I'm looking forward to this Saturday, which marks the official opening of a much-anticipated BMX track at Cameron Park.
The Northlakes Youth Project are hosting an event from 10am to 2pm that will include local school bands as well as BMX demonstrations, displays, and a barbecue hosted by the Lake Macquarie Youth Advisory Council.
The official opening will take place at noon.
With thanks to funding from the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation, this freestyle track has been constructed to blend in with its surrounds, and includes sections for riders of all skill levels.
It also incorporates a shelter, breakout lawn space, bubbler, and seats throughout the track.
The design of the track was a truly collaborative effort between council, Dirtz Trax N Trailz, and members of the local BMX community.
I am delighted to see this project come to fruition, as it marks the start of a whole range of recreational facilities for this growing area, which will be planned and constructed to align with a masterplan for the area.
Other facilities planned for the area include multipurpose sports fields, a skate park, tennis and netball facilities, a children's playground, an off-leash dog exercise area, and pedestrian pathways and bridges.
Also happening this Saturday is Earth Hour.
Now in its sixth year, this global event, which began in Sydney, encourages individuals, businesses, and governments to take positive actions for the environment, and celebrate their commitment to the planet by switching off their lights for one hour.
Around Lake Macquarie, council has contacted managers, caretakers, and committees at all council facilities asking them to turn off all non-essential lighting in support of this initiative.
I know that Lake Macquarie residents are very aware of environmental issues and have in the past strongly supported Earth Hour.
If you haven't previously participated I would encourage you to join with the thousands of other Lake Macquarie residents who will be turning their lights off for one hour at 8.30pm on Saturday night.
* Greg Piper is mayor of Lake Macquarie.