The centre of Elphinstone is set for a makeover thanks to a dedicated band of locals.
While residents are keenly aware of the vibrant, beating heart of the community, the town often gets bypassed by visitors.
Elphinstone Progress Association president Fiona Gatt said it was difficult for outsiders to orient themselves as the town centre was split three ways by the railway line, the Calder Highway and main road Diggers Way.
The plans for revamping the town centre, which were on display at the Elphinstone Hotel on Saturday and are open for feedback, aim to bring the disparate parts into cohesion.
“Elphinstone is a really active town,” Ms Gatt said.
She pointed to the town’s community assets, including the fire brigade, primary school, the pub, sporting groups and the Landcare association.
When people visit here they don't realise it is such a vibrant community.Fiona Gatt, Elphinstone Progress Association
“And yet, physically when people visit here they don't realise it is such a vibrant community,” she said.
“That is one of the main motivators of trying to get the town centre looking like there's people here who are proud of where they live.”
She said the plans, designed by landscape architect Karoline Klein, outlined new pavement for walkways, sculptural art on the streets and trees for shade, as well as creating a town square in front of the Elphinstone Hotel.
“There isn't sort of a main street, so we want to create the illusion of that – it is used in that way, but visually it doesn't look like that,” Ms Gatt said.
Ms Klein has suggested placing powerlines underground – although it would be expensive, it would give the town more scope to plant larger, shadier trees.
The group will now tweak the plans and apply for local, state and federal government grants as they arise to make their vision a reality.
The majority of the progress group are hopeful the railway station will be re-opened in near future.
With the idyllic rural town less than an hour and a half from Melbourne, the group foresee an influx of city slickers moving to the area.
“The feedback is that people don't want a massive change, even if there is a growth in population. They still want it to feel like a small rural town,” Ms Gatt said.
Mount Alexander Shire Council mayor Christine Henderson praised the energy and enthusiasm of the group in taking ownership of their community.