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Harvested water to revitalise Sydney Park

Harvested water to revitalise Sydney Park
November 11, 2014

Scenic cascades will carry water through Sydney Park’s wetlands to the city’s largest stormwater harvesting system to create a haven for native frogs and birds and encourage bush regeneration.

The soon-to-be-completed $10.5 million upgrade will allow around 850 million litres of stormwater a year to be captured and cleaned – the equivalent of around 340 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The stormwater harvesting and water re-use facility, built in partnership with the Australian Government’s Water for the Future initiative through the National Urban Water and Desalination Plan, will provide a sustainable water supply for the park’s future needs and improve wetland rehabilitation. The final stages of the work will divert stormwater into Sydney Park wetlands through an underground pipe for treating.

When complete, Sydney Park will have undergone a total rejuvenation with new landscaping, viewing platforms, walkways and picnic areas dotted around the parklands for visitors to enjoy.

Commenting on the project, Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore stated “Sydney Park is our city’s largest park and we’re improving opportunities for recreation while maintaining its cultural heritage, and strengthening environmental sustainability and biodiversity.

“We’ve introduced new relaxation and recreation areas for visitors to the park and enhanced eco-systems to ensure the park remains a sanctuary for our urban wildlife.

“The park’s entire wetland system has been revitalised to increase storage and improve water filtering. We’ve created beautifully landscaped areas that include a picturesque series of water cascades with stepping stones and informal paths allowing people to engage with the water, and the natural wildlife it fosters.”

Located in the suburb of St Peters, the 41.6-hectare park has the highest population of native bird species in the City of Sydney area. This includes 22 wetland species, several of which have not been reported elsewhere in the city.

City of Sydney project manager, Damon La’rance said the project which is nearing completion is one of the City’s largest single park project undertaken, explaining "the City in partnership with the Federal Government has rejuvenated the parks wetland system.

“This will allow us to clean and reuse harvested water while at the same time creating new habitat areas rich with local native plants and animals that contribute to the city’s thriving urban ecology.”

A new volunteer bush care program ‘We Heart Sydney Park’ is inviting enthusiastic green thumbs to join weekly working groups to help look after the park. Volunteers will take part in activities including weeding and planting native plants. They will also have an opportunity to meet other locals and join bird watching surveys and guided walks and talks on the park’s diverse ecosystems and history.

Sydney Park has undergone major changes since it came under the management of City of Sydney in 2004. The park includes a café, an award-winning all-abilities children’s’ play area and cycling centre. The final stages of the water re-use project are underway and the park should be fully open for public use by end 2014.

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