QUEENS Park in Maryborough is set for Regional Botanic Garden status after recently being nominated with Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand.
Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor George Seymour said the move recognises the importance of the heritage-listed park in the heart of Maryborough.
“We recognise and celebrate the historic homes and buildings, but Queens Park also provides an enduring link with our past,” he said.
“And it’s a link that is worth valuing, preserving and celebrating. Maryborough has a proud history and this park has been central to the community over the years.”
The reserve for the park was gazetted 140 years ago in October 1873.
Cr Seymour said plans are underway to recognise this milestone.
“To celebrate the 140th anniversary of the gazettal of Queens Park, we will be running guided walking tours as part of Maryborough Open House on Saturday, October 26,” he said.
“Over the last 140 years the landscape has remained much the same, but a number of important memorials and aspects have been added. The bandstand rotunda and memorial fountain were erected in 1890.
“The war memorial and memorial gates were added in 1922. These memorials and features add a sense of place among the ancient trees and lush foliage.”
The war memorial was designed by Maryborough architect P.O.E. Hawkes and built by local monumental masonry firm F.W. Webb.
“It’s an idyllic and beautiful park to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings, from the lily pond to the avenues of trees including banyan figs, Poinciana trees, celtis and weeping figs.
“The park is an early example of the state government vesting local authorities with the maintenance and control of public reserves and also features memorials commemorating well-known local citizens, including Richard Bingham Sheridan.”
Prior to its proclamation as a park, the area was the site of a boiling down works operated by Edmund Blucher.
Heritage-listed Queens Park covers 5.2 hectares in the heart of Maryborough, with sweeping river views, rolling green lawns, a waterfall, ornamental flower beds, towering trees and unique heritage features.
On the last Sunday of each month, the Mary Ann (a replica of Queensland’s first steam engine) and several miniature steam engines give children and adults rides around the park. It also runs every Thursday in conjunction with the Maryborough Markets.
“For generations, Queens Park has provided the venue for many happy memories in the heart of Maryborough. The decision today reflects the need to care for it and protect its valuable heritage,” Cr Seymour said.
CAPTIONS: Looking back… Queen’s Park in 1908, with the Band Rotunda and the Port Residence in the background.
Looking forward … Queen’s Park in 2013 is one of Maryborough’s most popular locations for wedding photography. Photo: JOCELYN WATTS