Daily Post, Rotorua Bay of Plenty by None 21 Mar 2015
Stage One of a proposed Boulevard Gardens project in Kuirau Park is set to become a reality as a result of a $273,000 grant from the Francis Moss Boord Trust.
The project is a component of the Rotorua Lakes Council’s wider strategy to redevelop and upgrade Kuirau Park over a number of years, improving connectivity with the inner city and encouraging more widespread use of the park.
Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick said the council was extremely grateful to the trust for its generous donation to a special community project that would be enjoyed by many people locals and visitors alike for many years to come.
“It seems very fitting that a philanthropic trust set up through the will of Rotorua’s well-respected former MP and mayor, the late Ray Boord, will contribute to such an important community project as this.
The Boulevard Gardens project will now gather real momentum because of this partnership between the trust and the council.
“We acknowledge the trustee’s foresight and we’re particularly delighted that they’ve been able to share our vision for this very exciting project. We’re sure former mayor Boord would approve.” Speaking on behalf of the trust, Perpetual Guardian’s client manager Jan Middlemiss said the $273,000 grant for establishing new gardens, walkways and picnic areas in Kuirau Park was the most significant distribution of funds ever made by the trust.
“The project fits very well with the objectives of the trust to benefit the Rotorua community, and it certainly honours the legacy left by Ray Boord.” The Boulevard Gardens concept is for a series of five specialty and feature gardens in Kuirau Park.
They will be connected by a combined public walkway and cycle path, integrated with the new Green Corridor currently under construction, and linking key attractions and activities within the unique geothermal reserve.
Sculpture within a landscaped entrance area will be part of a meeting and information point to help form a gateway into the inner city.
This entrance will lead into Kuirau Park and to five new gardens, including a contemporary New Zealand garden of Rotorua-specific native vegetation, an interactive scent garden, a hosta garden for spring and summer months, and climbing gardens with vertical structures.
Stage One will run from near the Ranolf St/Haupapa St intersection side of Kuirau Park and meander through to the main foot pool and public restrooms area.
This will be implemented in steps over the next 18 months as weather and resources allow, with completion and official opening scheduled for spring/ summer of 2016.
Two further stages of Boulevard Gardens are planned for the future, eventually connecting through to the Aquatic Centre.