Country Paradise Parklands Achievements
Paradise Country to Country Paradise:
Achievement No 1:
The catalyst for the creation of Country Paradise Parklands (CPP) was the inspired vision of a small group of people who eventually came together in the Nerang Neighbour Centre to discuss the feasibility of their dream concept. The idea focussed on giving back to the people of Nerang in particular and the City in general, something that had been once cherished and promoted in the area but was now fast disappearing i.e., the Village Approach.
The rationale was to re-introduce the sense of belonging to a small town with its village atmosphere and community hub and in so doing create a good place to meet , to socialize, play sport , have events , community gardens , walks and a good mix of proactive community groups established in the precinct once a suitable and available location had been secured. Suffice to say the initial outcome was positive thereby meeting the first goal.
Achievement No 2:
Finding Country Paradise - a brave crew of people were the first to walk the grounds of Paradise Country (as it was then known) and after 10 years of being abandoned it reminded the casual observer of the “Lost City of the Incas.” Two metre high grass, a sea of palm fronds and weeds, amongst other detritus, surrounded the site.
The grounds were cluttered with broken fences and steel poking out of the undergrowth , buildings that had become the domain of the local wild life, gutters falling off, staircases rusted and rotten, floor boards and walls fallen prey to termites and vermin .
A determined work crew including Council, Community, Skilling Australia, Contractors rolled up their sleeves and together they found Country Paradise. These works should not be understated they were monumental for the small investment in funds committed and the shear hard yakka put in by all. It would be hard for anybody not there from day one to reconcile what a difference has been made in such a short time.
Achievement No 3:
The CPP Community - Following a process of community consultation, a Vision Statement was born, a master plan formalised and from these modest beginnings a vibrant Parklands community has emerged.
- Men’s Shed - Sheilas Shack
- Community Gardens - Healing Hooves
- Nerang Riverkeepers - Shed 11
- Gold Coast Acoustics - Country Paradise Management Committee
Simply to walk around the CPP site and poke you head in some doors is quite uplifting to witness the progress that has been made. The sheds cleaned and painted, stacked full of equipment, nurseries full of plants, Gardens overflowing with vegies, horses, chooks and everybody busy getting on with their quality community involvement.
Achievement No 4:
CPP Events and uses – when you visit the site during the nominated times, group interaction or third party events you will be impressed by the amount of harmonious activity within the precinct. Between facility hire and management by the dynamic CPP Committee and the ongoing day to day proactive participation by the on site licensees, the enterprise continues to grow at a healthy rate. A sampling of volunteer and other commitments follows:
Yoga classes Terrain training Open mike afternoons Education classes
Tree planting days Orienteering Waitangi days Making movies - "Shapelle Corby"
Weddings Corporate events Music festivals "The Boy Who Stole the Bell Tower"
Friday family nights Community events Picnics Environmental events
Each month new events and community groups are meeting on site and new enquiries are being received by the management team enquiring about the steps necessary to become a participant in the Country Paradise experience.
Achievement No 5:
Country Paradise Parklands is a unique experiment that has no equivalent on the Gold Coast. It runs on the smell of an oil rag [literally & not much oil on the rag] and it is run for the community by the community. There is no “ Pot of Gold” for the project. Council and our Divisional Councillor commit what funding is available in difficult economic times.
The CPP committee works diligently for this ‘not for profit’ organization to hire out the venue at prices the community can afford. They source and apply for appropriate grants, run small events to bolster the coffers and are focused on continuing the forward momentum utilising the limited resources at its disposal. The wider community have been more than generous with donations of monies, equipment, materials and labour. It’s difficult to imagine where we would be without the bobcats, Kato’s, timber, gravel, trees, tables and chairs, pavers and above all sincere community spirit and well wishes.
Take note of where we started and have come from in just a couple of short years and then add all of the above together:
Now that is an Achievement!