Quite by accident we discovered the loveliest bush-like park in Glebe, within spitting distance from Sydney CBD. Called Arthur (Paddy) Gray Reserve, it is in Hereford Street Glebe.
According to the plaque Arthur Gray Reserve was originally dedicated in 1958 to commemorate Arthur (Paddy) Gray (b:12 June 1892 d:19 July 1977), who was a cricketer for New South Wales & first Grade Rugby League for Glebe. In 1998 the park was upgraded & officially reopened by Leichhardt Council. Wow, did they do a good job! As I understand, the park is now under the management of the City of Sydney Council.
This park is full of native trees & shrubs to encourage & provide habitat for urban wildlife. There is an old Cockspur coral tree (Erythrina crista-galli) at the entrance surrounded by the loveliest grass I have ever seen. The Cockspur originates from South America & unfortunately has naturalised in coastal districts of eastern Australia. This tree can be a problem along waterways & wetlands, but not likely a lone tree in an inner city park where the local council manages any spread.
There are many Spotted gums, a fig or two & also a Moreton Bay Chestnut (Castanospermum australe) that stands alone as a feature tree. Right now it is covered in lime green bean-like seedpods that are very attractive.
Many grasses & shrubs or varying sizes have been planted for the little birds, especially Blue Wrens. The Glebe Society’s ‘Blue Wren Group’ planted locally native shrubs & grasses to encourage biodiversity in the park. Dead logs are scattered around for the benefit they provide. The Blue Wren Group regularly holds bird surveys that anyone can participate in for free.
There are three areas of lawn – not too large, but large enough to run around & play or exercise. This park allows you to wander bushy paths & find one of the many bench seats to sit & listen to the birds & watch them if lucky enough to spot them.
I stood there & felt amazed that I felt like I was in a bush area, yet was actually in a densely populated area so close to the CBD. The volunteers have done a fabulous job creating a safe habitat for urban wildlife, as well as a place filled with beauty & much sought after peace for the community.
This is my kind of park. I highly recommend a visit if you like to feel that you have got away from crowds, noise & the sight, smell & sound of traffic. The first thing I noticed was how great the air smelt when I walked into the park. It’s beautiful & a local treasure.