'From little things parklands' project launched in Merimbula

Parklands team: Hjalmar Arnold, David Barrie, Justine Syme, Eddy Syme and Erin Halloran are hoping to see new green space developed.
Parklands team: Hjalmar Arnold, David Barrie, Justine Syme, Eddy Syme and Erin Halloran are hoping to see new green space developed.

They are a group of young enthusiastic volunteers who have a passion for Merimbula and a long-term vision for a parkland where currently there are weeds. But more than simply parkland, the group has ambitions to create something that is also educational and environmental sustainable.

Led by David Barrie, the group calling themselves ‘From little things parklands’ want to see the area between the new service road at the back of Club Sapphire and the creek transformed into environmental parkland. The land runs from the bridge at Sapphire Coast Drive back to Top Fun along Merimbula Creek.

On Sunday evening the group held the public launch of their project at Bar Beach with food and music and an opportunity to discover more.

David said one of the aims was to create more green space in town with an environmental park.

“The main focus will be education, anyone from tots to pensioners on everything from the local environment, waterways, composting, mushroom growing, gardening,” he said.

“We’re hoping to beautify and landscape the area, have new infrastructure depending of course on approvals, a whole food cafe, educational spaces, an outdoor amphitheatre, a new bridge into Berrambool, vegie gardens, orchards that spill into tunnels that lead you into new areas and barbecue areas along the creek,” David explained.

“This is a very long-term project, easily a 10-year project depending on community engagement and funding,” he said of the project which he has been contemplating for the last two and a half years.

Although he started by looking at the idea of a large scale community garden, the project has moved along to include much more after some local engineers, architects and builders became involved.

David Barrie talks with Bega Valley Shire Council general manager, Leanne Barnes at the event on Sunday.

David Barrie talks with Bega Valley Shire Council general manager, Leanne Barnes at the event on Sunday.

Nothing has been approved at this stage but he group is hoping to acquire the excess land to create a useful community space. David said Club Sapphire was very supportive of the project and loved the idea.

He stressed that everything was still at a very early stage with a lot of work still to be done before the project could start but at this stage he wanted to know that there was general community support for the concept.

He also plans to present the idea to council at the February 22 meeting and while he realises that council may not be in a position to offer any funds, David hopes to get support for the concept.

If you are interested in becoming learning more, getting involved whether you have any special skills or not, the group would love to hear from you. Simply send a private message via the From little things parklands Facebook page indicating your level of interest or special skills.