Pointing at a hill in the distance, mayor Reg Kidd had a thought.
"Imagine sitting up there on the ridge line, glass of wine or a few beers, looking down at the dam on the other side, and the rolling hills on this side," he said.
Cr Kidd was standing on the 110-acre site owned by Orange City Council beside the Northern Distributor Road between Ophir and Icely roads.
An early contender for the new $25 million sporting precinct, the land for Cr Kidd now ranks behind the Brabham/Bloomfield site, which he says is flatter and has utilities already in place.
At council's Tuesday night meeting the mayor will raise the possibility of turning the Northern Distributor Road site into a parkland with walking trails and areas for people to have picnics or barbecues.
A "mayoral minute" will request that council staff "determine the likely demand for future sports fields and also investigate options for use of the previous NDR Sports Precinct Site as ... a Native Arboretum with associated infrastructure ... or An Endangered Ecological Community block capable of creating biodiversity offsets such as an open White Box - Yellow Box - Blakely's Red Gum Grassy Woodland or ... A Carbon Bank via intensive native plantings."
"I reckon this would be a fantastic native park," he said. "Not manicured lawns and mowers - you'd have walking tracks, people could drive in and park under the trees, and you could get various community and school groups in to plant native species endemic to this area."
He said that council may even be able to look at purchasing more acreage so that a native park ran down to the Suma Dam foreshore.
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