Division 8 Councillor Debbie Blumel and members of the Friendship Force of the Sunshine Coast Inc. conducted a morning tea today to celebrate completed work on The Friendship Park.
The Friendship Force is an international organisation (commenced from an idea of former US President Jimmy Carter ) that encourages the better understanding between people through travel and the creation of one on one relationships. Visiting guests are hosted in member’s homes and are similarly hosted when travelling themselves.
Each group that visits the Sunshine Coast is recognised through the planting of a tree in a local park together with a plaque recording the visit from where they came.
To date, these trees have been planted at various parks with no one park for the Friendship Force to call home. Past President Graeme Donaldson approached Council and Cr Debbie to see whether the then unnamed park at the corner of corner of Millwell Rd and Allora Drive Maroochydore could be recognised for this purpose.
With Cr Blumel’s support and Council the parks facilities have been upgraded to include the installation of a new shelter, shade sail, bench tables and extended pathways. Also there is now a refuse and recycling bins.
Finally the is new signage highlighting the new name given to the park, ‘The Friendship Park.’
In commenting on the upgraded park and the Friendship Force Cr Debbie Blumel said, “The Park gives them a great place for recreation, to socialise and to have lots of fun and that’s just what they want to do.”
“These people have a tremendous time getting out and about, they like to greet their visitors, they love to host them and show them a good time here on the Coast.”
“It’s a quiet, under the radar form of tourism, but its also about creating international friendships and breaking down the barriers as well.”
The Friendship Force now have a permanent home to plant their commemorative trees, conduct outdoor meetings and the local community can share in the upgraded facilities.