Scouting ideas for park

Elijah Heriot is scouting for ideas to improve Quahlee Park in Woodend’s north.
He may be just eight years old but Elijah is determined to see the 7.5-acre park in Stuart Drive upgraded with facilities to match the growing community’s needs.
“Quahlee Park is our only park in north Woodend and it could be much better if there were things to make people come and stay longer, so I wanted to get the conversation flowing. Lots of people have been sending in ideas,” he said.
Elijah made it his mission to letterbox drop the neighbourhood to gain feedback for his Joey Scout promise badge challenge last year and now wants to help bring that into fruition.
Popular ideas to emerge included landscape-designed areas, barbecue and gazebo, an off-leash dog park, body-weight gym, updated playground, and to retain some of the open space for larger community events.
Other feedback included the need for toilets, clearer lines of sight and to incorporate the park into the town’s walking/bike track.
Elijah has called on his parents Drew and Jenny to help him put ideas into action.
“We realised we had to help him follow through on the ideas, so we founded the Friends of Quahlee Park group and, earlier this month, submitted an application to council for funding to do a concept plan for Quahlee Park,” Drew said.
Drew said the vision was to create a safe place for all ages to enjoy and meet for a range of activities.
“We moved across the street from Quahlee Park in 2017 and every time we look at it we’re inspired to see it fulfil its potential,” Drew said.
“Quahlee Park is one of the shire’s best kept secrets – it has waited patiently for much-needed attention since locals protected it from developers some two decades ago.”
The Heriots have created a Friends of Quahlee Park Facebook page that is regularly updated and a space for people to share their ideas. An online survey is available at www.tinyurl.com/quahlee

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