McQuade Park Upgrade Celebrations

Children and their families celebrated the new McQuade Park Upgrade this week just as the Spring school holidays kicked off. A giant puzzle game, free jumping castle, free snacks including apples, fairy floss, donuts and coffee were the order of the day as everyone gathered to enjoy the green open space.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert was joined by Councillor Emma-Jane Garrow in officially opening the upgrade with a ribbon at the bridge to the restored ornamental pond. Children played and explored the little island and even plenty of local canines enjoyed the festivities.

Council upgraded the south western section of McQuade Park using a Heritage Capital Works grant of $50,000 from the NSW Government's Office of Environment and Heritage and $400,000 Council funding.

On opening the park upgrade, the Mayor explained that “McQuade Park is an important green asset for our community”.

“McQuade Park is of State Heritage Significance as a rare example of Governor Macquarie’s town planning of a central urban reserve,” Mayor Calvert said.

“The transformation of the swampy pond area of the 1800s to a hard edged freeform pond in 1970 is indicative of Australia’s response to modernism in park and garden design.”

The extensive project included restoring the pond’s surrounding area and restoring the pond wall to its original shape. The pond’s shape and central island was designed by Peter Spooner in 1970 to commemorate Captain Cook and it was this design that saved the pond – the much loved nineteenth-century feature of the Park – from all attempts over the years to fill it in or to securely enclose it.

Native wetland plantings and a new inground fountain have also been installed to improve water quality in the pond. Additional shade trees have been planted as a visual link to the pond, while a second bridge has also been installed and the pathway concreted.

“The ornamental pond, with its small island in the centre with a pedestrian bridge, has remained a popular feature of McQuade Park for children and families as well as being the backdrop for wedding and school formal photography,” Mayor Calvert added.

“I encourage everyone to visit McQuade Park as it is a beautiful place to have a picnic and relax in a freely accessible open space.”

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