Centennial Parklands has valued and encouraged innovative ways to support the environment since its inception nearly 130 years ago. The Park itself was design to address the city’s burgeoning need for an “additional air lung to the city”. Since then, its legacy has been to ensure the projects we embraced were for the benefit of the overall environment.
Here are five of our top environmental initiatives we are driving to create a cleaner and more sustainable environment for future generations.
Stormwater recycling program
The ponds of Centennial Park are intricately linked through a series of pipes and weir structures, which retain water in the ponds. Water flows through the pond system and eventually downstream to Botany wetlands and Botany Bay. Stormwater inlets capture stormwater from not just the park, but also the surrounding suburbs of Randwick, Bondi Junction, Waverley and Paddington and other local areas. Sydney Water controls the various drains that direct this water back into the Park’s ponds.
Stormwater traps, often known as gross pollutant traps, installed at key stormwater entry points into the Parklands, play a key role in preserving the Parklands’ environment. The stormwater traps capture a proportion of such waste; however during high water flows litter can bypass the traps and end up in the ponds. We run a volunteer litter patrol program to clean up the pond bank edges. Find out how you can assist us today.
One of the issues we face is that the cost to service the stormwater traps and dispose of the litter mounts up each year.
This stormwater is also repurposed and recycled for the Park’s hefty irrigation needs and reduces our overall need for additional potable water. However, if you live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, you can help by:
- Always sweeping your gutters and driveways with a broom rather than hosing rubbish down the drain.
- Always washing your car on the grass. Putting soapy water which contain phosphates down the drain encourages the growth of algae and can sometimes poison our aquatic wildlife.
- Always picking up your dog’s faeces and put your dog poo bags in the bins provided. Remember there is no such thing as the dog poo fairy!
This will help reduce the amount of rubbish and chemicals that flow into our ponds, which are refuge and home to many wildlife in the Parklands.
Solar panels have been installed in five locations across Centennial Parklands, with the potential to reduce our energy consumption by up to 10%. In the past two years, we went through the process of upgrading the following locations with solar panels:
- Education Precinct, Centennial Park
- Centennial Park Depot, Centennial Park
- Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre, Moore Park
- Moore Park Golf Depot, Moore Park
- Moore Park Golf Pro Shop, Moore Park
By using solar power, we can effectively reduce the energy needs of the parklands. Considering we operate street lighting, sports field lighting, offices, worksheds, offices, restaurants and cafes, pumping stations and irrigation systems, we need to find innovative ways to manage our energy consumption.
Management of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub
There are a number of threatened species peppered throughout the Parklands. One such species is the native gem, the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS). Synonymous with one of Australia’s most iconic children’s story ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ the banksia in general is a significant symbol of Australiana.
Centennial Parklands has implemented a number of practises to ensure the protection of this and other endangered species.
The Parklands is currently undertaking bush regeneration works in two ESBS sites (the Bird Sanctuary in Centennial Park and York Road Bushland in Queens Park) to protect these important ecosystems. The restoration works are being funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and the Centennial Parklands Foundation.
The Parklands staff were excited recently to identify two endangered plants in the park. The Sunshine Wattle, Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis, plants were found in one of our ESBS bush remnants. This wattle species was one of the first Australian plants collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770 (See DECCW Recovery Plan).
The Parklands encourages community involvement in bush care activities including weeding, pruning, and raking in the Centennial Parklands Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. See our website for further details here.
LED lighting upgrade
Centennial Parklands operates a lot of lighting and operations have been put in place to do our best to reduce electricity use through lighting. Many of the main lit areas have had their existing lighting upgraded with LED lighting.
In April 2017 alone, the following locations were upgraded with the LED lighting:
- Kippax Field
- Showground Field
- Driver Avenue
And most recently we have upgraded Moore Park Golf Driving Range, which you read more about here.
In order to effectively take care of these Parklands, we have implemented a number of waste management protocols. Just think of the potential waste more than 20 million visitors can produce annually. Well, we counted and the waste amounted to a whopping 1,040 tonnes of waste. With 78% of that waste falling under the non-recyclable category, we are working to dramatically decrease those numbers.
There are 360 bins in the parklands and 120 of those are recycling, which are emptied once – twice weekly. We encourage all visitors to make an effort to correctly dispose of their waste.
Look for the yellow-coloured bins to dispose of cardboard, paper, glass bottles and plastic containers. Please don’t put other waste in this bin, as contaminated bin loads won’t get recycled!
Most take away coffee cups cannot be recycled as they are lined with plastic don’t get recycled with cardboard and paper. The best option is to bring your own re-usable cup and receive 10% off your coffee from Centennial Homestead. Find out more about the special here.
In addition to these measures, we also collect all organic and green waste for recycling and reuse. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
What can you do to help?
These are just a handful of the many thoughtfully planned strategies we implement each year to ensure our commitment to the conservation and enhancement of the environment remains strong. You can read more about our Environmental Management here.
It is also the role of all our visitors to do the right thing when in the Parklands. We ask that you help us protect the environment with these three simple things.
- Please don’t feed the birds. Feeding them bread is like feeding them junk food. It’s not good for their health or the pond water quality.
- Keep dogs on a leash, especially around ponds and when inside Grand Drive. It protects our wildlife and dogs running on the horse track. Learn more about our regulations here.
- Leave no trace – take your rubbish with you or put it in the bin. If you have an event or picnic in Centennial Park please don’t leave your waste behind. We are a self-funded Parklands and it costs a lot of money to clean up after you!
There are also lots of wonderful places to visit in the Parklands which will help you appreciate our unique environment. We recommend:
- Go bird-watching (126 different species to find).
- Walk around the ponds and you might just see a long-finned eel.
- Visit the Grey-headed Flying-fox colony in Lachlan Swamp.
- And lastly join us for our free family event, Science in the Swamp, on Saturday 12 August 2017 – our annual community event not to be missed!