New vision for Rockdale Park water feature unveiled by Bayside Council

A sketch of the new new water feature proposed for Rockdale Park.
A sketch of the new new water feature proposed for Rockdale Park.

Bayside Council has adopted a master plan for Rockdale Park including a new water feature, playground and amenities block.

The 3.2 ha park in West Botany Street is one of Rockdale’s earliest public parks and is considered unique within the Bayside local government area due to its dense plantings of ornamental conifers and rare tree species.

A map of the proposed Rockdale Park water feature which will include three pools or reservoirs connected by running streams.

A map of the proposed Rockdale Park water feature which will include three pools or reservoirs connected by running streams.

The park was a popular location for wedding photography but it currently has limited accessibility.

The existing water feature was built in the 1970s but became inoperable in 2003 due to water restrictions and fell into disrepair.

Entries to the park are not clearly defined, connections to surrounding streets are limited and there is no footpath along West Botany Street, a council report said.

The draft plan of management’s vision for Rockdale Park is as a focus for informal, passive recreation.

Key actions include replacing the water feature, extending and improving the playground, landscaping and upgrading pathways.

The master plan proposed three options to re-establish the water feature. The first was to rebuild the existing water feature but with a narrower width.

The second was to rebuild the water feature in the centre of the park with a reduced length and larger integrated water gardens.

The third was for a reduced size water feature with a children’s water play area.

The council has decided on the second option, a 65-metre long sequence of natural-looking shallow pools to create a water garden.

The proposed pools include upper, middle and lower reservoirs approximately 250mm to 300mm deep and with stream connections between the pools and with sitting edges and planting.

The middle pool will be larger and will adjoin an open area suitable for weddings. It will also be large enough to accommodate model boats.

A new bridge will provide a visual focus for photography.

Fixed seating nearby will have good winter sun exposure.

Its relocation to the centre of the park will create a “destination” or “heart” within the park, the council report said.

The new playground will be located  in the southern part of the park near the end pool of the existing water feature. It will be classified as a “district” level playground and will be strategically placed to use the existing natural shade.

Now the master plan has been adopted, the council will carry out a detailed design process of the pool, including consulting with the community before going to tender for its construction.

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