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New plans for Henley Lake

Henley Lake’s playground area is getting an upgrade, with Masterton District Council [MDC] asking community members for their ideas for the popular Masterton recreational spot.

The lake area is at the centre of a network of tracks that go through 43 hectares of wetlands and native plants.

The space is popular with walkers, cyclists, runners, and families, and boasts picnic sites, activities, and a wide variety of birdlife.

Now the council has asked residents to send in ideas on how to develop the playground area in a new way.

Henley Trust and Waipoua Lions plan to help fund the project to add to council resourcing.

MDC facilities and open spaces manager Ian Osland said the playground area is due for an upgrade and could be enhanced for use by a bigger cross-section of visitors to the park.

“Calling it simply a playground doesn’t cover what we think would work well in this part of what is a fabulous park,” he said.

“We’re calling it an ‘active space’ – somewhere people of all ages can get active, and somewhere that offers something different to what’s on offer in Queen Elizabeth and Burling Parks, or the skatepark.”

Osland described it as a wilderness-style park and said plans should reflect this, and aim to use eco-friendly and sustainable materials and equipment.

Henley Trust Chair Tom Ward is also keen for the space to attract more people to the park.

“We want to see as many people as possible enjoying what’s on offer at Henley Lake. I’m looking forward to seeing the ideas our community comes up with,” he said.

Waipoua Lions president Peter Ferris said the playground area is a focus for the organisation.

“We have a strong connection with working in this space and want that to continue,” he said.

“Creating somewhere that has broad appeal, with community input, will be an exciting project for us to work on.”

Consultation is open now at www.mstn.govt.nz, with submission forms also available at the Queen Street customer service centre and Masterton library.

The consultation closes on 20 October.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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