Romsey Ecotherapy Park secretary Jo Cooper, president Raelene Mottram and committee member Jenny Stillman with a miniature model of an artwork by sculptor Charlie Aquilina entitled ‘Cycles’ which they hope will stand proudly at the park’s completion.

By Jackson Russell

ROMSEY Ecotherapy Park is calling on the community to help fulfill its vision, launching a fundraising campaign to secure unique artwork to complete its sensory therapeutic and arts culture spaces.

With Macedon Ranges Shire Council already starting detailed design work on the park’s next stage, Romsey Ecotherapy Park Inc. is aiming to raise $180,000 through its ‘Art in the Park – A Legacy That Matters’ campaign before the construction tender process begins in February.

Sculptures and installations have been sourced from renowned artists such as Mia Mia’s Anton Hasell, who created the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr in Melbourne, and local artists such as Woodend’s Charlie Aquilina and Lancefield’s Brigit Heller.

Mr Hasell’s installations will include Romsey Water Clock, which includes a bell triggered by gently flowing water, and The Romsey Harmonic Bell Tree, which will allow for people to play a harmonic chord.

Romsey Ecotherapy Park committee member Jenny Stillman said the committee, council and the landscape architects were all committed to the art elements being a major part of the park.

“We’re committed to it because it would be the icing on the cake as far as the project that, all up, has been 11 years in the making but we’re now into the home straight,” she said.

“The detailed design of the sensory therapeutic space, the ephemeral billabong and the arts and culture open space is now underway and the funding is there to build those spaces, commencing July 1 next year, but the clock is ticking from the point of view of us wanting this funding for the art elements to ensure that nothing gets stripped back from this vision.

“This vision has been a long time in the making but a lot of collaboration has been involved with it, great partnerships between council, government entities and our little community group and we really need to secure this funding before the project goes out to construction tender in February.”

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal is supporting the Romsey Ecotherapy Park’s fundraising efforts, by making any donations tax deductable through a not-for-profit fundraising account.

All donations will be recognised on the Romsey Ecotherapy Park website while donations of $2000 will be represented in the park by an individually-crafted plaque, and donations of more than $15,000 or for an entire artwork will be recognised near the artwork itself.

“We’re sympathetic to the fact that COVID-19 and this year has been terribly challenging for a lot of people, however, it’s also been a real wake up call to how important spaces like this are,” Ms Stillman said.

“We’re not here to hammer people in time of trouble, which this year has been for many, however, there will be some that are in a position to support this park being a special park, not just for this town, but for our region and it is something for everybody.”

To donate, or for more information, visit Romsey Ecotherapy Park’s new website, www.romseyecotherapypark.com.au.

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