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Weeds have been pulled, bricks have been pointed and buildings whitewashed as part of a major maintenance project for Maria Island National Park's historic convict buildings.

A team of Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) participants, local schools and island visitors joined Parks and Wildlife Service staff recently in a $500,000 project to help preserve and present Maria Island's convict buildings.

Part of the Parks and Wildlife Service's priority asset maintenance program, the work focussed on 13 buildings and grounds of the Darlington Probation Station.

The buildings form part of Australia's serial nomination of convict sites for World Heritage listing.

While the majority of the Darlington buildings associated with the probation station are in poor condition, the values are in the fabric of the buildings and many require only basic maintenance works.

A recent conservation management plan for the island provides guidance on the priorities for conservation works.

The program of work on Maria presented a big opportunity for the public to become involved with volunteer organisations such as CVA and other community groups eager to assist.

Volunteers removed tonnes of weeds and cleaned buildings to prepare the site for more detailed conservation works.

Tradesmen skilled in historic heritage preservation techniques lime-washed internal and external walls and repaired stonework. The appearance of the settlement has changed dramatically as the white limewash has replaced layers of paint on a number of buildings.

The Parks and Wildlife Service plans to open up more of the historic buildings to the public when the conservation program is completed.

The chapel, which boasts its original flagstone floor, has been a storeroom but will eventually be open to the public with its artefacts properly displayed. The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery donated a number of display cases for exhibiting the artefacts.

The maintenance project includes updated signage and interpretation to improve the visitor experience.