MEENIYAN’S latest attraction – its very own bird hide – was officially opened on Tuesday, May 4.

The opening saw community members, South Gippsland Water and the Meeniyan Progress Association gather for morning tea and coffee at the hide, catered by Moo’s Meeniyan.

Community member Clive Hope said the bird hide was an exciting addition to the rail trail for all visitors – not just for bird lovers.

The hide is next to the Meeniyan Wastewater Treatment Plant.

“The hide provides shelter, benches and information about our local birds and the treatment lagoons and process. You can access it by walking or riding along the rail trail – it also has ramp access.”

South Gippsland Water’s general manager for infrastructure and planning, Mark Lynch said the raised bird hide, just under a metre high and about four metres wide, was perfectly positioned for walkers and cyclists to share the joy of seeing the range of bird species amongst the revegetated habitat.

South Gippsland Water officially opened the $6.2 million treatment plant in 2012. Driven by another local partnership, the Sewer Meeniyan Action Committee, the plant is a series of lagoons that filter waste before returning water for reuse in suitable places nearby such as the racecourse, golf club and recreation reserve.

The bird hide is thanks to a community partnership between the Meeniyan Progress Association and South Gippsland Water, as well as community consultation.

It was constructed by Toora construction company Hilder Homes in early 2021.

Organisers would like to extend a special thanks to Chris and Kelly Ogilvy from Ogilvy’s Lawn and Garden Maintenance for weed spraying, DASMA, Koonwarra Transfer Station for supplying mulch free of charge, Lindsay Woodhams and Leo Lacanaria from South Gippsland Water for transporting the mulch, and Frank Smolders and Chris Gittin from Smolders Revegetation for supplying and planting plants and spreading the mulch.

In keeping with the rail trail as a pedestrian and cycling experience, for people’s safety and in keeping with the quiet and contemplative nature of the site, note there is no vehicle access to the area.