UPDATE time 28/08/2021
I got this cool little book from Aldi a few weeks ago, and when I'm looking for a bit of motivation I flip it open and read out a random page... Well this is today's!
I know we have been in lockdown, which for me means my whole focus has to turn inward to keep us all going. But, I have kept the press on with a few projects and would love to update you on the following: I met virtually with the CEO of Puffing Billy and the Emerald Village Association on Wednesday evening. I don't know if it was the lack of human contact recently or if stars aligned, but can I say it was one of the best meetings I've been to in this town? EVER proposed 3 things at the meeting. The first, PB Park is a longer term project- and you'll see why...and 2 and 3 are more immediate solutions. The mental health of our kids needs fixing now, not in a few years, so these 2 initiatives are an amazing opportunity to do just that. Read on!! I'll headline them, and then briefly detail. 1.) Puffing Billy Place Park: PB's new CEO Peter is a breath of fresh air, and has begun the process of thinking about this space. PB's focus right this second is surviving COVID, like everyone else- but he's accutely aware of how important this park is to Emerald locals (he is one!) and he has some ideas for the space that are better than we could have expected. I'll meet with Peter again soon. Funding is slotted for 2024 for this space, and it's important to know that the land is owned by Puffing Billy, but managed by Cardinia Council (and loved by locals). All groups are aware of this. Bear in mind although 2024 sounds far away, it's around the corner in terms of plans, designs and community consultation. Our hope here is to be invited to be part of the consultation process and help create a space for generations to come...but let's all get through this year. Rest assured, wheels are turning. 2.) Pop Up Skate Park at the old netball courts: EVER pitched the idea of a "pop up" skate park in the disused netball courts at Worrell Reserve to our Ranges Ward Councillor Jeff Springfield, and to the Emerald Village Association Inc. The EVA are in full support of this initiative, and Jeff has taken the steps of asking Council executives if the space would be suitable. We're awaiting more information about the use of the space, and hope for its approval. This pop up skate park would include jumps, ramps, rails etc that suit the space and give Emerald kids the opportunity to skate soon, while we're waiting for additional funding and clarification about our permanent skatepark. This is the best way to get something for our kids NOW while we develop fantastic plans that could take many more months/years. Our kids deserve this, and so do we, let's make it happen team Emerald!!! I'm looking for a few passionate locals to help me with design and ideas for fund-raising this initiative. If you're in please comment. 3.) BMX track at Pepis Land: EVER pitched the idea of fixing this space up, so that our kids could used this asap- not in 5 years. I have the man for the job, Baxter Maiwald who is local a pro BMX rider and just for fun, a track builder. This one is a no brainer. Baxter can have this fixed fairly quickly. The EVA and EVER will move forward to contact Council, and see what the next steps are here. I'll be in touch with more information as this develops. The next few weeks are going to be crucial in terms of fund-raising and community support to get projects 2 and 3 across the line. Anyone with ideas and experience with fund-raising I'd love your help.