A HANDFUL of enthusiastic volunteers have already made good progress on the development of the old Foster railway station precinct as Foster Station Park. Now, as the Foster Station Park Advisory Committee celebrates its first anniversary, a call is going out to the community for more support in order for Foster Station Park to truly be ‘a park for the people, by the people,’ as the catchcry on its signage reads.
“To help us achieve our goal of an active public park facility with a mixture of community projects as well as commercial ventures as set out in the Management Plan, we will need some more people power,” explained the president of the FSP advisory committee, Ernie Cayzer.
The committee will be making a presentation to the board of management of Foster Community House, with a report on the progress and future plans for Foster Station Park next Wednesday, April 17, and invites anyone with any interest in the project to attend.
It was two years ago that the Foster Community Association prepared a management plan for the development of the old railway station precinct as Foster Station Park. A year later the advisory committee was formed. It is responsible to the land manager, the Great Southern Rail Trail Committee of Management, and is auspiced by Foster Community House. Copies of the management plan are available from Foster Community House.
“Since the inception of the advisory committee, all the site work has followed the motto and local people power has been the main resource which has got some of the community projects off the ground, starting with the sign,” said Mr Cayzer.
The sign, ‘Foster Station Park – a park for the people, by the people,’ was donated by the rail trail’s committee of management and installed with the help of volunteers from the Men’s Shed.
The current focus is on installation of a maintenance shed for the Men’s Shed group. It was donated by the local medical community, with the foundation work and erection of the shed done by local contractors and volunteers from the Men’s Shed and the Corner Inlet Woodworkers. Now, with a concrete floor recently installed, it is nearing completion. The shed will be used for storage of garden tools and machinery.
An information board is the latest project supported by local organisations. The Rotary Club of Foster provided the materials and commissioned GippsTAFE students to fabricate and erect the frame and roof. The board will incorporate information about the rail trail, the park and local services and will hopefully include advertisements from local businesses to help pay for it.
“We are also involved in supporting other community projects such as the bocce court, Men’s Shed facilities, the Station Park Community Garden as well as others which will form the core facilities on the site,” said Mr Cayzer. “The CWA has chosen the FSP as the site for their 80 year memorial plaque and commemorative tree which will be planted near the park entrance at a suitable time. Clean-up and making the park ground safe is a priority and we hope to achieve this with the help of the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) whilst we are cooperating with the shire on the work for the extension of the Great Southern Rail Trail. The first section from Foster to Toora is currently under construction.”
Mr Cayzer said a continuous rail trail from Leongatha to Welshpool is in the pipeline and with that a substantial increase in trail usage is expected.
“The Foster Station Park will then become a central hub for trail activities and a community precinct on the edge of Foster to be enjoyed by visitors as well as the Corner Inlet community,” he concluded.
All interested persons are invited to attend next Wednesday’s meeting at Foster Community House at which the progress and plans for the future of Foster Station Park will be discussed. The meeting will begin at 7.30pm on April 17. Please RSVP to the Community House (tel. 5682 1101) by April 12 if you wish to attend.