Haig Park will become a venue for community events and include a new walking and cycling path, better lighting, fitness facilities, and improved amenities and playgrounds under a plan released by the City Renewal Authority.
The plan, which aims to make Haig Park safer, more enjoyable, and better used, is the result of a community engagement program last year, and the Authority is now going back to the community for feedback.
The area’s population will surge in coming years as the redevelopment of Northbourne Avenue takes shape and the park is seen as a major community asset in need of a lift. There have also been concerns about its safety, particularly after dark.
City Renewal Authority Chief Executive Malcolm Snow said the plan included physical improvements as well as a community events program to help make Haig Park an attractive inner-city destination.
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“The plan is a strategic document that sets out actions to achieve the community’s vision for Haig Park,” Mr Snow said.
“Proposed physical improvements include an east-west link for pedestrians and cyclists; new lighting along key routes and among the trees; fitness equipment and running tracks of varying distances; barbecue facilities, improved amenities and a pop-up nature play and children’s playground.”
Mr Snow said future use of the park could include sculpture festivals, temporary art events, film screenings, food markets, music festivals and performances, carnivals and farmer’s markets.
“Haig Park is a really important community asset and we want it to be a place that is used, enjoyed and embraced by many Canberrans and visitors,” he said.
“This plan will put in place actions that the City Renewal Authority can take to improve the park in the short term while also recognising that more people will increasingly be using it as their local park.”
Mr Snow said the Authority was looking to make quick, temporary improvements that would instantly make the park a better place to visit or pass through.
“We will assess these improvements to see whether they should be implemented permanently,” he said.
The Authority will also be looking at the existing depot site to see how it can be used for community events such as a pop-up stage or pavilion.
It says the plan also strengthens the park’s heritage value with interpretive signage that explores its historical nature.
“The input we have received from the community has been very clear that there needs to be a balance between making the park more people-friendly and maintaining its heritage significance,” Mr Snow said.
“Importantly, any improvements to Haig Park will be in accordance with an approved Conservation Management Plan, which will protect its heritage values.”
To see the Haig Park Plan and to provide feedback visit www.cityrenewalCBR.com.au