Plane flying above the new skate park at Sydenham Green. They fly low here.

Showing a section of the skate ramps

Showing the bowl.   I have no idea what it is called.

I love writing posts like this where I get to say that Inner West Council – Marrickville have excelled in producing something exceptional for the community.

The only other park that I have been this excited about is Amy Street Playground in Marrickville, which went from being a patch of lawn with some scabby kids’ equipment to a gorgeous child-friendly native garden with great play equipment & some trees.

Now I am going to wax lyrical about Council’s newest venture, the Sydenham Green Skate Park.  I don’t know the official name, so I have given it this one.  If it turns out to be different, I will edit this post.  Edit:  It is called Sydenham Green Skatepark.

The new skate park is located at the corner of Railway Road & Henry Street Sydenham & is part of Sydenham Green.  This area has been a lawn with some shrubs left over before the government demolished 152 houses in 1995.  The third airport runway was being built & the government decided the residents would be too close to the noise of aeroplane traffic that fly directly overhead.

I don’t skate, so I can’t tell you anything about the design of the park, but to my uneducated eyes, it looks to be something for all levels of experience & it is attractive.  It says to young people – we care about you.  This is a very good thing.

I counted 25 trees.  They are all of what council calls “advanced size,” which means they will have a much greater chance of surviving.  There are lilly pillies, prunus, magnolias & other species that I can’t name.  All trees have mulch around their base.  There is also a considerable amount of planting to create buffers to the busy Railway Street & to separate areas.  There are also concrete paths & lots of lawn.

Colour has been used in creative ways.  For example, instead of a black or plain concrete coloured wheel stops in the car park, they are given colours, which somehow makes it look cheerful.  Long bench seating also has different colours at the base, as do the poles that hold up the shade structure.

There is a car park for a limited number of vehicles.

The front steps & sandstone fences of a number of the previous houses have been retained & incorporated into the design, which is a good thing for those that love the history of the area.  I am one & I am pleased Council has incorporated them into the design.  I was also pleased to see that an old yucca was kept with the wrought iron fence that it has grown into.  Right now, it has the most spectacular flowers.

This is a place for kids & families to gather.  There is a pedestrian crossing to take you safely across Railway Street to a barbeque over in the other section of Sydenham Green.  There is a barbeque in the main Sydenham Green as well.

A new toilet block has been built just across the road from the skate park on Henry Street.  This toilet is so interesting I could write a post for just this alone.

Firstly, it has no solid walls outside the cubical area, just bars.  I presume this is to ensure no funny business can happen, especially with the stationary traffic on Railway Street watching.

I remember there was a strong debate in one of the Marrickville council meetings as to whether the toilets themselves should be just indestructible stainless steel without a toilet seat.  Apparently, toilet seats get vandalised around the municipality a lot.  I could not see why the community would be treated the same as prisoners in gaol. White toilet seats sell for around $3 at Bunnings & Council would probably be able to access them cheaper than you or I, so it did not make sense to make the community have toilets without seats.  Thankfully, the Councillors ended up voting for seats & we got them – black seats – to hide the footprints perhaps.  The toilets are communal & they are wheelchair accessible.    There is a long concrete basin.  Society garlic is planted around the front wall of the block.

The area next to the skate park is being dug up & worked on at the moment.  This will become two basketball courts with markings for a roller derby.    I am very pleased that council is retaining the old frangipani tree that is growing near the wall.  Next to this area is a planned community garden.  I feel we have been waiting for this for years.

To my eyes Sydenham Green has a participatory path from Unwins Bridge Road to almost the Princes Highway –  the Library, playground, dog park, barbecue, park, moving exercise equipment, toilets, skate park, basketball & eventually a community garden.   It has taken many years, but I feel finally, Sydenham Green will become a true community hub.

To end, I think Council have done excellent work here.  It doesn’t feel that they have skimped on spending either.  I think the kids & the families will enjoy this space.  Passing drivers will be able to see an active area that has beauty instead of a desolate area of lawn backing on to a wall of a building.  Well done!

Council are holding an official opening of the skate park & everyone is invited.

WHEN:          Saturday 10th February 2018.

WHERE:        Corner of Railway Road & Henry Street Sydenham.

TIME:             10am – 1pm.  The official opening with speeches starts at 11am.

There will be a free sausage sizzle & skate demonstrations.

Showing the garden beside Railway Road. It looks great. My only concern is the maroon coloured plant grows fast and is already starting to smother other plants.

A old Yucca in flower. It’s nice to see this plant from a former front garden retained.

This front entrance to a former house now is one access to the skate park. It’s lovely to see these  aspects retained.

Showing the work for the basketball courts to be built next to the skate park.

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