Reflections from the river's edge

30 July 2012

As reported in the Manawatu Standard, there's been a quiet transformation taking place along the river’s edge in Palmerston North. As stop banks have been improved, so too has the walkway, signage and access; opening the door for cyclists, walkers and joggers to enjoy the river’s beauty. It’s a collaborative effort between Horizons Regional Council and Palmerston North City Council and it’s an important part of our journey to restore the river’s health.

Our vision as members of the Manawatu River Leaders’ Forum is to improve the Manawatu River, the mauri (lifeforce) of the Manawatu River Catchment, such that it sustains fish species and is suitable for contact recreation in balance with the social, cultural and economic activities of the catchment community. To do this, we need to encourage our communities back to the river and make it accessible to all.

The Manawatu River walkway and Bridle Track are different things to different people. To some they provide a way to unwind after a hard days work, for others they’re an opportunity to spend time with family. The walkway can be a place of action or a place of reflection and calm. The shared cycleway and pedestrian path beneath Fitzherbert Bridge is a natural hub while further downstream towards Buick Crescent the pathway bends through native trees and bush. And down by the Okatio Steps you can read of the Accord alongside wooden foundations where a yet-to-be- built viewing platform will extend out over a rock embankment.

The improvements are by no means finished but they’re definitely worth a look. If you haven’t been down to the river in while, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience. If you’re a regular river-goer, let us know your thoughts over on our Facebook page.

We’re fortunate to have this slice of nature on our doorstep. Let’s get out there and enjoy the journey as we bring it back to health.