Help shape the future of Emerald Lake Park precinct

Published: 12 July 2018

Cardinia Shire Council is inviting the community to provide input into the development of a five-year strategic plan for the Emerald Lake Park precinct.

The plan will include an overview of the strategic direction for the precinct, which will guide activities, maintenance, promotion and improvements for Emerald Lake Park and Nobelius Heritage Gardens.

Cardinia Shire Mayor Cr Collin Ross said an important part of developing the strategy is collecting information from the community in relation to their vision for the parks and the ways in which they could be improved for the future.

“Welcoming more than half a million people per year, Emerald Lake Park is our premier park and tourist attraction in the Dandenong Ranges. Likewise, the Emerald Lake Park precinct is a popular destination for locals, day visitors and tourists from Australia and abroad.

“This is our community’s opportunity to contribute to the vibrancy of the precinct and to help shape its future – no idea is too big or too small!” Cr Ross said.

“There are multiple ways for the whole community to get involved, and I encourage people to provide ideas and input about their vision for the precinct and its services, events, programs and facilities.”

Emerald Lake Park covers an area of about 52 hectares and features the beautiful Lake Treganowan and Lake Nobelius as well as gardens and natural bushland. It has around 10 kilometres of walking trails, paddleboats, fishing, picnic tables and barbecues, a wading pool open during summer, two playgrounds, a model railway, amphitheatres and shelters that can be booked by the community, and is one of the key destination points for the Puffing Billy Railway.

Cr Ross said: “Emerald Lake Park offers a range of free and low cost activities, whilst Nobelius Heritage Gardens and Emerald Museum showcases and celebrates post settlement botanical and social history of the region.”

Nobelius Heritage Gardens is a four-and-a-half hectare heritage site, which was part of the world-famous Nobelius Nursery, started in 1886 by Swedish immigrant Carl Axel Nobelius. The park is preserved as a remnant of this historic enterprise, with many specimens of trees once stocked by the nursery.

The Emerald Museum, set within Nobelius Gardens, tells the story of Emerald's colourful past through displays of memorabilia, photographs, documents, contemporary records and family histories relevant to the economic, social and environmental history of the Emerald district.

Cr Ross said the community consultation process includes seeking feedback from all key stakeholders including visitors, surrounding residents, local businesses and community groups.

“Emerald Lake Park is owned and managed by Council with the help of the Friends of Emerald Lake Park. A volunteer committee manages Emerald Museum and Nobelius Heritage Park under the authority and on behalf of Council. The precinct operates through collaborative efforts between Council, businesses, and community, so it makes sense that the vision for its future is a shared one.

“We are looking forward to working with the local community and all stakeholders to develop a plan to guide the future of these wonderful community assets,” Cr Ross said.

A community engagement forum from 1–2.30pm on Saturday 4 August at the Emerald Lake Park Environment Centre will provide the community an opportunity to get involved and provide their input in person. The Friends of Emerald Lake Park will also be hosting a free community barbecue prior to the forum from 12.30–1pm. Bookings are required for catering and planning purposes and can be made at https://goo.gl/RDUiKg

Feedback will be used to help develop a draft strategic plan, which is expected to be considered for adoption by Council in late-2018.

Consultation closes 5pm, Sunday 19 August 2018.

For more information and to provide your ideas about the development of the Emerald Lake Park precinct strategic plan, go to www.cardinia.vic.gov.au/elp