By Karen Stacey, President of Friends of Willow Park
Living lightly is making the most of what we have and enjoying the beauty around us. One of the low cost, high benefit options available is to spend time in your local park. These urban green spaces are important for the health and wellbeing of the community.
Recent research continues to confirm that the health and wellbeing of the community is based on the availability of green spaces in an urban environment and the opportunity for residents to wander, spend time in a natural environment. As domestic blocks get smaller and smaller the green spaces become more important for relaxation, games and sporting activities and fostering natural environment.
As part of the Friends of Willow Park group we have been working in collaboration with the Wodonga city Council for many years to provide a valuable asset that is treasured by many. Various school groups and volunteers have planted, mulched, sanded and varnished tables and seats, made paths, bolted down seats and tables, weeded and had fun too. Many thanks to so many who have contributed, time effort, muscle, blood, sweat and tears to develop a wonderful resource for our community.
It is heart warming as you are pulling up weeds in the early morning hours and people going past acknowledge the improvements and share what the park means to them:
- ‘ brought my grandchildren down and they found a lizard on the path’
- ‘love walking along here in the morning with my dogs – especially when my wife just passed away’
- ‘as part of my rehab – I walk around here at least twice a week.’
- ‘There is a Grevillea in flower – wow look at the magnificent colour’
- ‘Thank you for the extra seating – it allows us to rest awhile and watch the birds and children enjoying the park.’
- ‘The plants are looking great – thank you’
- ‘I love watching the changing seasons along the path’
- ‘We planted those (plants) as part of a school project – now look how big they are!’
- ‘We are so lucky to have a park like this’
So for a low cost activity wander on down to your local park – spend some time enjoying the facilities or volunteer some of your time to contribute to the upkeep and improvement of these valuable assets.