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The Ross Highway causeway just north of the Pitchi Richi property is more popular with the local wildlife than I ever expected. This month I had to abruptly halt my evening walk along the Todd River Lhere Mparntwe due to a cacophony of local dingos exhibiting their vocal range. I have seen mobs of galahs, crows and black kites gather in great numbers in the trees and on one particular evening over 50 Mudlarks or rather Pee-wees (Grallina cyanoleuca) in a single tree. The Pitchi Richi property sits adjacent to this significant stretch of river and the wise River Red Gums (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) spirits see all those who come and go along the Stuart and Ross highways. The recent NT Writers Festival in May held the event ‘From Alice to Mparntwe: Guided Tour of Arrernte Country’ hosted by the wonderful Doris Stuart Kngwarreye who is Apmereke-artweye for Mparntwe. She spoke at length about how people travelling up from the south always had to stop and seek permission before travelling north through the gap/ Ntaripe. Pitchi Richi would make a wonderful spot for the community to stop, slow down and contemplate the importance gap/ Ntaripe and Arrernte country.

Heritage Alice Springs has been busy working towards a better future for Pitchi Richi. The 15 May saw the launch of the new garden master plan designed by Arid Edge. The open afternoon was attended by 50 people who enjoyed a tour of the sculpture garden and an overview of the garden design. The garden plan will help guide all future works in the heritage garden and help secure the all-important grant money in moving towards re opening the property. Many thanks to everyone who came along and celebrated the launch and to everyone who volunteered their time to put the event on. If you are interested in hearing about updates and plans for Pitchi Richi, please get in touch at heritagealicesprings@telstra.com. Alternatively keep an eye out on the community calendar for upcoming events.