Green Spaces - An Important Resource for our Community

Like many of you, one of the things I most enjoy about our district are our beautiful gardens and open spaces. There’s nothing quite like a stroll through the Ashburton Domain, especially when spring arrives and the pink tree blossoms make their annual appearance.

The Domain is one of many areas throughout the district that are managed and maintained by the Council. In fact, the Council’s Parks and Open Spaces team look after 86 parks and reserves as well as 11 open cemeteries and five closed cemeteries. That’s over a hundred sports fields, parks, gardens and reserves to keep spic and span.

The availability of these spaces plays an important role in the wellbeing of our community. They provide a place for people to meet, play sport, be active and enjoy our environment.

The Council takes great pride in delivering these areas, and on the whole, they are usually an absolute delight to enjoy. We know that they are appreciated, because you tell us so. Our Annual Residents’ Survey consistently sees exceptionally high satisfaction rates from residents.

We understand that our outdoor areas are a big component of what makes our district so attractive and enjoyable, which is why the Council increased spending in this area during the last financial year. An extra $278,000 was spent within reserves, while an additional $224,000 was allocated to parks and recreation.

You might wonder why there is a need for extra funding, but what some may not realise is that over the years, Council has been vested additional land by the community. This means that the Council has had an increasing number of spaces to maintain, which stretches resources even further. Increasing our funding to keep all our green spaces in order helps to ensure they are maintained to a high standard that residents and visitors have come to expect.

A few weeks ago, I along with others in the community noticed that these parks and reserves were not looking as they usually do. A combination of wet weather leading into summer, intermittent sunny temperatures and the scaled-back workforce over the holidays saw these usually pristine green spaces and garden beds looking in need of some TLC. Over the next few weeks, we will be reviewing the Long Term Plan and assessing the level of funding required to manage this service.

We have a lot to take pride in around our district, and the abundance of green public spaces and facilities is certainly on my list. With this sunny weather about, why not plan a picnic with friends and family in one of the many parks and reserves dotted around the district? You can find a list of these on the Council website www.ashburtondc.govt.nz under the ‘Our District’ menu.

Page reviewed: 20 Feb 2019 1:15pm