been used in all components of the project. Bird poles have also been positioned around the Lake Trail Circuit which mark sheltered and expansive viewing areas.
A curriculum resource development guide for Walka has also been prepared by education consultant Helen Doust, which supports teaching of History, Science and Geography. Project resources can be found on Council’s website along with more information about visiting Walka Water Works by searching for ‘Heritage Education Programs’.
Council engaged Convergence Associates and UXED Pty Ltd to assist in developing the resources for the project and partnered with the Hunter Bird Observers Club with guidance provided by Morpeth Public School.