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Modeller’s Pond Redevelopment Underway Before Christmas

Work on redeveloping the Modeller’s Pond into a new family-friendly park will be split into two phases to take advantage of the good summer weather.

Before the Christmas period, Nelson City Council’s contractors will start work decommissioning the pond. This phase of the work will involve deconstructing the edge of the pond, removing existing wooden features in the pond, and preparing the existing concrete for reuse when building the park.

Some of the materials at the park have already been deconstructed and taken away by the Modeller’s Society for reuse, the rest of the pond materials will be kept on site so they can be used in constructing the new park.

Reclaimed fill material and logs from trees that fell during recent slips due to bad weather are being used to help fill in the pond and create play features in the park.

Work will pause over the busy holiday period to make sure people are able to enjoy the other parts of Tahunanui Reserve to their fullest potential. This means that it will be possible for the model train service to run as usual.

Throughout the summer there will be fencing around the new park area, as it will not be safe to walk around the pond’s perimeter while the work takes place.

Nigel Gibbs, spokesperson for The Nelson Society of Modellers, says the club is taking the opportunity to create a more inclusive space for our members by shifting the two train stations together.

“This has created a significant amount of work for us, but in the long run it should complement the new space.

“We are planning to run the railway over the summer break before having to uplift some of the ground level track to aid the redevelopment. Hopefully we will still be able to run the raised track during most of the works.”

Community and Recreation Chair Tim Skinner says Council worked in collaboration with the Nelson Society of Modellers, to reach a successful outcome.

“It’s always hard to see things from our past go through significant change. But I think this plan will transform the Modeller’s Pond into an amenity the whole of Nelson will benefit from. I’m thrilled to see that the model trains will continue to be a feature of the park

“I’d like to thank the Modeller’s Society for their input so far.”

New 3D designs of the park have been created by Nelson landscape architects Canopy. They show the estuarine planting and low-lying areas that will sometimes be inundated by king tides. This is a feature of the new park, with the tides continually moulding the shape and altering the character of some of the play spaces.

The designs also show seating, picnic areas, trees planted for shade, natural play areas, boardwalks, a sheltered lookout for birdwatching, and a proposed shunting yard that will complement the model train tracks.

“The designs give a real sense of the transformation that will happen, and the many ways people will be able to spend an enjoyable afternoon, here,” says Councillor Skinner. “I can’t wait to see this come to life in 2022.”

To see the new designs visit: https://shape.nelson.govt.nz/tahunanui-reserve

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