Pop Up Park launches locally in Halls Gap
Published on 15 November 2021
Northern Grampians Shire Council held a low key launch with local stakeholders of the Halls Gap Pop Up Park Friday morning to celebrate the completion of the project. The Victorian Government provided $250,000 funding to Council through the Local Councils Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package last year. Council used the funding to create pop up parks in Stawell and Halls Gap; the Stawell park will also be launched this week with a small group of stakeholders due to density restrictions.
The funding package supports councils to expand outdoor dining as part of the roadmap to reopening. Council expects patrons of the retail and takeaway shops in Halls Gap to make good use of the space to relax and dine in.
The pop up park, designed by Wimmera landscaper Felicity Brown, is intended to be a flexible public space where residents and visitors can relax, connect and enjoy community events. It is wheelchair and pram accessible with an earthen stage, a welcoming circle, furniture made from reclaimed material and native plantings.
A permanent attraction in the park is a mural created by renowned local artist Kyle Torney. On the wall behind the stage Mr Torney has painted a scene depicting children and emerging Elders of the First Peoples of the region set against a backdrop of the Grampians Gariwerd Ranges.
The launch was attended by members of the Lovett family whose children feature in the mural, local business owners, Grampians Tourism and Stawell Regional Health representatives, the landscape designer and muralist.
Cr Murray Emerson said he was very pleased with the end result of the Halls Gap Pop Up Park.
“Before this park was built, the site was often referred to as ‘the missing tooth in Halls Gap’s smile’ because it was an empty block in a very lively strip of shops,” said Cr Emerson.
“I stand here today and look in awe at an absolute gem that completes the smile,” Cr Emerson declared.
“This beautiful public space would not have been possible without the generosity of the anonymous landowner, two neighbouring shop owners and significant investment by the Victorian State Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package.
“Both Felicity Brown and Kyle Torney have excelled in their fields to produce an inviting and eco-sensitive gathering point that acknowledges our First Peoples’ connection to the land and provides a beautiful and functional community space for the bustling tourist village of Halls Gap at the foot of the Grampians Gariwerd Ranges.”