I’m quite fond of Kendrick Park. It fronts the Cooks River & a small cliff backs on to it giving it a protected feeling. The bike path runs along the back, there is a good playground & the picnic kiosks are scattered, not in a line. There are barbeques, a boat ramp with a separate area attached to sit & look over the river & a good section of the riverbank has been replaced with a new erosion-proof sandstone wall.
Kendrick Park has a couple of big Fig trees with another 2 Figs on the cliff, plus quite a few other tall Eucalypts species & many Casuarinas. Council planted about 13 good-sized Angophoras last year that are growing well & none of the new trees have been vandalized. There is also a small swale. I have written about these previously here - http://bit.ly/utoc2n
Recently Marrickville Council did some more work on Kendrick Park. The bicycle path make-over was completed last year & as a new cyclist & can say that it is great to ride on because it has grip on the surface making it safer. It is also wide enough for multiple riders.
A vast area beside the old sandstone steps from Griffiths Street that was always empty & mostly filled with a few weeds & a carpet of Casuarina leaves has been planted with many native grasses. Once these have grown they will fill in the area quite nicely, add greenery & give sanctuary for small creatures to live & hide. Many more native grasses have been planted on either side of the pedestrian pathway leading from this area to the lawn area of the park. Again, this will be far more attractive for people & more useful for wildlife than a bed of fallen Casuarina leaves.
The cliff has been cleared of weeds & a large dead tree removed. Long sausage-shaped rolls of coir have been placed sideways along the cliff to prevent soil erosion & to slow rainwater down. These rolls look attractive & will slowly return to the soil, adding nutrient as they do. There are many of these used in Sydney Park & it is nice to see them used here.
I love that 5 new Gum tree species have been planted surrounding the playground. These will in time provide natural shade for the children & are far nicer than a shade-cloth structure. All the new trees are great for wildlife offering both habitat as well as food sources when in flower. The more flying-fox feeding trees we can have in parks the better, as there is no-one in parks at night to be annoyed by their presence.
The benches & tables in the picnic kiosks are currently being repainted (same with those in Tempe Reserve) so this makes everything feel fresh & clean.
The latest jewel in Kendrick Park is the ‘Kendrick Park Aboriginal Interpretation Project’ set in amongst the Casuarinas & facing the Cooks River in a quiet spot in Kendrick Park. Marrickville Council describes it as a ‘circular seating platform.’ A large & ancient midden nearby provides the connection between the Indigenous Australians & the Cooks River for thousands of years. You can read about shell middens here - http://bit.ly/bpYmKW
Personally, I find it exciting that there are middens along the Cooks River. I’ve found one in another section of the river & was quite shocked when I realized what it was that I was looking at, as I had only ever read about them before.
With the Kendrick Park Aboriginal Interpretation Project, Marrickville Council has created something which is sensitive in design & quite beautiful. I certainly hope people respect it & not defile it with graffiti tags or similar.
It was opened on 19th March 2012. Marrickville Council’s media release says, “The seating platform includes a circular design that encourages people to come & meet, representing the theme of “Gathering”. The design includes images of sand goannas, shellfish, baskets & fish traps to highlight how Aboriginal people used their knowledge, skills & resources to hunt & gather food on the Cooks River & surrounding lands.
The Aboriginal words Barani (yesterday), Guwagu (today) & Barrabugu (tomorrow) are also part of the design. These words are a reminder of a strong Aboriginal presence & connection to Cadigal Wangal land, as well as the importance of the river to Aboriginal people in the past, today & the future.
This feature is the first of a series of three other interpretations planned for Cooks River parks in the area.” Nice. I hope the other two are as attractive & useful as this one is.
Marrickville Council have done some great work in Kendrick Park. It looks much improved to what it was like 3-years ago. As a highly visible gate-way park to our LGA, it sends a nice message about the liveability of our area for those passing on the Princes Highway. It’s great that this park has lots of big trees & the lawn isn’t the major feature. With the new trees & planting, it will only get better.