Keen people welcome as team plans heritage park

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The Strath Taieri Heritage Park advisory team in Middlemarch on Monday was (from left) Jacquie Lucas, Richard Emerson, Clark McCarthy, Robin Thomas and Bales Elliot.PHOTO: SUPPLIED

COLUMN: Strath Taieri Heritage Park concept development team member Jacquie Lucas.

Dear Otagoites (new and old),

Before lockdown, a group of interested parties was looking at creating a heritage park in the Strath Taieri valley and is now looking to move this project forward. Therefore, “Friends of the Strath Taieri Heritage Park” invite the participation of people and groups that share the vision of the future”.

The Strath Taieri Heritage Park will be a tribute to the cornerstones of Otago heritage, preserving and building understanding of our past. Springboarding off the area’s historic places, natural resources, railway excursion and farming story, we believe this is a good time to build a venture that can showcase, educate, create employment and entertain visitors.

Imagine hopping over the hill for an escape into the yesteryears of Otago, riding the train, experiencing a historic precinct that brings the past to life, joining tours that uncover ecological and geological gems, and enjoying affordable outdoor activities.

This is not about cruise ships or international visitors. It is about building a venture that enriches the lives of Otagoites and visitors by preserving history in an interactive heritage park we are all proud of.

Richard Emerson and his Project Steam group are already working on a railway excursion and a new touring route is being developed to link Central Otago to Dunedin via the Maniototo and Middlemarch.

Concept planning for the park is under way and engagement with tourism operators, schools and councils is beginning.

To be successful, this venture needs passionate people working together, contributing time, ideas, items and resources. So, if you have been wondering how you might contribute to a better post-Covid world and if you see value in this venture, please get in contact.

Join: Friends of the Strath Taieri Heritage Park on Facebook.

Email: passionate@strathtaieriheritagepark.co.nz.

We’re looking forward to keeping you informed about progress.