Wilder­ness must stay peo­ple say

The Tribune (NZ) - - OUT & ABOUT -

Palmer­ston North peo­ple want Waitoe­toe Park to re­main a wilder­ness area, but are keen to see more for­mal play equip­ment at Me­mo­rial Park.

The city coun­cil has fin­ished con­sult­ing about pub­lic as­pi­ra­tions for the two parks, with plan­ner Ja­son Pilk­ing­ton de­lighted by the level of in­ter­est.

Via Face­book and other so­cial me­dia, more than 4000 peo­ple were reached about Waitoe­toe Park, and more than 7000 about Me­mo­rial Park.

There were nearly 200 for­mal sub­mis­sions about Waitoe­toe Park, and nearly 300 on Me­mo­rial Park.

Pilk­ing­ton said the full range of views was still be­ing an­a­lysed, and the range of projects sug­gested would be pre­sented to a coun­cil­lors’ work­shop in March.

Some themes had come through strongly.

Most peo­ple val­ued the wilder­ness na­ture of Waitoe­toe Park, and wanted the area to be kept close to its nat­u­ral state.

‘‘The mes­sage came from ev­ery­one – they do not want us to lay tarseal or grass and keep it neatly mown.’’

Heather Knox, who has pro­moted the de­vel­op­ment of a nat­u­ral play­ground within the park, said peo­ple wanted it kept in­for­mal, in con­trast to the for­mal lay­out of Vic­to­ria Es­planade.

At Me­mo­rial Park the fo­cus of feedback had been on the play area and the pub­lic pad­dling pool, with calls for a wa­ter play area, more equip­ment and bar­be­cues.

DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

A com­mu­nity plant­ing day at Waitoe­toe Park.

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