Redland City Council is encouraging the community to tap into the educational resources that exist on Birkdale Community Precinct as they imagine future uses for the site.
Mayor Karen Williams said the educational benefits of the 62-hectare precinct were just waiting to be discovered and, with the current community engagement closing on May 4, there was an urgency around considering how they featured in the site’s future.
“A green, natural haven set beside the gentle ebb and flow of Tingalpa Creek is not only an attractive and conducive space for studying and learning, but it is a rich educational resource in its own right,” Cr Williams said.
“From its time of settlement by Traditional Owners through its colonial farming heritage, World War II history and beyond, the precinct offers valuable insights into the life and times of those who walked and worked upon its land.”
Cr Williams said the protected ecosystem of the site could potentially offer up many environmental education lessons around issues such as biosecurity, conservation land management and sustainability.
About two-thirds of the precinct is categorised as protected because of its identified cultural, heritage and ecological values.
Vee Design director David Hatherly believes in actively respecting the precinct’s natural habitat and values when considering the educational opportunities that it offers.
His firm was one of five leading urban design and landscape architecture teams who created ideas boards for the precinct based around themes inherent to the site. Their theme was Education and Discovery.
“Three principles underpin the theme. Respect. Restore. Educate,” Mr Hatherly said.
“Respect for the natural environment and for the cultural history. Restoration of the landscape and management of sensitive environments and ecosystems. Educate through a range of activities such as bush walks, guided tours, day and night activation, and seasonal activation, incorporation of outdoor classrooms, seasonal environmental signage displays, and the provision of a Discovery Hub which could provide information, bookings, learning and site management facilities.
“This project could be considered one of ‘change’. But importantly it is how that change can be managed and reflected in positive outcomes that will be the site’s legacy for generations to come.”
The other themes were:
Adventure and recreation – What exciting, compelling and family-friendly community facilities, assets and attractions would you like to see at Birkdale Community Precinct? Could it be the home for the highly anticipated Redlands Coast Adventure Sports Precinct? The opportunity is to create an integrated regional aquatic centre of excellence, incorporating the city’s new Olympic standard pool, water play and adventure sports facilities, as well as an Olympic standard whitewater facility that could serve as the event venue for canoe slalom for a potential Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Agriculture and rural tradition – The land had a productive past in farming. How could we use that to help shape a sustainable future?
Heritage and history – In what ways would you like to see the stories of place, from Traditional Owners to European settlers to the land’s role during World War II, acknowledged?
Environment and ecology – How do we preserve, showcase and be innovative with the precinct’s environmental resilience and qualities into the future?
Division 10 Councillor Paul Bishop said it appears the themes of education and discovery are particularly exciting for all ages and especially for younger members of the community.
“This land is just waiting to be experienced; it has many stories to tell and lessons to help us learn,” Cr Bishop said.
“Some suggest this could be a place where children get to meet and learn about the local habitat in a structured, formal way. It also could be a place where youth may enjoy nature play among eucalypts as they celebrate ‘re-wilding’ of open spaces and discover the precinct’s beauty in an informal way.
“But right now, we need members of our community to visit Council’s Your Say page, look at the virtual tour, videos and fact sheets and consider the many possibilities for this precinct.
“Imagine what you want your loved ones to inherit in decades to come. Do the survey and raise any other unique suggestions. The deadline to have your say is fast approaching.”
For more information about Council’s community consultation on possible future uses for Birkdale Community Precinct, visit yoursay.redland.qld.gov.au/imagine
Consultation closes on Tuesday 4 May 2021.