Grass is always keener in Tweed
OUT comes the sunshine and dries up all the rain, so the incy, wincy spider climbs up the spout again.
While the spider may well have done that in the old nursery rhyme, rest assured that under the same circumstances grass grows - and grows, and grows - in the lush grasslands of the Tweed.
So fast in fact during the warmer months, and in this part of the country, wetter months, Tweed Shire Council grounds staff and contractors are flat out keeping the green swards as "park-like acres".
The council maintains 35 sports fields and close to 500 parks and reserves across the local government area.
The council is also responsible for the maintenance of about 67 toilet blocks, 60 barbecue facilities and 18 sport amenity blocks.
Staff and contractors, who are usually employed in the more remote areas of the shire, maintain more than 585 hectares of public open space each week - mowing and carrying out general gardening maintenance.
The council's Recreation Services unit includes carpenters, signwriters, plumbers, painters as well as garden maintenance and sportsfield staff.
The council's manager recreation services, Stewart Brawley, said the Tweed had an extended growing season compared to NSW councils further south.
"Growth during that extended growing season can be extremely vigorous, which presents challenges," Mr Brawley said.
"Generally speaking the growing season also coincides with the wet season, which makes managing the maintenance in that period potentially difficult."
Another challenge is the growing popularity of the Tweed's coastal parks.
"While it's wonderful that residents and visitors are taking advantage of our upgraded parks over summer, it can be a challenge for us in scheduling maintenance of the grounds," Mr Brawley said.
"We have to start a lot earlier because if we turn up to mow at 10am, there's people everywhere and we don't want to interrupt their enjoyment."