Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) today (July 20) approved the Carly Hibberd Park Master Plan Report to guide future park upgrades.

TRC Parks and Recreation Services portfolio leader Cr Tim McMahon said two rounds of extensive public engagement, including public information days at the Kearneys Spring park in February and March this year that drew more than 100 residents, had contributed to the master plan’s development.

Cr McMahon said the master plan would set the vision for the park for the next 10 to 20 years.

“Endorsing the master plan will guide future design directions and allow Council to deliver upgrades for the growing Kearneys Spring community in line with the required standards for a District Recreation Park,” Cr McMahon said.

“Carly Hibberd Park was identified in the 2016 Toowoomba Region Open Space Strategy as requiring upgrades by 2022-23 to cater for the needs of the surrounding residential suburb and future growth areas.

“The master plan will be an important document to help Council improve the 1.53 hectare greenfield park area into a popular location for active and passive recreation and leisure activities.

“New features are likely to include shaded playgrounds for both older and younger children, picnic facilities including shelters, picnic tables and barbecues, walking and cycling paths, formalised parking, a three cubicle toilet block and landscaping.

“There will be open space for a kick-about section in the north part of the park and a dog off-leash area to the south. The open space and picnic facilities have been designed to accommodate large family gatherings.

“A signature feature of the park will be the contemplative garden in honour of the late champion Toowoomba cyclist, Carly Hibberd. The garden will include flowering native shrubs, such as grevilleas and callistemons, with interpretive signage honouring Carly Hibberd and her cycling achievements.

“Council anticipates that the planned upgrades will be completed by June 2023 in accordance with the master plan, subject to capital budget allocations in 2022-23.

“Council will provide features which will encourage people of all ages and abilities to visit and stay longer at the park.”

Carly Hibberd Park was named in honour of elite Toowoomba cyclist, the late Carly Hibberd, in January 2015. Ms Hibberd was one of Toowoomba and Australia’s most promising professional cyclists.

Her most notable achievements included winning the 2007 Queensland State Road Race championship, winning the 2008 National Road Race series and winning the 2009 Australian Women’s Road Race.