River Plan Objective: To build on the parks’ existing beauty, significance and use to enhance river experiences.
River Plan Projects:
History: Parana Park was bequeathed to the city by George Parr as a private dwelling and garden. Parr’s original vision was a play area for recovering ill children.
The Potter Children’s Garden was opened in 2012 and is one of the city’s most popular playgrounds. Memorial Park was established as a WW1 memorial. The original trees on the site were planted for individual fallen soldiers from the Hamilton. The park is used to commemorate other military milestones including WWII. ANZAC commemorations are held there each year. A new memorial garden to commemorate WW1 is currently being developed for 2015.
Maaori significance: This site is extremely sacred to Ngati Wairere as it was the sacred burial ground for the high chiefs of Ngati Wairere. In 1881 King Tawhiao, the second Maaori King, visited the urupa and lamented over the loss of the lands of this ancestors who were buried here.
Use: These parks are an integral part of Hamilton’s history and are some of the oldest public land in the city. They are popular recreational areas with a highly developed network of walkways and cycleways and a destination playground (the Potter Children’s Garden at Parana Park).