A DECISION to remove two garden beds from a lovingly-maintained Tamworth park has ignited fierce community backlash.
Baringa Park in South Tamworth has been cared for by nearby residents since the Friends of Baringa Park “adopted” the park with council’s blessing about nine years ago.
Since then, the group, led by a retired couple, has transformed the parkland into one of most beautiful parks in the city.
But a number of recent complaints from residents raising concerns about the park’s suitability for all activities has prompted council to plan to remove two beds on the northern side of the path in an effort to “strike a balance for all park users”.
Glen Alpha Cl resident Chris Anderson said the move was a low blow.
“I just think it’s poor form,” he said. “There’s plenty of room to kick a ball around.”
Mr Anderson said the caretakers were “heartbroken” at the news.
“They have put thousands of dollars of their own money into it and she is doing a good thing for the community,” he said.
It comes in the wake of fresh calls by council for other members of the community to partner with council to enhance their neighbourhood parks.
In a letter to The Leader, Don and Frances Munro expressed their outrage at the proposed “destruction”.
“Surely this typifies ‘local government gone mad’ and any councillors who supported this council resolution should bow their heads in shame for destroying such a thing of beauty,” they wrote.
“Our plea is that Baringa Park garden should be left as it is until the unselfish guardians are unable to care for the area – and only then should they be taken over by council, whose duty it should have been to construct and maintain them originally.”
Council regional services director Peter Resch said the council was very appreciative of the Friends of Baringa Park’s efforts and hoped both parties understood council’s delicate position.
He said the garden beds were proposed to be removed after July and would involve residents to allow them to re-use some of the plants elsewhere in the park, where possible.