Parks and Reserves
Parks and open space in Canterbury City range from sporting fields to some of the last remnants of bushland in the region. The percentage of land in Canterbury devoted to open space/parks is approximately 9.3%.
Origins of Parks
List of Parks and Reserves in the Canterbury LGA
Dennis Street Reserve
Gough Whitlam Park
John Mountford Reserve
Mary MacKillop Reserve
Parks acquired by Canterbury Council
Canterbury Council recognised the importance of parkland as a public amenity as early as 1880, when it began moves to acquire land for parks. Campsie-Belmore Park, Hurlstone (now Ewen Park), Earlwood Park and Punchbowl Park were all acquired by Council in the 1920s, and many more parks have been acquired since.
Low lying land
Former brick pits
Reuse of land that was formerly brick pits has occurred at Peace Park and Wagener Oval.
State government land Parkland has come from land reserved in the past for government services, such as an electricity substation at Hughes Park, and sewerage or water supply land along Wolli Creek and Cooks River. Roadway proposals caused land along the Canterbury side of Cooks River and Wolli Creek to be reserved from other development and later to become parkland.State government land was donated or acquired for open space for a number of parks such as Canterbury Park, John Mountford Reserve and Peace Park. Since the 1970s Council has contributed to Salt Pan Creek in the 1970s.
Park committees were a feature of most parks in Canterbury until about the 1950s. A park committee was usually established soon after a park was proclaimed, to protect the park from vandalism, and used volunteer labour to plant trees and provide amenities when Council did not have the resources to do so. The committees also advised Council on the need for facilities. Committees were made up of local residents, members of local sporting groups and of residents associations. One park, Rotary Park, was donated after the Riverwood Rotary Club planted the park and built facilities.
Changes in parks over the twentieth century
Early parks were very much oriented to providing sporting facilities and children's play equipment. In more recent times, Council has recognised the need to cater for a wider variety of activities in our parks, including skateboarding and BMX tracks, walking and cycle tracks and passive recreation facilities such as barbeques. A number of 'pocket parks' were acquired between the wars, when Council purchased single houses or blocks of land and converted them to small parks. Some small parks have been added to Canterbury's open space in recent years by road closures being converted into parkland.
Some parks have been recognised as heritage items and are listed on Council's heritage list. Anzac Park, Dennis Street Reserve, Girrahween Parkand Mary McKillop Reserve.
Open space in the Sydney region : 1982 open space survey Sydney : Dept. of Environment and Planning, 1985