Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Fremantle digs in for park upgrade

The City of Fremantle Council’s major upgrade to Griffiths Park in Hilton is underway.

The project includes the replacement of the ageing play equipment with a larger nature-play playground, conversion of the “unsightly” drainage sump into a multi-use swale and new waterwise garden beds to replace some turfed areas at the edges of the park, Council said in a statement.

A new irrigation system will also be installed throughout the park, and 34 new trees planted.

City of Fremantle project manager, Morgan Gillham said preliminary works – including the removal of the old play equipment and some trees recommended for removal by an expert arborist – had already commenced, with major works to start in the next few weeks.

“Hilton residents will have noticed some forward works activity at Griffiths Park over the past few days, including tree surgery on the very big Tuart tree to the south of the site in an attempt to save this great specimen,” Mr Gillham said.

“Most of this timber will be retained on site for use within the new playground and landscaping.

“It’s also been necessary to remove some trees within the sump and surrounds to allow for bulk earthworks and public access to the basin once the project is complete. Some poorly formed, damaged and unwell trees have also been removed.

“In total 18 trees will have to be removed, but we’ll be planting 34 new ones so the park will have a lot more trees when the project is complete.”

The City’s head contractor – O’Connor-based PHASE3 Landscape Construction – will commence major works at Griffiths Park within a couple of weeks, he said.

In the meantime, site fencing will be erected around the perimeter of the park.

“Unfortunately, due to the size and nature of the work involved, the entire park will have to be fenced off for the duration of the project, which will likely finish in January 2023,” said Mr Gillham.

“We regret this inconvenience to residents and park users and ask for their patience during construction.”

The new playground will feature a flying fox, a variety of different swings and a large fort with slide, climbing wall, climbing net and fireman’s pole.

The conversion of the stormwater sump into a landscaped multi-use swale will see the barbed wire fence around the sump removed and replaced with a usable community space incorporating local plant species, walk trails, seating and wild play.

New mulch and local water-wise garden beds will also replace turf in some areas. This hydrozoning strategy seeks to conserve water and increase biodiversity, Council said.

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