WHAT was once a football oval is now being transformed into a community-friendly space at Buninyong.On Saturday, Ballarat City Council officially handed over management of the Royal Park Reserve to the Friends of Royal Park Committee.Over the past 12 months, council has prepared the reserve for community use by removing unwanted buildings, lighting and other structural items."We are delighted to have led and assisted in the process of finding a local interest group with a vested interest in the future of Royal Park Reserve," Ballarat Mayor Stephen Jones said."We have no doubt about the committee's commitment to the reserve, and look forward to seeing the area enjoyed by community members in the future."Plans for the reserve _ which will be maintained by FoRPC _ include a demonstration site for local environmental and sustainability groups to conduct trail plantings. Work has already begun on a community garden."The community garden is the first step in bringing people in and getting them involved," FoRPC's Jenny Ryle said."This is a huge opportunity for us. We're very excited about the future." The curtain came down on 131 years of football at Royal Park Reserve in August 2006.Fittingly, Buninyong's football team defeated arch-rival Dunnstown to add to the post-match celebrations. Buninyong's football and netball clubs are now based at the multi-million dollar Buninyong Community Facility in Forest St. The purpose-built facility was funded through grants and donations from the State Government, the Buninyong Football Club and the City of Ballarat.