A number of sports fields and local parks are getting a spruce up in readiness for summer.
The upgrades are part of commitments set out in the Rotorua Lakes Council's 2018-28 Long-term Plan with more than $24 million budgeted over the next 10 years for upgrades, renewals and enhancements across all the sports, recreation and environment areas.
The new market space is starting to take shape with the kerbs and footpaths now complete.
Still to be completed include sealing the main park area, line painting for the car parks, asphalt, hoops, fencing and line painting of the basketball court, planting of rain gardens installation of park furniture, lighting and CCTV power supply, and landscaping and planting.
The council has been working closely with Rotorua North Rotary group to ensure the new space meets the needs of its Saturday morning market stallholders and visitors.
Puketawhero Park lights and parking areas
The construction of the first 20 carparks is almost complete on the Te Ngae Rd side of Puketawhero Park. On the Vaughan Rd side a further 70 parks are being constructed and earthworks are well underway.
The additional parking will increase capacity for large sporting events and will help to alleviate congestion on Te Ngae Rd when the facility is being used.
In addition to the parking spaces, installation of new floodlights at field 4 (Vaughan Rd side) is now complete. The new lights will result in more available training space, especially during peak winter hours.
A Supply and Demand Study completed in 2018 highlighted a shortfall in training spaces in the city, especially lit fields that can be used at night. The lights at Puketawhero are part of the response to this issue and more work on training facilities will continue in 2020.
Work is nearing completion on the extended car parking areas at Smallbone Park.
The extra parking and new layout will increase capacity during practise and game days and will improve traffic flow to make it safer for pedestrians accessing both the cricket and hockey grounds.
The removal of a number of trees at the entry/exit to Smallbone Park has also improved visibility for cars exiting the carpark on to Devon St.
Wildlands will soon continue pest plant control within the reserve now that winter is over. This will be the second year of the five-year project to restore Sanatorium Reserve.
Predator control will also start and there may be opportunities for members of the public to help. If you are interested in helping with this important work contact Richard Dahlenburg on 07 348 4199 (8am – 5pm Mon to Fri).
Litter continues to be a problem within the reserve.
Instances of flytipping and litter from Te Ngae Rd means it is an ongoing issue even though contractors regularly clear the area. The council thanked those community groups volunteering their time to collect litter at Sanatorium Reserve.
Sudima Hotel recently hosted a clean-up at the reserve as part of Conservation Week.
The recent confirmation that long-tailed bats were definitely using two sites within the reserve for foraging and roosting had meant that a new plan was being considered to manage the trees within the reserve.
The plan would help ensure the bats' habitat was not affected by the restoration work.
The council is working with residents who live around Tihi Rd Reserve to better understand how the community uses the space and what is important to them for the future.
In recent months trees that were impacting nearby residents have been topped or felled but to effectively resolve all issues, some further trees will need to be removed and a replanting plan will need to be created.
Letters were sent to 250 residents near Tihi Rd reserve and posters installed notifying the wider community of the call for feedback.
More than 90 people responded. The council's Open Spaces team will now analyse the feedback and develop a staged plan for future work at the reserve.
Each year Rotorua Lakes Council works to a renewal schedule for all its parks and reserves assets and this year 10 reserves/playgrounds are up for renewal.
Before work takes place, the council wants to engage with local residents to understand who uses these reserves and how they would like to use them in the future.
Last week 3800 letters were sent to residents in neighborhoods around the reserves listed below. Residents are being asked to provide feedback that will help the council better cater for the needs of the people using these areas.
The survey asks what activities people like to do, what they like best about the reserve, how often they visit, what equipment they would like to see added and how they arrive there.
If you would like to give feedback on any of these reserves head to letstalk.rotorualakescouncil.nz/love-your-playground
The last day to provide feedback is Friday October 11 2019.