The first phase of Bunbury’s Boulters Heights park redevelopment has finished, after three months of combined work with the City of Bunbury and Bunbury Regional Prison.
Assistant Superintendant of Bunbury’s pre-release minimum security facility, Darren Wallis, said the project had been “terrific”.
“One of our outcomes for the organisation is to provide integrated community service with our prisoners – and we have been able to do that which contributes to them being able to resist reoffending,” Mr Wallis said.
“There is also the pride and sense of achievement they get and can take away from it.”
The prison’s vocational support officer, Steve Smith — who managed the released men and oversaw the project — said it was a rewarding experience.
“The project has been challenging to say the least, but it has been a good experience,” Mr Smith said.
“The guys we have been working with have been unbelievable and have done an excellent job.”
City of Bunbury civil and open spaces manager James Shepherd said restoring the site had been a council priority for some time.
“We have long identified Boulters Heights as somewhere we have wanted to do work, but it’s labour intensive and expensive,” Mr Shepherd said.
Mr Shepherd said the prisoners had cleared overgrown vegetation, planted new species, mulched, reticulated and fenced the park and were working towards a Certificate II in Horticulture with the South West Institute of Technology.
The council hopes the prisoners will oversee the park’s future maintenance.