Plan to beautify our neglected parkland

THEY’RE supposed to be areas of recreation, or places to wind down and get away from it all, but with barren landscapes and minimal facilities, many of Tamworth’s neighbourhood parks and gardens remain deserted.

A drive past Angora Park, Treloar Park, Hyman Park, Leo Park, Electra Park or Calool Park reveals neglected and desolate-looking open spaces, offering little in the way of shady trees, gardens or foliage, as well as limited equipment or shelter.

Add to this a burgeoning amount of green ants, cat-heads and khaki weeds and you begin to understand why the crowds stay away.

But while these parks sit languishing, Anzac Park and Bicentennial Park are routinely given plenty of tender love and care.

Cr Mark Rodda suggested council could do more to address the inequality.

“TRC parks and gardens staff do an excellent job with the resources they currently have but because of the finite resources of council not all TRC parks and gardens can be maintained to the same standard,” he said.

“I would like to see council consider partnering with community-spirited members who live adjacent to parks to set up committees to essentially take over the care, control and to a degree, maintenance of the park.”

He said the council/community partnership could work the same way as the successful friends of Karuah and Altona parks 

ventures, which entail devoted members of the community putting in hours of their time to beautify and enhance their public space.

“Council could provide some plants, materials and equipment and members of the community could provide the dedication and labour, coupled with a desire to turn a relatively neglected and ultimately unused green space into a valuable community asset,” Cr Rodda said.

“The participation of members of the community transforming these assets into a valuable space might also reduce the incidence of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.” 

Cr Juanita Wilson said although the concept was “certainly a possibility” it was not without its complications.

“It can be a win-win situation if it’s set up well,” Cr Wilson said.

“I don’t think every park in Tamworth would be an ideal location for that partnership but there would be many that would.”

She said the social benefits alone would be well worth the investment.

“It actually breaks down barriers within communities,” Cr Wilson said.

“It’s not only the physical environment that improves, the social environment improves.”

“It creates community hubs and sometimes you need a focus like a project to make that happen.”

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