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Lake connections to improve

An artist’s impression of work on Queen Elizabeth Park. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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The final stage of work to rejuvenate Queen Elizabeth Park in Masterton is being done in a $725,000 fixed-price contract with no contingency.

That’s according to a report to the Infrastructural Services Committee, which also noted $529,972 is also being spent on a major refurbishment of the cricket grandstand in the park.

The work in the park starting tomorrow is the fifth stage of a rejuvenation project and will focus on the Memorial Drive and alongside the Lake of Remembrance.

New paths, seating and tables are part of the work to improve accessibility around the lake and connections throughout the park.

In future there will be separation between pedestrians and cars.

The construction work is divided into four sections, each taking about two months to do. The southern side of the lake in front of Coronation Hall will be the first to be done.

With a history dating back more than 150 years, Queen Elizabeth Park is described as the “Jewel in the Crown” for Masterton.

Council chief executive Kath Ross says it’s a vital part of the town’s green infrastructure and a source of great pride for people in the community.

“This project will help ensure that it continues to be a treasured asset and enjoyed by young and old for many years to come.”

Lead contractor, Higgins, will aim to minimise disruptions to park users during construction – vehicle access along Memorial Drive will remain open throughout construction.

The Friends of the Park group, which evolved out of the Kids Own Playground group, is particularly pleased the project will make the park more user-friendly.

Spokesman Graham Dick says the high number of people visiting and using the park is strong evidence that it is highly valued by the community.

“We would like to think that we are assisting the Masterton District Council to enhance the park in a way that ensures it is there for everybody in the community to enjoy. We believe that the next stage of the project will help achieve this.”

The report to the subcommittee says there is potential for negative feedback from the public during the construction period and that the council’s roading team is providing engineering support.

The park has been described as probably the best family park in New Zealand with ducks, the miniature railway, mini golf, the Kids Own playground, the suspension bridge, established trees for shade, paddle boats and a cricket ground.

Key Facts:

  • Queen Elizabeth Park was recently a winner of a Green Flag Award, which recognises well managed parks and green spaces. There are only 23 Green Flag accredited parks and spaces in New Zealand.
  • A robust tree protection policy will ensure the safety of all existing trees. There will be no removal of trees, with additional Pin Oaks to be planted.
  • The rejuvenation project had its beginnings in 2000 – key milestones have included: the pedestrian promenade along Dixon St, including the restoration and refabrication of the fountain in Hosking Garden; redesign to the main entrance at Pownall Gates; enhancements to the botanical area and cemetery; and landscaping on Park Island.
  • The project links with other work in the park, such as the Park Island Rejuvenation Project. Led by Masterton South Rotary, with support from Friends of the Park and Miniature Rail, the project has included a major clean up on the island, extensive planting and the installation of additional seating and tables.
  • Happening in tandem with Stage Five is the Queen Elizabeth Park Grandstand Refurbishment Project, scheduled to commence in April.

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