PROGRESS IS being made on opening up the Tutaenui Stream in Marton to the public with physical work likely to begin this year.
The Tutaenui Stream Restoration Society was set up last year by people keen to clean up the stream and make it more of a focal point for the Marton township.
The group also want public access for recreation at the top end of the stream where it is dammed to create Marton's water supply at Smiths Rd. There was potential for walking and biking tracks.
Last year the group applied for $10,000 from the Rangitikei District Council as part of its long-term plan. The council decided against the grant but supported the group's ideas in principle.
Since then the group's project convenor Greg Carlyon said it had received commitments to stream restoration and public access from some landowners along the stream with others interested.
Meanwhile, site surveys revealed the tracks at the dam needed rejuvenation along with weeding and fence repairs.
Mr Carlyon said the group had also talked to local schools about using the area for study and to help with pest control.
A site visit with council staff was planned for the next couple of weeks.
Mr Carlyon was happy with progress so far given it was a community-led project. "If we had more time and resources we could do it a whole lot faster," he said.
Mr Carlyon hoped the council could contribute financially once project plans were finalised.
Over the next few months the society hopes to create tracks for public use, install signage and initiate pest-management.