Park plan push

Momentum is building for a Gisborne community park on the spot where development could have taken hold five years ago if it was not for a strong community campaign.
Macedon Ranges Shire Council has endorsed the Wyralla Reserve Landscape Plan to develop the reserve on the corner of Wyralla Crescent and Kurung Court. The estimated cost of the project is $107,532 and it is expected to be delivered across three stages.
The endorsement is a huge milestone for the Friends of Wyralla Reserve group which has helped to steer direction of the reserve plan through community consultation since the site was saved from potential development in 2014.
At the time local residents fought to retain the site for local recreation purposes instead of the council’s proposed land sale.
Friends of Wyralla Reserve treasurer John Wren said the groundswell of community support and dedication had propelled the project forward and the group now sought funding in the next council budget for stage one.
“We made the effort and we saved it, and we have continued to show we want this to go ahead,” he said.
“Council’s endorsement of the plan is a good thing for Gisborne and the Macedon Ranges.”
Friends of Wyralla Reserve received a council community grant in 2015 for a landscape plan at the reserve which was developed by Kathleen Murphy Landscape Design.
Friends of Wyralla Reserve secretary Ian Turner said the project had been a community effort from day one with a broad mix of ideas feeding into the final design.
“It was very important that what happened was not an individual vision but a community inspired park,” he said.
One of Wyralla’s attractive features will be the dry creek bed planned with boulders and tree stumps for climbing. The whole park is expected to be a play area and there will also be natural grasslands incorporated into the design.
“The Macedon Ranges has a few parks that are stand-outs and we hope that this park will be one of them,” Mr Turner said.
“The Macedon Ranges could become home to some really magnificent parks – not just parks with plastic slides and swings – and attract people from outside the community to come and see.”
There is currently no financial commitment from the council for the implementation of the landscape plan. The plan may be considered as part of council’s normal budget process.

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