A woman tearing down small ‘fairy doors’ affixed to trees in a park to entertain children has been slammed as a ‘Greenie Grinch’ by the local community.
Residents with children who live near Harris Creek Reserve at Holsworthy in western Sydney had been enjoying the small, hand-painted doors that began appearing on the base of trees on a walking track in the park during the recent Greater Sydney lockdown.
Dubbed ‘Fairy Glen’, locals recently discovered many of the doors had been removed and thrown in a bin.
The fairy glen started when a local resident, Alicea Marie Busuttil (right), and her partner Stuart Branagan (left), designed some wooden fairy doors for the reserve to entertain children during Sydney’s extended Covid-19 lockdown
Liverpool Council has now approved the establishment of a permanent ‘fairy glen’ in the reserve at Holsworthy in western Sydney
Many of the ‘fairy doors’ in Harris Park Reserve, Holsworthy, in western Sydney were vandalised by an unidentified woman who thought the decorations were harming the trees
One local mother said her whole family had spent time decorating a tree only to return later and find it destroyed
‘As my daughter said to me, “doesn’t she know they are just giving the fairies a safe place to stay?”‘ one mother posted after the fairy decorations were destroyed
Locals posted details of their interactions with the woman who objected to the fairy doors, some describing her as a ‘Grinch’ and a ‘Karen’
Some bore graffiti in texta reading: ‘This tree has been violated by an illegal act. Stop the dumb fairy doors.’
Children who had started to participate by decorating the path with their own doors, painted rocks and other fairy decorations also found them destroyed and removed.
People have since posted their encounters with the unknown woman to local Facebook groups.
‘She yelled at my seven-year-old who was just looking at the doors and kept at it until she was crying,’ one local mother posted. ‘When my husband said, “you made my kid cry,” she replied, “I’m glad she’s crying.”‘
‘As my daughter said to me, “doesn’t she know they are just giving the fairies a safe place to stay?”‘
Another mother said her whole family had spent time decorating a tree only to return later and find it destroyed.
A father posted that he had an ‘ugly feud’ with the woman after he and his family retrieved the doors from a bin and began sticking them back on trees.
‘She claims that we are sending our kids the wrong message by damaging the environment and that all the glue and paint will ruin the trees and the waterway next to it,’ he posted.
‘What a Grinch, so mean spirited,’ a person commented in response.
‘Get a life, Karen,’ another posted.
Another local posted graffiti written in chalk on a footpath which read, ‘Nature is the wonder!’
‘Seriously this is something that gets the kids out and about, and begging to walk through nature,’ wrote the resident. ‘How sad is your life that you’d want to upset the littlest people in our area?’
‘I was outraged and could not comprehend how someone could be so heartless,’ one local mother told Daily Mail Australia. ‘I saw first-hand how much happiness and wonder the magic of the fairy doors and the decorations brought to my child during lockdown.’
One father posted that he had an ‘ugly feud’ with the woman after he and his family retrieved the doors from a bin and began sticking them back on trees
Fairy doors and other fairy decorations pictured in a bin near Harris Creek Reserve after being removed from trees in the park
The proposed ‘fairy trail’ through Harris Creek Reserve, that a small community committee will now be responsible for
One local mother said the woman who had removed or vandalised the fairy doors had been taking photos and ‘gathering evidence’ to present to Liverpool Council to stop any permanent instalment going ahead.
She said she had spoke to police about the woman’s actions, who advised she had broken no laws but that once the park was established as a council project, she could be charged with malicious damage if she again removed the fairy paraphernalia.
The fairy glen started when a local resident, Alicea Marie Busuttil, and her partner Stuart Branagan, designed some wooden fairy doors for the park to entertain children during this year’s lengthy Sydney Covid-19 lockdown.
The fairy trail was inspired by a childhood memory of Mr Branagan, an Irishman.
‘All credit goes to my partner. It is common to have little fairy doors around some streets in his home town back in Ireland,’ Ms Busuttil wrote to accompany an online petition to establish the fairy trail as a permanent feature of the reserve.
In order to protect the fairy doors and decorations, locals started an online petition which drew over 700 signatures.
Liverpool Council South Ward councillor Charishma Kaliyanda recently gained Council approval to establish the fairy glen in the park after she presented the petition with the signatures of 772 residents.
‘It’s a wonderful initiative started by local residents who have been creating joy locally for many at a pretty tough time. I look forward to the Council and local community working together on this fantastic initiative.’ Ms Kaliyanda said.
‘We are now setting up a meeting with the community development coordinator who will guide us through the next steps,’ local resident Cynthia Foote told Daily Mail Australia.
‘I believe there will also be input from the council’s Environment Restoration Team, Infrastructure and City Works teams.’
The local preschool had also joined the campaign to save the fairy glen in Holsworthy’s Harris Creek Reserve
One local resident, Daniel Jeffcoat, had cut around 730 blank doors for children to redecorate after the destruction of the original doors
A small committee of local community members is now expected to work with council to find the best way to secure the doors to prevent theft, protect trees and prevent pollution in the creek.
Ms Foote said locals had been creating fairy gardens in their front yards for locals to visit while official council approval for the walk in the reserve was ongoing.
She said one local resident, Daniel Jeffcoat, had cut around 730 blank doors for children to redecorate after the destruction of the original doors. The local preschool had also joined the campaign to save the fairy glen.
‘We believe this project will encourage children to appreciate, respect and learn about more about environmental conservation, in the selection of natural materials,’ a community member posted.
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