The first stage in a redevelopment of Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge has been unveiled at a low-key event for local residents.
Two dozen people gathered near the White Hill Truck Drivers' Memorial on Monday, where green grass and trees, modern paths and a new toilet block now greet visitors to the city instead of dust and old wooden railings.
Mayor Brenton Lewis, who cut a ribbon to open the park, said the council was grateful to everyone who had contributed to it, including the members of a town pride committee, council staff, residents and the volunteers who planted much of the vegetation.
"That's what council should be about: working with our community," he said.
"It's not the responsibility of council to do everything for everybody all the time.
"When we can engage with citizens who want to do things, you get outcomes such as this."
Nearby resident Barrie Woodhouse said he thought the council had done an excellent job.
"The money that has been spent on it has been beneficial to the community at large and the benefits will magnify over the years as the trees and understorey emerge," he said.
"I'm impressed with Mayor Brenton Lewis' optimism."
The only stumbling block during the park’s construction came when council workers cut down several trees, alarming at least one local resident.
But the trees were diseased and had needed to be cut down anyway, council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman said; that fact was simply not made clear ahead of time.
"No trees that weren't planned to be removed were removed," he said.
Mr Sedgman said the improvements showed the Murray Bridge council's focus on town pride, beautification and "activation" of open spaces was paying off.
He expressed a hope that the same could soon be said of the riverfront.
Now that the first stage of work, between Zerna Avenue and Progress Drive, has finished, workers have started installing new kerbing for the next section.
The park will eventually stretch down to Maurice Road.