By Shelby Brooks

COAL Creek Community Park and Museum will welcome guests from this weekend, Saturday, December 5, with a brand new COVID-safe foyer.

Coordinator Rowena Ashley said the renovated foyer space was a surprise she couldn’t wait to share with visitors.

New interpretive panels with historic photos and quotes from the time tell the story of the park and the history behind coal mining in the region.

“We also finally got an Acknowledgment of Country which is really important,” Rowena said.

The interpretive panels divide the space to allow for separate entry and exit paths which were part of the COVID-safe plan to reopen.

Entry is still free, although people must book a ticket online in advance to ensure visitor numbers can be monitored.

During stage one of the reopening, Coal Creek will allow 50 people into the park for two hours on Saturdays and Sundays, with two time slots available each day, from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm.

Buildings and the train will remain closed, there will be no retail and volunteers will not be present.

“We need to be able to manage and see how we go managing those numbers,” Rowena said.

“You can still come and enjoy park and upgrades we’ve done.

“Pack a picnic!”

From January, they plan to increase the number of people and open on Fridays as well.

Rowena said she was thrilled to have guests back at the park after being closed since March 20.

“We’ve had time to do things we haven’t had a chance before,” she said.

Not only have the staff built the new foyer, they have also been pressure cleaning the outside of the buildings to make them look fresh and vibrant, as well as upgrading the chess outdoor play area.

Head to coalcreekcommunityparkandmuseum.com to book online.