coolum terrace park -
Dragi Majstorovic 2013
One day in 2011 we witnessed a road crew placing new hot asphalt on the end section of Coolum Terrace.
There would ordinarily be nothing unusual about this as road re-sealing happens from time to time, however this was a section of road that led to nowhere except a barrier which was erected some years earlier when the south end of Coolum Terrace was cut off from its previous connection to the David Low Way.
It seemed a little surreal and wasteful that money was being “poured” into the road “that went nowhere”.
Following our initial dismay at such wastefulness, Emma and I had simultaneously turned on our light bulbs and realised that this wasted road could be more useful as a green space, perhaps a public park, reclaimed from the road.
Sometime later, I spoke to my friend James Birrell, a landscape architect about the possibilities of making this a park and it’s relationship with the surrounding neighbourhood and
James agreed to draw up a plan to look at how all this might happen – the “bigger picture” as designers like to call it.
We agreed that the reclaimed park would run from the intersection of Barra Crescent southward to Mona Vista – a stretch of green space no wider than a normal road reserve of 20 metres with a length of approximately 150 metres.
We invited our Local Councillor Vivien Griffith to meet with us to discuss our ideas and she agreed wholeheartedly that a community green would be a fitting reversal of the road back to “nature”. “if all it means is that we rip up the road and plant some trees, then I am all for it” stated Vivien.
With the support of council and other local environment groups we knew the park was born.
The boardwalk committee supported our ideas and in their invited feedback to Council suggested that the standard of the workmanship should be equal to the boardwalk, hence the connection with the handrail.
Community consultation was undertaken via a Council questionnaire posted to all property owners fronting the road and in the immediate vicinity.
There was overall support for greening the space, however not unanimous.
There was a degree of scepticism from some that the “park” would attract “undesirable activity” by bringing people to it and that it was too close to people’s houses.
A year later Stage 1 was completed and very well adopted by most residents, walkers, mothers strolling their prams and so on. It has become a local casual meeting place and hosted small picnics and birthday gatherings.
The work included vegetating the rock bank, establishing a small turf area and appropriating a large boulder into a seat overlooking 2nd Bay – a perfect whale watching point.
With Councils further help and public support we would like to continue the greening into future stages.
What started out as a blunder has come good and we think that the story needs to be told to demonstrate that ordinary people can make a difference in their neighbourhood for the good of their community.
2013 download CT Park documents
all under construction
the stairs of grandview
laneways of coolum