An little known and completely overgrown World War II memorial park in Watson has been revived after being neglected for more than 50 years.
The park, previously known as Apex Park, was established in 1961 as a memorial to members of the volunteer organisation who perished in the war.
On Thursday it was renamed Valour Park as a feature of Remembrance Driveway, a series of parks on the highways between Sydney and Canberra.
Remembrance Driveway committee president Air Commodore Ian Scott AM said he hoped the restoration would bring more people to the park.
“I’m ecstatic about this because for a long time the park was lost to us,” he said.
Air Commodore Scott, who served in Vietnam and Somalia, said he wanted people who visited the park to reflect upon the sacrifices made by veterans.
The restoration involved removing overgrown trees, adding barbecue facilities and building an entrance and memorials.
Previously, the only entrance to the park was a left turn off the Federal Highway on the way into Canberra, but now there is parking next to a new entrance inside Watson.
The restoration process was a joint effort by the Remembrance Driveway committee, Territory and Municipal Services and the National Capital Authority.
NCA chief executive Malcolm Snow said $350,000 was provided on behalf of the federal government.
“We recognise the park is an important part of a network of memorials along the Federal Highway, and realise, too, that the park provides space for locals and visitors to Canberra,” Mr Snow said.
Apex national membership director Jamie Vincent said the park was a “hidden gem” that even state and national presidents of the organisation were unaware of.
“I came down 12 months ago. The plaque was there along with a few other bits and pieces and the amount of people who didn’t know about it were so excited [to hear about it],” he said.
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