I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Time to remember life...
Published November 29th 2015
Avalon Park a six hectare family orientated park snuggled between the Hutt River stop-bank and the western side of the Avalon suburb, has commenced its transformation into an unique contempory playground and recreation destination.
The redevelopment is being carried out in three stages during 2015-2017. It is being carried out by the Hawkins Group who are working hard to get the project completed and ready for Lower Hutt residents and visitors from within and without the greater Wellington region. (See artists drawing)
The park will be a unique mix of large recreation space, beautiful pathways for discovery and a comprehensive playground for all age groups. The playground will include an Under Fives play area, an adventurous play area for older children and an all-ages water play area.
The Lower Hutt mayor, Ray Wallace said, "This is a fun and inspiring project that will see this playground transformed into a destination for imaginative play and discovery."
The work is expected to be completed by the end of May 2016, and planting completed by mid-2016. There will not be any access to the park during the construction period, though the Lions Train, paddle boating and the learner bicycle track will still be available to the public.
Many thousands of parents and their now grown up children have enjoyed the old facilities during the last few decades. We used to take our own children to Avalon Park when there was a man-made duck pond and a wooden fort in the centre that they and other children played in. In recent times we have brought our grandchildren of varying ages to the park.
The fort has gone now, deteriorated by the weather over many years, and the other playground facilities also weather worn as well.
Harking back to the late 1940's and early 1950's the present park was the site of the old Taita speedway. But once the area was subdivided for a wealthier economic class of people, the speedway was relocated a few miles north to Upper Hutt, the area renamed to Avalon. The present Avalon Park was then developed on the site of the old speedway.
The new redevelopment is part of a very progressive attitude taken by the present Hutt City Council administration. The Walter Nash Centre in Taita which has recently been completed and opened , will be followed by a Sports Hub in Fraser Park, Taita,and an Events Centre as part of a Town Hall redevelopment in the CBD, and a new hotel complex will be constructed by private developers.