Thursday, February 29, 2024

Milestone for Ballarat parks program

City of Ballarat Council says its 2023 Neighbourhood Parks Program, which was launched in July, has reached an important milestone.  

Council says the rolling program received 165 responses to a survey that will be used to understand how the spaces are being used, and how the people that use the spaces feel it could be improved.

From this feedback, site analysis and concept designs will be developed and then discussed with the residents, it said. Workshops will also be held with residents to collaboratively design the improvements to the local parks.  

Councillor, Ben Taylor said designing parks with the main user’s feedback was very important.  

“These parks are now to be shaped by the people that use them daily, this will improve their experiences in these open spaces nearby their homes,” he said.  

“Parks for the Neighbourhood Parks program are selected based on need and location throughout the city, and improvements are intended to improve amenity, usability, connection and more.”  

This year’s program included seven parks from across the municipality, the Gregory Street Park and Drummond Street Reserve received the most survey feedback in this round.

The parks receiving upgrades are:  

  • Yarana Drive Park, Yarana Drive, Mount Helen.  
  • Victoria Street Reserve, 63 Victoria Street, Sebastopol.  
  • Kowree Crescent Reserve, 14-16 Kowree Crescent, Sebastopol.
  • Drummond Street Reserve, 311 Drummond Street North, Ballarat Central.
  • Clover Street Reserve, 9-13 Clover Street, Wendouree.  
  • Gregory Street Reserve, 514 Gregory Street, Soldiers Hill.  
  • Marigold Street Reserve, 12-14 Aster Street, Wendouree.

The Gregory Street Reserve in Soldiers Hill received the most feedback from residents, with the majority of survey respondents using the space to walk their dog, or for children to use the play space.  

People that provided feedback at this reserve expressed desire to have the fencing improved, and to explore the potential for improved facilities, such a picnic area and updated play equipment, Council said.

The concept designs will feature native plantings, seating, new playground, increased tree planting and barrier planting to provide visual separation for pets and children.  

The reserve in Mount Helen, Yarana Drive received more than 20 responses, with varying feedback, however improved play equipment was the most common response with picnic shelter, basketball ring and footpaths also being important to the residents.

This reserve will benefit from engagement with children of all ages, to determine how play equipment can work for all, such as a basketball court, swing sets, and bike paths and more.  

Drummond Street Reserve received the third highest number of responses to this survey.  

“Users of this small reserve overwhelmingly attend the park with their children or as a walk-through area. Over half of the responses suggested improved play equipment and amenities would be beneficial to the park,” the Council said.

The concept design to be prepared will include features such as a sealed path through the reserve connecting the two streets together, removal of the old play-space and installation of nature themed play facilities, increased plantings and more seating.  

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