Bushfires devastated Marysville on Black Saturday in 2009. Urban Initiatives was engaged to redesign the streetscapes of the shattered town, providing a physical link between the commercial centre and the adjacent Gallipoli Park, and to create a new park known as ‘Marysville Heart’.
Having worked on significant streetscape improvements in the town only 5 years earlier, this project required sensitive community engagement. It was critical that the residents of Marysville were able to participate in the rebuilding of their town. In collaboration with the Victorian Bushfire Recovery and Reconstruction Authority (VBRRA), consultation was held with the affected residents to ensure that the best-loved features of the previous township – such as the avenue of deciduous trees – were reinstated.
Centrally located off Marysville’s main street, and accessible to both residents and visitors, the Marysville Heart Park was designed to reflect the stories, character and history of the town. It reuses salvaged materials from the original streetscape and includes historical elements, such as the reconstructed Old Police Station, a heritage log train and ‘Bush Walker’, a restored Brunos Torfs sculpture.
The embedding of commemorative elements throughout the park reflects the past, present and future of the town. They document the strength of its people and the beauty of the forests which surround them, offering healing through a reconnection with the landscape.
The success of this project is indicated in the park having become a key meeting and gathering place; quite literally, the ‘heart’ of the township, since Black Saturday.
Lead Consultant and Community Consultation
Victorian Bushire Recovery and Reconstruction Authority & Murrindindi Shire Council