Why ‘secret’ park could soon be in the design spotlight
  • Monday 28 November 2022
Image

It’s a leafy oasis with generous green space, a court to play ball and shaded playground where butterflies flutter, but many are unaware of its charms.

Minyama’s Jessica Park, which also has a large pond with ducks, barbecue, picnic facilities and public amenities, is one of our region’s most hidden-away urban parks, located just off the Nicklin Way.

Now, its future is in the spotlight with Sunshine Coast Council beginning early planning to ask the community for its vision for possible park improvements.

Sunshine Coast Council Division 4 Councillor Joe Natoli said council aimed to enhance what people already loved about the park and address the challenges currently facing it.

“Jessica Park is a large green space destination within the district area providing many locals and businesses relief from the built environment,” Cr Natoli said.

“For many of the neighbouring properties, it’s dubbed ‘the backyard’.

“This reinforces the need for thorough consideration of how the park is being used, how we can further develop its identity as a destination and how we can enhance the space for the benefit of local residents and the wider community.

“Through the Division 4 Minor Capital Works Funding, I’ve chosen to progress a Concept Ideas Plan which shows an initial vision for what the park could look like in the future. That plan is now ready for community feedback.

“These improvements for the park aim to enhance the overall function and usability of the park, revitalise park amenities, and look to meet the needs of our growing community.

“The initial plan also looks at making the park more accessible and connected for all abilities, offer new play experiences for a mix of age groups, and improve sightlines to draw more people in to enjoy one of the Coast’s best kept secrets.

“I encourage daily park goers, those who run or ride by the park or businesses who stop to get some fresh air to share your feedback in this early stage of planning.”

The community can provide feedback on the draft concept plan by visiting council’s Have Your Say website before December 12, 2022.

Simply google ‘Have Your Say Sunshine Coast’.

Community feedback on the plan will help council determine priority improvements and seek potential future grant applications and funding opportunities.

Although there are no immediate plans to upgrade the park, community feedback on the Concept Ideas Plan will help council plan ahead.

Opportunities for the park improvements include:

  • Enhancing gateways and access points into the park from its surrounds

  • Investigating a consolidated amenities hub to include toilets, a potential kiosk and cycle rest-stops

  • Improving accessibility, wayfinding and lighting throughout the park

  • Exploring play opportunities suitable for a district level facility with a range of play experiences suited to different age groups and physical abilities

  • Improve sightlines and visual permeability across the site

  • Address vegetation and tree issues at the park

  • Explore interactive and educational opportunities for the central pond on site and foster ongoing biodiversity

  • Reimagine picnic areas with upgraded shelters, picnic tables and barbecues

  • Provide spaces that offer a variety of recreational uses and promote active living

Image: Artist impression of sheltered community space at Jessica Park, Minyama.