We've got 230 kids in the school down here, and it's the only place that isn't in the flood area. The kids love it ... It's about timePaul Hickey
It's taken nearly 30 years but the popular James Street Reserve might finally become a park for the Morpeth community.
Earlier this year, the Mercury was contacted by local residents calling on Maitland City Council to rezone the pocket of land which will allow for landscaping and playground equipment.
In fact, the Morpeth community has been collecting signatures in support of rezoning the reserve into a park to show the council just how much they want the reserve turned into a park.
In August, Liberal councillor Mitchell Griffin successfully tabled a motion aimed at investigating the option of rezoning the parcel of land in August.
As part of the motion, council officers will prepare a report on the potential of reclassifying the reserve's zoning.
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Resident Paul Hickey said the surrounding neighbours and community had been waiting a long time for the reserve to be officially named as a park.
"It's about time," Mr Hickey said.
"We've got 230 kids in the school down here, and it's the only place that isn't in the flood area. The kids love it."
The site has been earmarked as a community park on numerous occasions over the past three decades including in the Morpeth Management Plans in 1994 and 2000.
Mr Hickey added families from the area regularly use the park over the weekends and during the afternoons.
"It's the only park in the area which won't get flooded. We had another one but it got washed away," Mr Hickey said.
"It's time to rezone it."
The petition, which was placed in local shops and used by residents for canvassing, has already garnered more than 530 signatures.
Mr Hickey said it was all word of mouth which had seen the petition so popular.
"The community just wanted me to coordinate it. I really haven't done much in getting signatures. We've done this without any social media so just imagine if we had put it on social media," he said.
"The community wants this."
A report is expected back before council next week at its ordinary meeting.