Hiking in the southeast is set to receive a huge boost after the state government invested in the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale’s play trails to make hiking more accessible to families and children.
More than $168,000 will be shared among 15 local government and community organisations to increase participation and develop the State’s hiking industry.
Through the WA Hiking Participation Grants program, grants of up to $25,000 were available to eligible organisations.
The grants program aims to provide new opportunities to grow participation in hiking or develop leaders including guides, instructors and volunteers.
The program was a response to the recommendations of the McGowan Government’s WA Hiking Strategy 2020-2030, launched last June.
Minister for Sports and Recreation Tony Buti said there is a need for more gateway opportunities to hiking.
“Walking and running are some of the most accessible ways to get active, and we’re extremely fortunate in WA to have such fascinating landscapes to explore and enjoy,” he said.
“Our unique and pristine natural environment lends itself to a vibrant bushwalking and trail running community, which is also a major tourism drawcard.
“However, there is a need for more gateway opportunities to hiking and more pathways to develop skills so that we can decrease barriers to participation.
“By investing in community organisations and local governments, we are enabling the delivery of programs that make hiking a more accessible form of physical activity to maximise the positive impact on individuals, communities and the State.”
The strategy is the first of its kind in Australia, to ensure Western Australians continue to enjoy the great outdoors in a safe and sustainable way.
Member for Darling Range Hugh Jones said the creation of play trails within the Shire of Serpentine-Jarrahdale would make hiking more accessible to families and children.
“Darling Range has so much to offer WA and the funding to create new play trails will add another element to the tourism drawcard,” he said.