The 25.5ha reserve borders Palmerston North's rural boundary, but only a fraction of the land is currently open to the public. The remaining 20ha will be developed and opened up to the public over the next five years.
The Council has today released its draft development plan for the project. The plan has been largely shaped by the community through focus groups and an open day last year. Now the Council is seeking confirmation it has got it right.
"The ideas people gave us were weighted towards adventure play, walking, mountain biking and dog facilities," says Council senior parks and property planner Aaron Phillips.
"Given people's desire for adventurous outdoor play and activity and the park's location, we're proposing a country park theme for the development."
All developments on the Linklater Reserve will support and build on this theme where possible.
The proposals include:
- a junior mountain bike skills area with fun features like bike seesaws and an obstacle course
- an adventure play space with flying fox, low ropes and a 30m long slide
- fenced dog park with separate areas for large and small dogs and an agility course
- a mown or planted 'from the air' feature to welcome visitors arriving in the city by plane
- public art to tell the story of named Rangitāne peaks on the Tararua Ranges
The Council also proposes to use 5-7ha of land for grass crops that will provide a small income to offset maintenance costs.
The full range of proposals is set out in the Linklater Reserve Draft Development Plan. Mr Phillips urged people to read the plan and have their say.
"This is a great opportunity to help shape a huge park. Tell us what you think of the plan, what's good and what you would do differently. There are lots of ways to give us your feedback: from writing us a letter to calling us or posting on our Facebook page."
Next month the Council will also host two drop-in sessions where people can ask the parks planner questions and talk about the proposals: Roslyn Library, 23 March, 3pm to 7pm and Central Library, 24 March, noon until 2pm.
Then on Saturday 26 March the Linklater Reserve Open Day will be back with a bunch of fun activities. About 1,000 people enjoyed the event last year. Water restrictions permitting, the giant 50m slip and slides will be back again. Council staff and city councillors will be there to show people the plan, talk through any thoughts, and gather submissions.
The Linklater Reserve Draft Development Plan and submission forms are available from the Council, Palmerston North Central and Roslyn Libraries, or on the Council website at pncc.govt.nz/linklater
The consultation is open until 4 April.