On 21 August the community celebrated the reopening of Harvard Park’s Adventure Park in Pahiatua. Dozens of children flocked to Harvard Park to test the new equipment. The Harvard Park Upgrade was a collaborative effort between the community association, Pahiatua On Track, progressing and promoting Pahiatua, in collaboration with the Tararua District Council.
Members of Pahiatua On Track Committee attended a seminar – by experts on the revitalization of small towns. The message that was most outstanding for the group was the importance of identifying a point of difference from other towns and putting concerted effort into developing that attraction.
Pahiatua On Track have been the driving force behind applying for and administering grants received. Tararua District Council was responsible for a $100,000 grant towards this project. The local community have enthusiastically driven this initiative and with outstanding results.
But the success was due to the participation and involvement of many more groups – from local businessman Jason Griggs who was the project Manager, Cynthia Cass who supplied comprehensive drawings done in the theory stage of each design. Pahiatua is very proud of the fact that all recent work on the park was dedicated from various people in the community. Harvard Park Committee Members - included Pahiatua Lions Club, Rotary and Plunket.
The new outdoor Harvard Park was officially opened by the Mayor Roly Ellis, and it was already proving to be a success as dozens of children scampered to try out the new equipment. Several councillors attended including Shirley Hull, Peter Johns, Brenda Dodunski and Deputy Mayor Bill Keltie who turned out to celebrate this highlight for the Harvard Adventure Park.
Harvard Playground was identified as a benefit to the community and with the existing economic climate it was seen as essential to attract visitors and new residents by providing great facilities. It has been thirty years since this area has been upgraded. The committee alongside key members of the retail community decided not just to replace some of the equipment but try to put together an area that can be enjoyed by all ages.
There will be further ongoing refurbishment as grants and local fundraising permits. The toilets at the park will be refurbished with Council funds.
The new development of the park would see more travellers stop for a rest while travelling along State Highway 2.