The Sunshine Coast Ecological Park is poised to become a haven for wildlife and the community alike. Spanning 65 hectares of former farmland, this park promises to be an ecological marvel for generations to explore and enjoy.
Recently endorsed by the Sunshine Coast Council, the Hassell-led master plan lays the foundation for a new parkland that will offer nature-based recreation, education, and research opportunities. It also aims to restore the environmental and cultural heritage values of the region, embracing the concept of "healing Country."
Situated on Jinibara Country, the Sunshine Coast Ecological Park is a pivotal project in the Council's long-term strategy for a sustainable region with a healthy environment and an exceptional quality of life. With a visionary outlook spanning 30 years, this initiative is a once-in-a-generation endeavor.
Daniel Kallis, Principal at Hassell, describes the landscape proposition as progressive, striking a harmonious balance between ecological needs and the growing demand for open spaces to cater to the flourishing Sunshine Coast population. The park aims to establish a shared space that goes beyond a human-centric approach, providing a genuine equilibrium between human recreation and ecological restoration.
Hassell's master plan envisions a range of features, including walking trails, nature play areas, treetop boardwalks, and a lookout offering breathtaking views of the majestic Glasshouse Mountains. Additionally, the park will feature dedicated community spaces and facilities for research, education, and land stewardship.
Adjacent to the renowned Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve, the Ecological Park master plan aims to restore rainforest and wetland ecosystems that were lost to centuries of farming. It will serve as a green asset, enabling people to connect deeply with nature and draw inspiration from the First Nations philosophy of Healing of Country.
Developed in consultation with Jinibara Traditional Owners and cultural knowledge holders, the master plan serves as a cultural conduit, honoring and celebrating the knowledge and practices of Indigenous Peoples. This collaborative effort benefits both the ecology and the community.
According to Daniel Kallis, the Ecological Park will be a story of repair, recreation, and education, delivering significant environmental and social benefits that will grow and evolve with the Sunshine Coast community. The existing farmland provides a blank canvas for the realization of unique nature-based spaces, amenities, and attractions within a restored forest setting, fostering the resurgence of native flora and fauna.
The Sunshine Coast Ecological Park Master Plan heralds a new era of sustainable development and coexistence with nature. It promises to be a place where people can immerse themselves in the wonders of the natural world while fostering a deep respect for the land and its diverse heritage.