by Paul Sirota
The Blueskin Youth Centre Association (BYCA) will hold its AGM at 6:30pm on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The AGM will be hosted at the Waitati Fire Station. All are welcome to attend.
Following the successful completion of the Bland Park sports facility, BYCA attracted funding from the Lottery Grants Board to conduct a community needs assessment and subsequent feasibility study for a project for the Blueskin Bay community. BYCA employed an independent consultancy, Boulder Planning Ltd, who engaged with community stakeholder groups in the area and asked for ideas for a community amenity or service. Analysis of the community needs assessment (available at the library for perusal) indicated that a community walkway or increased development of Bland Park were the most supported ideas forwarded by the community groups. Hence, these ideas were then recommended for further investigation. BYCA then directed Boulder Planning to conduct a feasibility study for each of the recommendations (also available at the library).
The walkway recommendation was adopted by BYCA as a focus for development and the preferred route has now been identified and marked out with a GPS. The Waitati walkway will begin/end at Bland Park due to ease of parking and follows the Waitati Stream into the estuary between the DoC wetland sanctuary and the Orokonui Ecosanctuary. The walkway continues along the bush-clad bank near the shore of the estuary finally exiting at Chelivode St. with a 5-10min walk back down Doctors Point Rd to Bland Park car park. The walkway will be approximately 1.5m wide and 3-4km long, and all of the landholders, including DoC, have given their permission for the construction of a walkway to proceed. Gorse and underbrush will need to be removed and a path cut for the wood-edged, compacted gravel walkway, so there will be plenty of opportunity for members of the community to help out with its construction if you would like to. We look forward to bringing another great amenity to Blueskin Bay that will encourage the youth, families and greater community to get outdoors and enjoy their natural environment.