You can almost hear the sound of laughter and uninhibited fun coming from Bell Park already. The long awaited and highly anticipated upgrade is set to make Quirindi the place for families all over Liverpool Plains Shire to come and enjoy time together.
It started with a local mother of two, Donna Lawson, wanting a beautiful and fun place for her sons to grow and play into a grant for over $200,000 given from Shenhua Watermark Coal and a plan to completely overhaul Bell Park as we know it.
Shenhua Watermark has a community fund which aims to support the development of the region’s economy, enhance and maintain the environment, improve important local facilities and develops and promote training and employment opportunities.
Having visited other small towns that had parks to rival those in the city Mrs Lawson entertained the idea that Quirindi could have something that local families could enjoy.
“I initially approached LPSC at the beginning of the year asking if they would be okay with me exploring avenues of fundraising and costing a project plan for some new park equipment. I then went on to select equipment and design a plan to suit all ages and interests, obtain quotes for the playground equipment, soft fall, fencing, etc. and explored several avenues of fundraising”, said Mrs Lawson
Mrs Lawson was delighted after attending an information night about Community Funding hosted by Shenhua and then took action from there. Although the planning of the application coincided with the pregnancy and birth of her new son Heath, Mrs Lawson persevered and tells of the moment she found out her vision would come to be, “I was absolutely shocked and elated when Ian Lobsey knocked on my door to tell me the project had been selected for funding. It was wonderful that all the work had been worthwhile” she said.
“The Watermark Community Fund Advisory Committee were very supportive of the project and felt it would provide a long-term benefit to the broader community as well as make the Liverpool Plains Shire a more attractive place for visitors and new families.” says Communications Manager, Melanie Layton from Shenhua
The new park will be fully fenced and include such playground equipment as a new fire truck toy, a G-Pod spinner, Infants / primary play structure incorporating various play equipment including slides, monkey bars, fire pole, bridge and a zip line flying fox for the adrenaline junkies out there.
General Manager of Liverpool Plains Shire Council, Robert Hunt and Councillor Ian Lobsey acknowledge that projects like this never make the priority list within the council but have been very supportive of Mrs Lawson’s desire for the funding and say they are, “excited for this wonderful facility to be built which will no doubt be frequently used”.