On 20 October 2022 we received the happy news that Port Stephens Council have awarded us a Vibrant Spaces Grant to fund the print, production and installation of 7 history info signs.

The main overview sign which contains an illustrated map and information on various historic sites in the area will be installed at the bird watching hut, which resides overlooking Seaham Swamp. The additional signs will be located at various places of interest around Seaham and will include QR codes which will link to this website with further information.

The project description for the grant submission read:

The Seaham Shared Pathways signage project aims to establish positive connections with locals and visitors to the Seaham area, by providing beautifully designed local history signage that welcomes and informs visitors. The signs are illustrated and designed to tell stories of the history of the area and to inspire visitors to explore the locality and gain a better understanding of its past. By displaying the main sign in the bird watching hut at Seaham the community will be able to see an overview of the history of the area in the illustrated map which will also include a QR code and link to an informative website. People will be encouraged to visit some of the historic sites featured on the map where they will find additional signs at each location. The main sign will bring life and colour to the bird watching hut and improve the aesthetic and visitation to this public space.

Firstly – This project is a collaboration between the Seaham Shared Pathways Project, Port Stephens Council and NPWS. It provides connectivity between various public land assets of both Council and NPWS – a consistent look and feel of these disparate assets will present a more connected and inclusive image to both local residents and visitors to the area.

Secondly – The project represents the first stage in a larger scale project which aims to increase the physical connectivity between two key natural assets in the area – Seaham Swamp Nature Reserve (NPWS) and Seaham Park (Council). A series of walking trails and boardwalks are envisaged which will provide opportunities for walking tours, birdwatching, and recreation across these two significant natural assets.

Finally – It is anticipated that the connected branding from this project, coupled with the physical connectivity envisaged by the broader project -will lead to greater interaction and engagement between subsets of the local community and visitors to the area. Currently, distinctly different community groups utilise and play a role in the management and maintenance of the Nature Reserve and the Park – and interact with those spaces in different ways. These projects will provide opportunities for community members to enhance their interaction with both key spaces (along with other sites around the village), and improve community cohesion.

It is such wonderful news to receive this grant and is another step towards progressing the project and fulfilling Dad’s dying wish to keep moving things forward in a positive direction.