The popular new pump track at Foxton Beach, NZ, has been making steps in the industry by being awarded Active Park of the Year at the Recreation Aotearoa 2019 New Zealand Parks Awards. Why is this track a winner?
Active Park of the Year recognises an active adventure or sports park with an outstanding natural environment. Applicants must demonstrate:
- community engagement in the development or operation of the park
- Overall excellence
- Achievement of intended goals
- Budgetary efficiency and effectiveness
- Financial, environmental and social sustainability
Horowhenua District Council Parks and Property Lead North, Sean Hester, acknowledged landscape architects Boffa Miskell role and says the award is official recognition of what has been a very successful project. In accepting the award, Hester said the achievement had been “a team effort”.
“The expertise of Southstar Adventures has been invaluable, as have the contributions from other contributors who looked after the landscaping, design, pathways and amenities – Recreation Services, Boffa Miskell, and Caldow,” he said. “We’d also like to acknowledge the input and support from members of the Foxton Beach community during the public engagement process. This project has been a true partnership.”
Foxton Beach Pump Track aimed to integrate a recreation destination with the surrounding landscape. Horowhenua District Council installed a Pump Track, which had been identified in the Holben Reserve Masterplan completed by Boffa Miskell in 2010.
Holben Reserve sits within the coastal community of Foxton Beach. The project team was guided by the masterplan regarding character, connections, plantings and water sensitive design, and took cues from the surrounding ecologies and planting to connect the existing carpark, skatepark, and facilities to the pump track and wider pathways through extensive planting and minor hardscaping to create a cohesive precinct.
The site had a system of several depressions and open drains linking to a pond, and also high points created by formation of the Pump Track. Together this formed the idea to nestle the pump track into a coastal wet and dry landscape.
A material palette that reflected these conditions included granular textures, and timber furniture, surrounded by plants that thrive in sandy soils, wet depressions and salt-laden winds.
The team used existing infrastructures, such as the bridges, paths, street crossings, vehicular access, stage and the skate park, and designed a pathway around the pump track that linked those elements together, giving a sense of cohesion and connecting it to the wider Reserve.
Before-and-after visualisations helped the Council and community engage with the proposed improvements. With broad support for the changes proposed, the Council contractors were able to implement the design.
“It’s a great asset for our community, bringing economic as well as recreational benefits,” said David Roache, Chair of the Foxton Community Board. “The track is buzzing on the weekends and during school holidays, and owners of local motor camps and cafes in Foxton Beach have been very positive about it, saying they’ve experienced increased patronage since it was built.”
Via Boffa Miskell