Heritage donation of $91,000 brings full vision for Highfields park closer to reality

Benefactor Stan Kuhl’s grand vision for Peacehaven Botanic Park in Highfields has come a step closer to reality thanks to a grant of $91,000 from Heritage Building Society’s Highfields Community Branch.

The grant will enable construction of a magnificent rotunda – part of Stan’s original vision for the park he donated to the local community.

The Highfields Garden Club, supported by the Toowoomba Regional Council, put the successful funding application to the Heritage Highfields Community Branch.

Club president Gwen Rees said building the rotunda would honour the vision of Stan Kuhl, who donated the 7.4 hectare site to the then Crows Nest Shire Council (now Toowoomba Regional Council) in 2004 to become parkland.

“It was Stan’s dream to develop a beautiful botanic garden for the Highfields community,” Mrs Rees said.

“As well as donating the land, he also produced plans for how the park should be developed, and part of that final vision was to have a rotunda as a central focus in the park.

“Sadly, Stan passed away in 2005 so he did not live to see the Toowoomba Regional Council start developing the park.

“This grant from the Heritage Highfields Community Branch will not only deliver on Stan’s vision but also further enhance Peacehaven Botanic Park’s standing as a wonderful asset for the community.”

The large rotunda will have wheelchair ramps, landscaped surrounds and room for 80 people under cover. It will provide an all-weather facility that will extend the variety of activities available to users by providing a sheltered meeting place.

For the Heritage Highfields Community Branch, the grant delivers on its charter to return a share of its profits back to the community.

The Community Branch is a partnership between Heritage and the Progressive Community Crows Nest Ltd (PCCN), a company formed by a group of local residents to run the branch and represent the community in the joint venture.

PCCN oversees the operations of Heritage’s Community Branches at both Highfields and Crows Nest.

Altogether, more than $6 million has now been given back to the community as a share of profits from the operations of the two community branches.

PCCN president Baden Brown said providing $91,000 to construct the rotunda at Peacehaven exemplified what the Community Branch concept was all about.

“The Heritage Highfields Community Branch offers a complete package of banking services and products, so we have everything that local people need to look after their financial affairs,” Mr Brown said.

“But over and above that, our charter is to return a share of our profits back to the people of Highfields.

“That’s something that sets us apart and allows us to contribute to extremely worthwhile projects, such as Peacheaven’s ongoing development, which make Highfields a stronger community.

“We are extremely pleased to make construction of the rotunda at Peacehaven possible and to make a superb local facility even better.”

Toowoomba Regional Council will oversee construction of the rotunda.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Peter Taylor said council appreciated the generous contribution made by the Heritage Highfields Community Branch.

“Council gratefully accepts the donation which will enhance Peacehaven Botanic Park amenities according to benefactor Stan Kuhl’s original vision,” Cr Taylor said.

* Based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. WARNING: This comparison rate is true only for the examples given and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.