Late afternoon sun rests lazily on the Wollondilly River at Goulburn as Dale Godber surveys an out of the way stretch.
On the opposite bank he notes a playground for platypus, and above, a rich variety of bird life chirping in old, tall pines showing the test of time.
Nearby, the still sturdy structure of the Kenmore boat shed stands partially hidden, hinting at its heyday and at future possibility.
"I'd love to see this utilised by families, to put canoes, stand-up paddle boards and kayaks in there, have some picnic facilities and fishing because there aren't too many places on the Wollondilly where you can drop a line," Mr Godber said.
He is just one member of a working party exploring how Copford Reach and other sections of the river can be rejuvenated.
Chair Peter Walker described it as a beautiful part of the waterway that could be opened up to Sunday entertainment, picnics and barbecues.
"It has lots of potential and is a part of the river that's largely unexplored," he said.
The Goulburn Barefoot Waterski Club kicked off the idea some two years ago when it proposed to use Copford Reach for organised meetings. That plan is still going through the process. However it planted the seed for more widespread revitalisation.
Councillors endorsed the working party last month. It also includes Goulburn Lions Club president Bill Starr, Karen Whitaker - who with Nick Fife last year proposed a kayak and bike business near Marsden Weir, U3A president Brian Spilsbury, Sam Bell from the Waterski Club and Cr Andrew Banfield - a keen fisherman.
Cr Walker said the Lions Club was keen to restore the boat shed as a special project. The structure was a centrepiece in the Kenmore Pleasure Grounds more than a century ago. The grounds were a popular picnic and boating spot for locals and Kenmore Hospital staff. Only remnants of ramps and a wharf remain.
The working party has met once and identified opportunities such as access, linking in with a pedestrian link behind the Joseph's Gate estate, a car park, vegetation removal, toilet facilities, shade areas and highlighting awareness of native animals.
The group will list priorities but also tap into ideas from Canberra University student research four years ago. Mr Godber said the students came up with worthy ideas that complemented the Wollondilly Riverwalk. That walk is expected to stretch to 14.2km by next June.
He expects access and parking to be the biggest considerations.
"I love the history of the area but access is a concern because there are only small areas along the river where you can park," he said.
"If we don't get those things right, it will be a struggle to get in to."
Mr Godber said he became involved after deciding to build a house in the area. However, the civic-minded representative is aiming to open up the river for everyone to enjoy, not just a small number.
"My father-in-law, (the late) Ken Brown (former Goulburn City town clerk) used to come swimming and canoeing down here and I know it was a popular meeting place. There are good water areas down from the boat shed," he said.
There's also been talk of indigenous heritage in the area and possibilities for restoration of a weir wall on the river near Tully Park golf course.
While the working party will mainly concentrate on Copford Reach, they're exploring possibilities for other parts of the river as well.
The group will meet several times before providing recommendations to the council by March, in time for budget deliberations.
Cr Walker said the Lions Club was considering enlisting donations for the boat shed work but the council would also apply for grants.
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