One of my distant forebears once proclaimed “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now!” and I heartily agree.
My ancestral philosopher’s observation has apparently very little traction, so far as our city’s councillors’ views on Victoria Park are concerned. Unless hidden in the draft budget papers, it seems unlikely that the hundred or so new mature specimen deciduous trees, desperately needed east and north of the expensively refurbished lake, are on Greater Shepparton’s immediate fiscal radar.
Murmurs around the traps suggest a couple of the more dogmatic, and perhaps less aesthetically-minded, alderpersons don’t want large trees obliterating the “vista” view of the passing traffic along Wyndham St – hang the walkers, joggers, bird-watchers and tourist-picnickers who, as mere pedestrians, appreciate copious black shade on hot summer days, seasonally alternating with autumn hues and dappled winter sunlight!
At Victoria Park, east and north of the lake, I counted about 45 expensive park bench equivalent seats, all without a smidgen of shade – potentially accommodating some 200 recreating backsides. Imagine their melanoma-making appeal on our many stinking hot Shepparton days!
Shade tree cost? About the same capital expense as yet another everyday-punter-less “review” of the Victoria Park project or arguably a miserable one-tenth of the scandalous half-million-dollar lake west bank fritter.
Having forgone the chance to inject some interesting slight undulation into the flat lake lawned terrain we can ill-afford to lose the opportunity to foster the main universal public park and garden ingredient – vegetative natural shade.
We enjoy Queens Gardens today simply because somebody had the foresight to plant trees under which they may never have sat. Our current city fathers and mothers urgently need to commence conversion of the green desert sections of Victoria Park into proper parkland.
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