BIG IDEAS: Heights College Year 8 students inspired some of the plans for council’s redevelopment of Kershaw Gardens. INSET: Jorja Downey was one of the students who contributed to the plan. ABOVE: The master plan and artist’s impressions for Kershaw Gardens which were revealed in council last week. The plans are open for four weeks community consultation.
BIG IDEAS: Heights College Year 8 students inspired some of the plans for council’s redevelopment of Kershaw Gardens. INSET: Jorja Downey was one of the students who contributed to the plan. ABOVE: The master plan and artist’s impressions for Kershaw Gardens which were revealed in council last week. The plans are open for four weeks community consultation. Chris Ison Rokcgarden

A-maze-ing students make impression with park plans

WHEN a class of Year 8 students imagined how they could improve Kershaw Gardens, they didn't expect anyone to take any notice.

But their ideas have been incorporated into the newly released plans for the iconic Rockhampton park, devastated by Cyclone Marcia in February.

Rockhampton Regional Mayor Margaret Strelow visited the Heights College classroom while they worked on a geography assignment, planning a new-look Kershaw Gardens.

Their ideas, including the suggestion of a maze, have been included in draft plans, presented in council this week.

Year 8 student Jorja Downey (pictured) said it was exciting to see their ideas make it into the final design.

She said she wanted to see more of a community feeling to the space and suggested pop-up food vans and an amphitheatre to encourage increased use.

Even though everyone had individual suggestions, Jorja said they all worked well together to make a welcoming park for the region.

Having viewed the designs, Jorja said she was excited for the changes and believes it could be something which could encourage more people from surrounding areas to visit Rockhampton.

Cr Strelow said the final draft designs and student ideas were a case of great minds thinking alike. She said the plans followed a lot of the "dreams and ambitions" of the Year 8 students.

"I just think it's very exciting when our young people grasp the opportunity that Marcia gave us to revitalise our city and then to share that and have a chance to influence what the rest of the community get to enjoy," Cr Strelow said.

"I was very impressed with them."

Cr Strelow said the plans were sent over to the school immediately after they were presented in council.

"I wanted them to see their vision translated into the design," she said. "I wanted to them to realise you can influence government decision-making."



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