Community re-thinks outdoor spaces

MidCoast Council

Photo: Archie, Worimi and Wonnarua First Nations, participating at a workshop.

Over 1,600 people have identified what they most value about our open spaces, contributing to MidCoast Council’s first open space strategy.

“We know MidCoast residents love the great outdoors and the beautiful natural assets of our region,” said Council’s Executive Manager of Community Spaces, Dan Aldridge.

“Both locals and visitors said they want better connected green space, more accessible footpaths and cycleways, more flexible open space, and more activities for young children and teenagers.

“People told us that they want open spaces that encourage people with a range of abilities and ages to interact with each other, safely, and without it costing too much,” added Mr Aldridge.

Curious about what locals most value in their outdoor spaces? You can check out the snapshot of the outcomes and key themes at the link above.

A full engagement outcomes report along with the draft Strategy will go on public exhibition around mid-2023.

People talked to MidCoast staff in June and July at pop-ups at Tuncurry, Old Bar, Hallidays Point, Harrington, Gloucester, Wingham, Tea Gardens, Taree and Nabiac. Workshops were held in November at Bulahdelah, Forster, Gloucester, Harrington, Hawks Nest, Pacific Palms, Stroud and Taree.

Children were also encouraged to provide input through activities at the workshops.

“We’ve heard from people of all ages on the MidCoast. We want to thank everyone for getting involved,” said Mr Aldridge.

“The community has identified what to plan, program, prioritise and fund over the next 10-15 years in our parks, gardens, walk and cycleways, sports fields, playgrounds, reserves and other public spaces.

“Now we’ll put those ideas into the draft Open Spaces and Recreation Strategy which is being prepared now.”

An independent randomised telephone survey was undertaken earlier in the year. People could also provide feedback online via a survey, mapping tool and a visioning wall.

The draft strategy will be available for the community to review and have a final say before adoption next year.

Stay updated and find out more at the link above. You can also sign up for Council’s weekly email newsletter, News Wrap, at the link above.

/Public Release. View in full here.