WHEN Joni Mitchell sang about paradise being paved for parking lots, she could have been talking about Coffs Harbour's Brelsford Park.
Under plans to increase car parking in the city centre, Coffs Harbour City Council is in the process of removing a number of non-native pine trees from the western side of Brelsford Park.
A council spokeswoman said the project will provide a further 26 car spaces and a footpath.
“The car park is not encroaching on Brelsford Park itself, but is being built in the road reserve,” she said.
The trees, a species known as Pinus Radiata which originated in California, are considered an environmental weed by Coffs Harbour City Council.
“They produce massive numbers of winged seeds which can spread over a wide area and cause high density infestations,” the spokeswoman said.
“They drop masses of pine needles that deplete the soil of nutrients and inhibit native plant growth.”
Mother of two, Stacey Baine, who regularly takes her children to the play area at Brelsford Park, said she was surprised to see the stumps of the pine trees yesterday.
“It's a shame to take green places for car parks but parking is always a problem in Coffs, you can never get one on a weekday,” Ms Baine said.
Construction of the new car park will begin in mid-October, and a total of 80 new angled spaces will also be created.