Pumptrack nearly ready

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By JA­NINE BAALBERGEN

Levin’s Sol­way Park could soon be the cen­tre of at­ten­tion, and for all good rea­sons.

A slow revamp of the park will reach its zenith in midJan­uary with the open­ing of the pumptrack.

This 160m-long track, made of as­phalt, is part of a wider on­go­ing com­mit­ment by the Levin South Neigh­bour­hood Safety Panel (NSP) and the Levin South Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team (NPT) as well as Horowhenua District Coun­cil (HDC) to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties and in­fra­struc­ture at Sol­way Park and nearby Mor­gan Cres­cent Park.

“Our pri­or­ity is to en­cour­age youth de­vel­op­ment by fos­ter­ing a sense of pride, en­gage­ment, a feeling of safety, and build­ing peo­ple’s trust and con­fi­dence in their com­mu­nity and the po­lice,” said Sergeant Ian Pig­ott, Pre­ven­tion Su­per­vi­sor and chair­per­son of the NSP in Levin.

Over the last six years, these three groups have led de­vel­op­ment of a rugby field, bas­ket­ball court, bar­be­cue, toi­lets, wa­ter foun­tain and fences to trans­form Sol­way Park from an un­wel­com­ing space with min­i­mal fa­cil­i­ties into a vi­brant heart for the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

“The park now hosts nu­mer­ous events, in­clud­ing the Horowhenua Food Fes­ti­val and Dads’ Day Out, as well as youth de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties, such as the Taitoko School year 7 and 8 Fitness Men­tor­ing Pro­gramme, ” Sgt Pig­ott said.

Com­mu­nity en­gage­ment was key to the suc­cess of this de­vel­op­ment and Sgt Pig­ott said they were stoked that the lo­cal com­mu­nity has taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for the area and is keep­ing it tidy and safe.

Over the years toi­lets have been put in, as well as an elec­tric bar­be­cue, drink­ing foun­tains, a climb­ing wall and a bas­ket­ball court. The play­ground equip­ment has been re­moved tem­po­rar­ily and will be back in a dif­fer­ent cor­ner of Sol­way Park. It will have a soft fill base and will be avail­able to play on by Christ­mas.

This week the team, with help from lo­cal res­i­dents, will be tidy­ing the park, and grass will be laid down on ar­eas sur­round­ing the track. “As soon as the as­phalt is laid down, we can open it,” said Sgt Pig­ott.

The Levin South Neigh­bour­hood Safety Panel and the Levin South Neigh­bour­hood Polic­ing Team man­aged to ob­tain the $112,000 needed to put in the pumptrack from both the Eastern and Cen­tral Com­mu­nity Trust and the Lot­ter­ies Board. The coun­cil will over­see the ac­tual work be­ing done.

The new pumptrack is suit­able for moun­tain bikes, chil­dren’s bikes, scoot­ers, in-line skates and skate­boards and is due to be open mid-Jan­uary.

Aerial shot of the Sol­way Park pumptrack in the mak­ing.

The play­ground area in Sol­way Park, with pumptrack in the back­ground.

The Sol­way Park pumptrack in the mak­ing.

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