Surry Hills residents and visitors are a step closer to enjoying a bigger and better Wimbo Park, with the City of Sydney’s multi-million dollar upgrade now under way.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore was joined by students from Bourke Street Public School to turn the first sod at the important site, which connects Surry Hills with Moore Park and the stadium precinct.
"Wimbo Park was originally a small rest area. But when we negotiated the light rail development agreement with Transport for NSW we ensured the balance of any land not required would be dedicated back to us for use as an expanded community park. Wimbo Park has grown from 1500 to 4600 square metres and we’re excited to transform the space into what I know will become a much-loved park,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We are putting in more shade trees that will make the park an oasis for local residents and visitors who want to come here with their children to play, grab a bite to eat from the nearby cafes and stores or those simply enjoying a bit of nature.
“In the densely populated inner city, parks are our backyards, so these spaces could not be more important. Our work to plant trees and increase public green space improves wellbeing, reduces urban temperatures and invites more nature to our area.”
Since 2005, the City of Sydney has invested over $400 million in the development and renewal of parks and planted more than 16,000 street trees across our local area. The City of Sydney set an ambitious target of 40 per cent of the local area to have green cover by 2050, with a minimum of 27 per cent tree canopy.
When complete, the new Wimbo Park will feature:
- more shade trees and an open lawn
- more parkland and less paving
- more casual seating
- a shared zone along Parkham Lane and a walking path through the park
- a play area with in-ground trampolines and softfall mounds
- a reinstated Wimbo Park mural and stonemasons monument.
The final design was the result of extensive community consultation and ensures the space will benefit the whole community – play opportunities for local children, additional recreational green space for visitors and measures to mitigate the visual and noise impacts of the light rail for local residents.
“During consultation for the project, the community urged us to keep the park simple and focused on nature, with lots of green open space, flowers, and native trees for shade and to reduce noise from the light rail passing through,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We are planting more trees, adding seating and play areas and beautiful sections of open lawn and parkland. It will be a peaceful space for locals to rest, play and connect with others.
“The park will also boast fencing and a planted buffer to provide natural screening to dull the noise made by the light rail, and also to provide increased privacy for those who live in neighbouring homes.
“Seventy years ago, Wimbo Park was called Wimbo Paddock. The paddock was a well-known recreation spot where people would gather and play games. The site was later used as a stone mason’s workshop by the former Sydney City Council, before becoming a park again.
“Memories of people having fun in the park have been incorporated into Wimbo Park’s colourful mural, designed by local residents and co-ordinated by community artist Peter Day. The mural was removed for safekeeping during light rail construction and will be returned to pride of place during these works.”
The new park designs make it easy to facilitate an additional light rail stop in the future. Transport for NSW has made assurances that conduits were installed and the area was designed to enable quick construction of a stop.
“When the City of Sydney originally pitched the light rail, it was envisaged with shorter carriages and more stops – so that everyone along its route had convenient access to jump on and off. We have an opportunity to remedy an obvious gap with an additional stop for residents in Redfern, Waterloo and east Surry Hills, especially those with disability and the teachers and students of Bourke Street Public School,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“We have ensured the designs can accommodate a stop, with a planting buffer and discreet, natural protective fencing along the park edge.”
Construction of the new park is expected to take around 12 months, weather and other conditions permitting.
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