Margaret Timpson Park
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Margaret Timpson Town Park is a small one hectare park located in the heart of Belconnen Town Centre, opposite the Belconnen Mall along Benjamin Way. The park is a popular place to walk through and to rest for a while, and can also be used for large gatherings of people. It has picnic tables and public toilets are available at the nearby Belconnen Public Library.
The park was named after Margaret Timpson who was an influential identity in the women’s movement. It is an ideal retreat in the middle of the Belconnen business district. Its formal design includes Canary Island date palms and the ‘Tumbling Cubes’ sculpture by Bert Flugelman.
Margaret Timpson's name has been associated with the contemporary women's movement in Australia for many years. Prior to her death in 1993, she was a statistician with the Australian Bureau of Statistics which is located near the park bearing her name. She contributed to the enhancement of the status of women in Australia at the local and national level. She was selected as the inaugural Canberra Woman of the Year in 1990 and in the 1991 Australia Day Honours List she was recognised as a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia.
A plaque at the centre of the park records the official naming on 10 March 1994 by the then Chief Minister Rosemary Follett. Nearby is a boulder donated by the ACT Women's Consultative Council, on which is inscribed: "Margaret Timpson, AM (1941-1993), Inaugural ACT Woman of the Year 1990. An important inspiration to all women." The Australian Bureau of Statistics donated a nearby seat in her memory.
Designed as an inner city green space in Belconnen
A key feature of the park's formal design is the pedestrian path system. The central path, which is aligned with the Benjamin Way entrance of Belconnen Mall, provides the key link between the Belconnen ridge of Chandler Street and developments at the lower level. The pergolas with climbing plants on the north and south cross paths provide shade for pedestrians on hot summer days, while planting boxes and red brick paving add to the formality of the design.
There are a number of special elements in the park. A unique planting of six advanced Canary Island date palms (Phoenix canariensis), a tree not commonly planted in Canberra, marks the centre of the park, while the sculpture "Tumbling Cubes" by Bert Flugelman has been placed near the arched park entrance at the north-west corner. Two grass pyramids have been added as sculptural elements and these may be planted with flowers at selected times of the year.
The park is planted with mixed exotic and native trees and shrubs, however their impact on the park is not strong at this stage. The planting includes large groups of English elms (Ulmus procera), London planes (Platanus x acerifolia) and river oaks (Casuarina cunninghamiana), all of which are large scale trees.
For those who want to rest in the park, there is ample seating, while the irrigated grassed areas provide additional opportunities for relaxation on fine days. A small seating area near the centre of the park was developed as a part of the "Australia Remembers 1945-1995" Program.
Gray, J (1997) The Historical and Cultural Background of selected Urban Parks in Canberra.
Facilities and activities
- Picnic tables
- Dogs on leash
About urban parks
Transport Canberra and City Services manages urban parks and open space in Canberra. There are three main types of urban parks in Canberra: town parks, district parks and neighborhood parks. Other landscaped components of the park system include:
- Pedestrian parkland which are corridors of open space provided for pedestrian movement within and between suburbs.
- Semi-natural open spaces which are areas of remnant grazing land or native vegetation, and include creek corridors, hilltop areas, ridges and buffer areas between suburbs.
- Native grassland or woodland sites which contain endangered plant species.
- Major road verges and medians.
- Informal use ovals which are non-irrigated open dryland grass areas for informal sport and recreational use.
- Special purpose areas which are large open spaces dedicated to specialised recreational activities or sporting events.
Plans of management
Plans of management for urban parks identify what is important about the areas and how they are to be managed. A plan of management is intended to provide direction and guidance to the land custodian, management staff, visitors, neighbours, volunteers, and others with an interest in the area.
More information and feedback
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