BETTER TOGETHER: Lawrence Curnow, Colleen Cowley, Bob Cullen, Lyn Curnow, Barbara Dukeson, Bob Reade, Marj McKenzie and Laura Wozencroft of Maryvale Progress Association.
BETTER TOGETHER: Lawrence Curnow, Colleen Cowley, Bob Cullen, Lyn Curnow, Barbara Dukeson, Bob Reade, Marj McKenzie and Laura Wozencroft of Maryvale Progress Association. Bianca Hrovat

Maryvale 'on the verge of something special'

CHANGE is on the horizon for Maryvale as residents rise to the challenge of creating a bustling community with council funding.

Meetings between community members and the Southern Downs Regional Council's urban design team acted as a wake-up call for dozens of volunteers willing to contribute their time and skills to the growth of the region.

It is the most energised the town has been since secretary of the Maryvale Progress Association Terri Cooper moved to the area from Brisbane over a year ago.

"The community is realising something big is happening and it's getting everyone really excited,” Ms Cooper said.

"We feel like we're on the verge of something special.”

Volunteers have organised working bees to clean up the railway reserve of barbed wire, low hanging branches and preserve historic debris, hoping to eventually create a family-friendly entertainment precinct with a stage, parkland and grey nomad RV parking.

Movie nights, craft groups and bonfires have also been planned for the next couple of months as residents revel in their stronger sense of community.

"The community spirit right now is just wonderful,” Ms Cooper said.

"It's a blank slate at the moment and we want to make the most of it.”

The allocation of $170,000 in budget funding will develop the Maryvale park, town centre and railway reserve but the MPA's volunteers plan far more than that.

"And there are professional people who have moved here and now have the time to invest in making this town great.”

Among the ideas are a "Rusty Zoo” to recycle old machinery parts into animal sculptures, native tree planting to develop bird tourism and a monthly farmers market to capitalise on the popularity of the historic Maryvale pub's pig on the spit night.

"There's been a lot more visitors because of Airbnb, wikicamps and Roustabout caravanners,” Ms Cooper said.

"When they come they realise what a treasure it is and a lot of them end up staying and buying land in the area.”

It is just the beginning for the century-old town, where new and the old are coming together to create a bright future.

"We love seeing the development of the township and feeling the big buzz of activity,” Ms Cooper said.

"The activities and the volunteer work is bringing us all together.”



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