Weeds and rabbits have called the RSL Park in Campbell home for the better part of two decades. Last year, a group of Campbell locals decided enough was enough and the Friends of RSL Park Campbell group was formed.
Kate Morioka is a member of the group and a new resident of Campbell. She has been amazed by the level of cohesion in the community, despite the obvious differences in background.
“What we like about the group is that traditionally in an established suburb like Campbell, you get a lot of people who are older and have been there a long time that get involved in something like this,” said Ms Morioka.
“With our group, it involves people from all different ages and backgrounds, and most importantly, people who live in detached dwellings as well as the highrise apartments.”
In addition to the issues with weeds and rabbits, the park also lost its RSL plaque which had been at the park since it was given its name as a dedication to the Returned Services League in July 2002. This naming is significant as Campbell remains a central location for Canberra’s Defence Force personnel, as it has been for much of the post-World War II era.
Ms Morioka says the loss of the plaque not only removed the special connection to the RSL from the park but also left it “nameless”.
After months of working bees and planning, the Friends of RSL Park group recently had a big victory, successfully securing an ACT Nature in the City grant.
“There are two components to it: one is to remove weeds from the southern section of the park, the second is to put together an integrated landscape plan,” said Ms Morioka.
“We have a draft plan [pictured above] and that’s been prepared based on previous input from members of the Friends of RSL Park, as well as a workshop with our key stakeholders including RSL ACT branch, RSL national and the TCCS [Transport Canberra and City Services].”
With lots of users of the area from outside the immediate Campbell community, the group would like to see anybody with an interest in the park make a submission on their draft plan. All necessary information is available on the Friends of RSL Park Campbell website.