TRC Youth Committee, Community initiative becomes a reality at Clifton Rec Reserve

Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has completed improvement works at the Clifton Recreation Reserve as part of the Clifton Open Space Master Plan.

The project began as an initiative of Council and became an award-winning engagement project with the Clifton Community and members of the Youth Advisory Committee in 2016.

TRC Environment and Community Portfolio Leader, Cr Tim McMahon said the completed works links the park recreation areas between George Street and Elsie Jones walkway.

“The area now includes a new gated pathway as well as the creation of a circular space flexible enough for small or large gatherings with a mix of seating options under a shaded area.

TRC Chair of Environment and Community Services, Cr James O’Shea said the project is an excellent example of collaboration between Council and the community for the betterment of the Region.

“In 2016, Adam Hungerford, as part of Council’s Youth Leader’s program, enquired about becoming involved in a community project,” Cr O’Shea said.

“Adam was teamed with Council officers who were preparing a draft plan for Clifton’s open space.

“Adam took it upon himself to interview around 180 Clifton State High students who expressed their wishes for improvements to the town’s parks.

“Council officers were very impressed with this work of Adam and his fellow students. Council Staff helped the students to develop their ideas for the parks in Clifton by providing a bus tour of other park facilities across the Region.

“Clifton students were heavily involved in a hands-on master plan exercise that considered a range of facilities that could be used by people of all ages.

“The project also gave students the chance to work alongside landscape architects and a range of urban design professionals, opening their eyes to a vast array of potential career opportunities.

“Much of this work formed the basis of a draft concept plan and the student ideas were used to initiate conversations with the broader Clifton community.

“Council held several workshops to hear Clifton residents’ ideas on the type of park areas and facilities they preferred and the different uses that would suit groups in the district.

“The masterplan has a focus on several keyparks and themes developed initially by the students of Clifton State High School and confirmed through broader community consultation.”

“The revised Concept Master Plan is guiding the development of the town’s parks and open spaces.”

Cr O’Shea praised Adam for his initiative and leadership that helped improve park facilities at Clifton.

“Adam’s enthusiasm was an important factor in driving the project from its earliest stages to the delivery of better facilities for residents,” Cr O’Shea said.

“The unique engagement process was recognised by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) Awards panel for its thoroughness in inclusiveness and a whole-of-Council approach.

“The Clifton Township Open Space Concept Master Plan was awarded the Public Engagement and Community Planning Award at the Queensland Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) awards for excellence in Brisbane.

“The PIA also acknowledge Adam Hungerford through the National President’s Award, that recognises individuals and teams for outstanding achievement in planning.

“The project is a great example of local government and the community working together for the benefit of the entire Region.”

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