Celebrations to Mark Central Park Revamp

23 September 2009

A community celebration this Saturday (26 September) at Central Park marks the completion of an 18-month upgrade, which has helped breath new life into one of Wellington's oldest parks.

The $1.2 million upgrade of Central Park - on the right as you go up Brooklyn Hill - has been largely funded by the Charles Plimmer Bequest, used to beautify the city's bays, beaches and reserves.

Improvements include upgraded and widened tracks, new steps and connections, picnic tables and toilets, a mini BMX track for kids, as well as new mapboards and track markers to help visitors find their way around the 13-hectare park.

The Council's Environment Portfolio Leader, Councillor Celia Wade-Brown says the celebration marks 18-months of hard work to restore the Brooklyn park's character while retaining its wild feel.

"People enjoy this lovely part of the Town Belt. Improving access and ease of movement around the park has been an important part of the project. With more people living in the inner city, our open spaces must be of good quality.

"One of the most exciting features is a new section of track with six bridges that curves its way up the Moturoa Stream through previously uncharted territory, connecting with another track at the top to provide a loop walk back to the main entrance."

A major focus of the project was to make the park feel safer for users. "Some trees have been removed and others have been carefully pruned to help let more light in and give the park a more open feel," she says.

Celebrations to mark the completion of the upgrade kick-off at 11.00am on Saturday with an official re-opening by Mayor Kerry Prendergast. Other activities planned for the day include face-painting, balloon animals, clowns, a stair climb challenge and kids' scavenger hunt. Food and coffee will be on sale in the playground area.

"I encourage people to come along and see how the restoration, which began way back in March 2008, has breathed new life into the park. I also urge locals to join the wonderful group, Friends of Central Park, which Cr Ian McKinnon and I began in 2005," says Councillor Wade-Brown.

"The changes to Central Park complement several seasons of work done by these volunteers to restore the native plants along the main stream."