In 2003, Millicent Rotary Club “adopted” the long neglected 6 acre block bounded by Williams Road, Park Terrace and the Lakeside Caravan Park whilst looking for a major project in the community to mark the Centenary of Rotary International in 2005.
Known as the “scrub block”, it had been largely overtaken by such exotic species as Portuguese Laurel, so the eucalyptus trees and other native species were under threat and the whole block a fire hazard. Millicent Rotary developed a plan to clean-up the area and turn it into an area that the community could enjoy. This involved many hours of “hard yakka” from Rotarians, their partners and at different times, help from the Millicent Lions Lions Club. Advice was sought from Wattle Range Council and the Department of Environment and Heritage and the Native Vegetation Council about the removal of exotic species, retention of existing native vegetation and suitable plantings.
With the assistance of Wattle Range Council, and some Government grants, plans were well under way to turn the “scrub block” into a Park; plans were made for a walkway through the Park in the shape of an “R” to signify it as a Rotary project to mark the centenary of the organisation. The walkway was lined with 100 trees to denote the centenary of Rotary International.
In 2008, Wattle Range Council took a more active role in the care of the Park by agreeing to mow the area regularly to ensure the Park could be continue to be used as a community recreation facility.
Since that time work has continued at Rotary Centenary Park with a dedicated band of volunteers.
2010 saw the removal of the buffer zone of vegetation that had been left on the Williams Road and Park Terrace sides to protect over 1,000 trees and ground cover and native grasses that had been planted.
The next large project was to have a shelter built over picnic table setting that was donated to the park by Rotarian Alan Thompson and his wife Betty to mark the celebration of their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2011. This year also marked the grand occasion of the first wedding to be held in the park.
The community now have a nice park where people can walk or picnic; there are also a lot of birds and native fauna re-establishing homes within the park.
There is now a ‘Friends of the Park Group’ and any of the public who are interested is invited to come along and help with the continuing tasks needed to maintain and improve the Park. These gatherings are held on the first Tuesday of each month beginning from 9.30 am to 11.30 am. The morning includes an invitation to enjoy a coffee or tea and biscuits provided by Rotary.