Federal Village Park

Location – Federal, Byron Shire 1989 –

In 1999 the bare paddock opposite the Federal Shop became a park.  Three acres of land had been bought from the developer by Byron Shire Council on behalf of the community after a near fifteen year wait since the village zone had been created.

The Beginning of Construction

The layout and features of the park were determined by a community mapping process in 1996-7 which involved a high level of participation from school children to the elders and everyone in between.   251 annotated maps were contributed in all.  The development application was prepared by Arkishop, where Malcolm Price was working at the time, and Toni Appleton did the landscape plan.

Toni had been a member of the Federal Community Centre committee since its inception in 1985.

Tree planting commenced immediately along the old creek line and around the circle in the heart of the park.  The first facility to be built was a half basketball court with skate banks and a half pipe, and over the ensuing ten years with help from Council, NSW government grants and Landcare as well as private, business and developer contributions, the pathways, playgrounds, shelters and art installations have been constructed.  The continuation of community involvement and ‘ownership’ of the place which the park has become is a direct outcome of the success of the community mapping process.

Most of the installations bear little resemblance to the designs in the original development consent, as the evolution of ideas has continued as more people have moved to Federal and added their enthusiasm to the available pool.  The core group of community members which has held the vision for the project has been strengthened over the years.

Social Habitat members’ involvement in this project has convinced them of the value of ‘deep listening’ and inclusion in the process of Placemaking.

It is rare to drive through Federal and see nobody in the Park.