Glenthorne National Park is one step closer to becoming a reality with the official transfer of land being signed, as well as the unveiling of the draft master plan at an open day today.
The Glenthorne Farm land was previously owned by the University of Adelaide and will be transferred to the Minister for Environment and Water to allow the creation of Adelaide’s second major metropolitan national park.
The land transfer forms part of a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and the University of Adelaide that commits the two parties to negotiating a potentially significant university presence at Lot Fourteen.
A draft master plan for the future Glenthorne National Park has also been unveiled to allow the community to provide feedback.
The draft master plan identifies the vision and guiding principles for the creation of Glenthorne National Park to deliver environmental and community benefits.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the transfer of land and unveiling of the draft master plan are both significant milestones for the creation of Glenthorne National Park.
“In April this year more than three thousand people flocked to Glenthorne’s first open days and provided ideas to help shape the draft master plan,” Minister Speirs said.
“We have taken these ideas on-board, and this weekend the gates to Glenthorne are open again for the community to come down and see the draft master plan, view artist’s impressions of what the space may look like, and provide their thoughts.
“To finalise a deal for the transfer of land, which sees us take ownership of Glenthorne Farm, allows us to get on with delivering this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve and revitalise a significant portion of open space and turn it into a thriving environmental and recreational precinct.
“In a win-win for South Australians, the potential presence of the University of Adelaide at Lot Fourteen would add value to the precinct through knowledge and research collaboration and industry engagement.”
The draft master plan identifies the need to retain the distinct natural character and functions of each park which make up the precinct, while enhancing the connections between them, using existing and new infrastructure and creating an accessible and inclusive network of open space.
Minister Speirs said the Glenthorne property is envisioned as the ‘hub’ of the new national park.
“The newly opened park ranger station on the Glenthorne property will act as a base while the property is being developed for park rangers to take care of the entire precinct and provide visitor support,” said Minister Speirs.
“The draft master plan includes recommendations about expanding transport options and facilitating traffic access for more people to visit and enjoy the area.
“It also includes establishing shared-used trails for walking and cycling, as well as building a visitor centre, incorporating cultural and heritage areas and creating a nature play space for children.”
University of Adelaide Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen said he welcomed the transfer of Glenthorne to the State Government.
“This is an exciting time and will be of great benefit to the community,” said Prof Rathjen.
“We look forward to opportunities to work with the Government in continuing to apply our expertise in revegetation and land management to this site to further enhance its ongoing value to the local environment and community.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the government on the realisation of its vision for Lot Fourteen.
“We believe Lot Fourteen presents an exciting opportunity to create an ecosystem where government, universities and industry can work together to drive new technologies and advances in a range of areas of great importance for our state, including defence and associated technology development.”
The creation of Glenthorne National Park is across several important parcels of land - totalling more than 1500 hectares – and includes the Glenthorne property, O’Halloran Hill Recreation Park, Marino Conservation Park, Hallett Cove Conservation Park, Happy Valley Reservoir and areas of the Field River Valley.
The Glenthorne Open Days are on this weekend between 10 and 3pm at 5b Majors Road in O’Halloran Hill.
The draft master plan is available to view at the Glenthorne website. It is expected that the master plan will be finalised by the second half of November.