Spiire’s Landscape Architecture team was engaged by Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council to lead the initial masterplan and visioning of a new public realm that includes upgrades to Blundell Park, a new botanic gardens and cultural gardens that celebrate Queanbeyan’s local natural and cultural history.
The project is located along the Queanbeyan River corridor and offers a unique opportunity to respond to different environmental types from the lower riparian river system to drier upper escarpments and adjoining urban areas. The site includes an existing playground, indigenous gardens and significant trees along its length that will be enhanced and managed to create a safe and attractive new public realm and accommodate a range of different plant collections and facilities to form the Botanic Gardens.
Spiire worked closely with Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, a stakeholder working group and local community members to formulate a plan that expresses Queanbeyan’s environment and activate the site for improved visitation and stewardship. The goals of the project were to provide a unique and exciting riverside public realm, bring Queanbeyan’s natural and cultural heritage to life and to champion partnerships with traditional owners and Minami Alps, Queanbeyan’s sister city, to increase local, national and international reputation, knowledge and historical exchange.
The key challenges for the project include the steep river gorge environment and flood management, the range of climate types from wet to dry and responses to a range of interweaving cultural narratives and aspirations. Spiire’s landscape team developed guiding principles for the masterplan including creating an ecological landscape along different levels and floodplain constraints, interventions that express local indigenous and international cultural values and by enhancing the site and existing playground with new attractive ad robust spaces for young and old.
Primary features of the park and gardens include botanical interpretations, a main visitor hub, multi-cultural gardens, education facilities and children’s gardens, an improved play space for all abilities, sister city friendship gardens, peace park memorials, indigenous gardens, native and world plant collections, cascades and micro climate environments, wetlands, seed banks and a maintenance area/nursery.
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