Improvement works to the Western Lawn at Footscray Park to begin
Published on 06 January 2023
Works will begin later this month to upgrade the surface of the Western Lawn at Footscray Park, after Council resolved in 2022 to bring forward improvement works identified in the Footscray Park Masterplan.
The Western Lawn is used by many residents for passive recreation and community sport, and the upgrade will improve the condition of this popular open space for community use now, and into the future.
Works will include site excavation and soil replacement to allow new turf to flourish on a site that has had problems due to high saline content in the soil. Irrigation and drainage upgrades will also be undertaken to ensure the Lawn can continue to be used for future community events. This includes the New Year’s Eve celebration hosted on the Eastern Lawn at the end of 2022 after October’s flood event.
As with all turf upgrades, it is important the root profile is properly established. Because this can only occur in warmer weather, it is likely to take until the end of the year for the surface to be fully established. The Western Lawn will be cordoned off to support this and returned to the community as soon as practicable.
Mayor, Cr Sarah Carter, who moved the Notice of Motion to have these works approved, one year early, said Council is excited to see the Project get underway to deliver a long awaited upgrade to this much loved community resource.
“This is something our community has been wanting for some time, and I am pleased to have championed the early delivery of these redevelopment works.
“We are also committed to making sure we get this right including giving the new turf enough time to establish, which will mean the lawn will remain out of bounds for much of the coming year. I look forward to celebrating the return of an amazing rejuvenated asset our community can continue to enjoy for years to come.”
Originally scheduled as part of the 2023/24 capital works program, Council agreed as part of deliberations on the 2022/23 Budget to fast track the upgrade works identified in the Footscray Park Masterplan, which supports an increase in a range of cultural, recreational and sporting opportunities, to attract a wider audience to value and appreciate the Park.
The southern row of parking along Maribyrnong Boulevard will be fenced off until July to support the removal and replacement of soil and gravel on the 40,000 square metre site. This will involve the use of excavators, graders and dump trucks.
The Eastern Lawn will remain largely open to the public along with the river trail. Some parts will need to be closed for short periods of time to support trenching and service connection but we’ll provide updates around this closer to the time. Signage will be erected to help park visitors navigate around the works.
The Western Lawn is a major asset in Council’s open space network, and in combination with the adjacent Eastern Lawn, Quarry Park, heritage gardens, Henry Turner South Reserve and the Maribyrnong River Trail, the precinct provides for passive use, festival and event use, dog walking, junior and club sport, bike sports, physical recreation, active transport and cultural appreciation
The vision for the Western Lawn, outlined in the Footscray Park Masterplan 2011, is for a space that supports both passive and active recreation opportunities to service our entire community, including providing overflow for formal and casual sporting uses of the traditional playing fields at Henry Turner South Reserve, and maintaining the area as a dog off lead space for our furry friends.
The upcoming reconstruction and reinstatement will ensure the Western Lawn continues to support a range of community activities, including casual use, dog walking, festivals and events, and formal and informal community sport for many more years to come.
For more information, visit Maribyrnong.vic.gov.au/westernlawn
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