A new attraction coming to the Town of Holyrood passed its first development hurdle last week after Holyrood Town Council voted to approve two re-zoning amendments, making way for a new botanical garden in the town.
Holyrood’s Chief Administrative Officer, Gary Corbett, said a private developer is planning to operate a small botanical garden on undeveloped land west of the Green Acres subdivision and east of the T’Railway. The application was dependent upon the land being changed from residential zoning to open space and recreation zoning. Corbett said the garden is a long-term project that will also include a playground and picnic site.
“The plan is to develop a community type place — it won’t be like the botanical garden in St. John’s, but it will have some shrubs, trees, a garden space and they even plan to put an observatory there,” said Corbett.
The Municipal Plan and Development regulation amendments were put forward for a public hearing, but the Town received no written objections to the changes and the public hearing was cancelled. The botanical garden will be close to the Green Acres subdivision, in what was previously a residential zone.
“It’s going to be in a residential area…a kind of community park within the residential development as (the development) grows,” said Corbett. “It’s a bit more than green space, it’s green space built in a nice place where people can sit down, relax, read, listen to the birds — get away from everything.”
The botanical garden is a separate project from the community garden earmarked for the development near Holyrood Centennial Softball Field. Council voted to approve the budgeting of $25,000 for that project which is expected to begin this summer. The Town also approved $75,000 for new playgrounds at North Arm and Highland Park, and $15,000 each for a new Dog Park and Recreation Storage Building.
The community garden will be open to members of the public to grow plants and vegetables in assigned areas and will include a public composting area.
Holyrood Mayor Gary Goobie noted that as the town continues to grow there has been a lot of interest in new recreation projects throughout the community.
“It’s a place that people can gather,” said Goobie of the community garden. “There’s been a lot of interest in Holyrood in gardens.”
By Kyle Reid