The run-up to the state election saw more eyes focussed on Ocean Shores’ Waterlily Park than there have been for many years.
The rundown state of many of the park’s facilities saw candidates vying to offer funds to upgrade the park.
But the first makeover the park has seen for sometime will come courtesy of Byron Shire Council, which is ‘mowing’ the lilies on the lake to increase oxygen levels in the water and create a clearer, safer shoreline.
Last week, what could be described as large floating lawn mower, has been seen going back and forth across the lake.
Byron Shire mayor Simon Richardson described it as an ‘aquatic weed harvester.
‘The machine sits on top of the water and cuts the weeds about up to two metres under the waterline. The weeds are then taken back to shore, placed into a compactor and the excess water removed,’ he said.
Council’s infrastructure services director, Phil Holloway, said this was the first time this method of weed removal had been used at the popular park.
He said that while it was how long it would take to fully rejuvenate the lake, however ongoing maintenance over time would result in significant benefits to the park.
‘What we do know is that the lake will have significant initial safety improvement with a defined shoreline and the water quality will improve as the oxygen levels increase. Staff will be monitoring the site following the works,’ he said.
Mayor Richardson said the makeover of Waterlily Park had only just begun.
‘From speaking with the residents in the area, they are very keen and supportive of upgrading the playground.
‘Waterlily Park has great access, good parking and is surrounded by family housing.
‘A combination of community support and council funding will see the park grow into recreational area enjoyed by the young and not so young,’ he said.