The Winton Rotary Trail is a fantastic community asset for current and future generations to enjoy using. It was officially opened jointly by Minister of Parliament Bill English and landowner Joan Hodges on April 12. An enthusiastic crowd of approximately 300 joined in the celebrations at the culmination of three years and more than one thousand man hours of work by Rotary Club of Winton members.
The nine kilometre trail encircles the whole Winton township and includes native bush, the Winton Stream to meander by, rural farm land, built up housing areas, and grounds beside Central Southland College.
The different seasons of the year provide extra aspects of nature for people to admire, ranging from daffodils flowering in a woodland bush setting, to coloured autumn leaves, plus bird life in the native bush and animals grazing peacefully on the nearby farmland.
It all started with the simple idea that Winton’s population would benefit from a walking and cycling trail that was safe for everybody to utilize. It was immediately welcomed by Rotarians and supporters.
The appropriate consents were granted and work started with great enthusiasm from local businesses and government-based organisations. The physical work was in the hands of Winton Rotarians, all of whom were eager to help. Winton Rotarian Lachlan McGregor was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in December 2013 for his outstanding contribution of instigating this community walkway and his motivational work.
The extra assets on the trail include four car parks, two shelter sheds, and six seats for rest areas. There are many access points to conveniently hop on/ hop off certain parts of the trail. The most satisfying aspect is now watching young and old using this great community facility while walking, cycling or walking the dog.
The Winton Rotary Trail has come from the community for the community and it is owned by the community. Prior to the official opening, Winton Rotary Club hosted a thank you lunch for the landowners who had donated their land and for the business community who also donated time and materials.