Wodonga locals are celebrating the opening of two new public parks in central Wodonga, delivered as part of the Junction Place urban renewal project.
The parks were funded by Development Victoria and the Federal Government and provide much needed open space and shade in the heart of Wodonga.
Richardson Park recognises the collective contribution of the Richardson family to the region over a long period of time, particularly to the beef cattle industry.
Robert ‘Bob’ Richardson, a Wodonga Shire councillor in the 1930s, was instrumental in the construction of municipal stockyards in Wodonga, which were on the Junction Place site.
Richardson Park includes interactive art by local sculptor Xavier Pinard referencing the saleyards that were previously on the site, play equipment, trees, and a decorative water tank reminiscent of the tanks used to fill steam trains at the former railyards site.
Sidings Park is a nod to the site’s 140-year rail history and will house food and beverage offerings in purpose-built rail carriages.
Geoff Ward, Group Head of Precincts at Development Victoria, who is leading the delivery of Junction Place, spoke at the official park opening with Senator Jane Hume and Wodonga Mayor Anna Speedie.
He said the parks were the latest pieces of the Junction Place puzzle to come together.
“These parks will bring more people and life to the new centre of Wodonga, which is what the Junction Place project aims to do,” said Geoff.
The precinct has already been revitalised with public open spaces such as the Promenade and Junction Square – as well as restaurants and cafes operating out of the Goods Shed and Station buildings – such as Miss Ameli, Beer Craft Café and Beanstation Café.
“This is really turning into a place the people of Wodonga can be proud of,” Geoff said.
In November last year, the City of Wodonga approved Central Place’s plans for a new cinema and entertainment complex to be built as part of the project.
The City of Wodonga has also approved plans for 70 townhouses to be built on the site.
Both parks were designed by local developer Central Place. Central Place delivered the Sidings Park and will be responsible for its management. City of Wodonga project managed the delivery of Richardson Park and will be responsible for its management and maintenance.