Milson Park Wetland Project

It’s the first project delivered under Sydney Water’s Waterway Health Improvement Program.

The $16 million investment transformed Westmead’s Milson Park into an urban oasis as part of the first project delivered under Sydney Waters’ Waterway Health Improvement Program.

Integrating water through the creation of wetlands and improved water quality was designed to help Milson Park become a favourite of locals, offering respite from the concrete jungle and ensuring the community had a place to cool down.

With the addition of urban cooling, Sydney Water reduced the amount of litter entering the waterways by 13,400kg per year through the implementation of Gross Pollutant Traps.

Sydney Water Executive General Manager Water and Environment Services, Paul Plowman, said the project is a benchmark for highlighting the vital role water needs to play in future design and development plans.

“The inclusion of water features in public spaces ensures everyone has a place to cool down and a unique space away from the hustle and bustle of the cities to play and connect.

“The emergence of more urban blue space introduces another way to enhance community wellbeing and significantly impact wildlife and the environment.

“As part of the upgrades in Milson Park, we planted 42,000 trees, which will significantly contribute to creating habitats where local wildlife can thrive,” Mr Plowman said. 

New South Wales Minister for Water, Rose Jackson, said the announcement was great news for Western Sydney and an excellent example of creating a functional space the community can enjoy.

“Water is our lifeblood and this project is testament to our commitment to creating public spaces that enhance our community,” Ms Jackson said.

The program saw Sydney Water partner with the City of Parramatta and Transport for NSW to install a new 4m wide shared bridge over Milson’s Creek and lighting through Milson Park.

New South Wales Minister for Transport, Jo Haylen, said the path was already proving a success with the local community – within months of opening, cyclist numbers have doubled and the number of pedestrians using the park has risen 44 per cent.

“It is fantastic to see so many people across Parramatta taking up walking and bike riding through the park and wetlands and making the most of this upgraded community space,” Ms Haylen said.

“Being active, whether it’s walking or riding, is great for our health and the health of our communities and also reduces traffic congestion and emissions.

“This is a great example of what our Get NSW Active program is all about – providing funding to councils to deliver grassroots community improvements to encourage more people to walk and cycle in their neighbourhoods,” Ms Haylen said.

The park is now open and also features new recreational opportunities and amenities such as picnic shelters, bench seating, a bird hide lookout, a nature play area, a fitness station, a water bubbler and educational signage with information about the wetlands and waterway system.

Featured image: Milson Park at Westmead. Courtesy of Sydney Water.

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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