Pioneer Park upgrade open

SNOWY Valleys Council’s $1.33 million upgrade of Pioneer Park was officially unveiled on Tuesday. 

The NSW Government contributed funding towards the masterplanning and upgrade through the Public Spaces Legacy Program.

The upgrade includes key features such as the establishment of a new accessible public amenities building with connecting walking paths to both carparks; which were also

resealed as part of the project. Nature-inspired play spaces have been introduced, along with new playground equipment, more seating and picnic tables, pedestrian bridges,

and more low-maintenance plantings.

Solar lighting along the Riverwalk from Rotary Pioneer Park through Bila Park to the entrance of Riverglade Caravan Park was also installed to improve walking and riding experiences.

On Tuesday, SVC Director of Infrastructure and Works Duncan Mitchell acknowledged the work done by Tumut Rotary, Deputy Mayor Trina Thomson and the Blakeney Millar Foundation with the park over the years.

Mayor Ian Chaffey said the community could be justly proud of the vision involved in the project, and that it was an example of what can be achieved with such vision and determination.

He read out a message from NSW Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully, who wasn’t able to make the opening.

“Rotary Pioneer Park has a long history of community involvement and care,” he said.

“A part of this project, a comprehensive masterplan was developed for the park to envision the space for future generations and outline forthcoming phases of the development. The proposal creates a destination to further draw local residents into the park by creating long stay activity such as nature play and bird watching.

“I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all the best as you celebrate the official opening of Rotary Pioneer Park for the enjoyment of the community.”

Cr Chaffey spoke about the history of the park.

“The park has a long history of involvement and care,” he said.”

“The Rotary Club of Tumut is the custodian of the Park and in conjunction with others were responsible for developing what was originally an overgrown swap into a space for families. The driving force behind this was the late Pat Cruise with the help of his fellow Rotarians and others.

“In 1987 Rotary Pioneer Park received an award for the concept and development of the project undertaken by the Rotary Club of Tumut which completed a three-year scheme to develop a tract of swamp land on the outskirts of town into a parkland and recreational area. Club members gave an estimated $51,000 of volunteer skilled labour and time.

“Approximately 15 years ago, Council added pathways and a playground to enhance the park’s utility.

“The Labyrinth for Peace was then installed in 2017. Rotarians continue to work with the council and its Parks and Gardens team to maintain this important public space and have built both shelters, the newest one completed only a few years ago.

“A comprehensive masterplan was developed for the Park to envision the space for future generations and outline forthcoming phases of development.

“Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture was engaged to undertake masterplanning for the park and to develop detailed designs and construction documentation for a portion of the masterplan as stage 1.”

“The final Masterplan was endorsed by Council in May 2022, and after a delay caused by wet weather, works commenced with exaction works around the pond in preparation for native plantings and around the playground for new edgings.

The carparks were resealed in the new year for improved user accessibility and safety in January this year.”

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