New Eco Water Garden to bring education, play and environmental opportunities

Students at Marrickville West Public School this year will have an innovative and interactive Water Garden, thanks to Inner West Council, the school and NSW Department of Education.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said that construction is set to start on the Eco Garden, which will be ready early in the school year.

“We are building an outdoor classroom and children's play area that includes a rain garden, sandpits, wooden platforms, a storage tank and better landscaping for the playground,” he said.

“Importantly, it will also filter stormwater run-off from Henson Street.

“This means that not only will Marrickville West Public School kids get a better learning experience, but cleaner water will also be going into the Cooks River and helping us with our ultimate goal of making Cooks River swimmable again.”

The project has seen Inner West Council, Marrickville West Public School and the NSW Department of Education join forces with the school’s Parents and Citizens’ Association, the Marrickville West Community Garden, the Riverside Crescent Subcatchment Community Group, other local volunteers and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities researchers to design and now build the Eco Water Garden.

“Projects like this show what we can do for the local community when different levels of government work together,” said Mayor Byrne.

Ruth Bradfield Ling, principal of Marrickville West Primary School, said the Water Eco Garden project has been enthusiastically supported by staff, students and the Marrickville community for many years.

“The garden will provide an outdoor learning and recreational space between our existing Community Garden and the adjoining ‘natural’ playground.

“We are very excited about the potential the garden will have to enhance learning in environmental education, promote sustainable practices, improve local water management and increase the biodiversity within our school playground,” said Principal Bradfield Ling.

The rain garden will filter out pollution in stormwater run-off from the Henson Street area that normally ends up in the Cooks River helping with the aim to one day be able to swim in the river. The water will be stored in a tank to use for irrigation.

Construction of the water garden began on 8 January 2018 and will take approximately 10 weeks. Planting for the garden is planned for late March or early April.

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Page last updated: 27 Jul 2018