A woman walking her dog stops to admire the wonderful cherry blossom tree in the Victoria Esplanade. The Rhododendrons were first panted in 1916 – 1917, but some have been since removed. In 1887, the newly formed Borough Council of Palmerston North was granted 361 acres of ground between Park Road and the Manawatu River by the Government. In 1891, the Palmerston North Reserves Act divided this into four parts including 39 acres along the river bank as an esplanade. The Victoria Esplanade was opened in 1897, the same year as Queen Victoria's 60 year on the throne.