McIlwaine Park’s biophilic focused design allows the user to feel emersed in the natural surroundings of Brays Bay. It gives the visitor an up close and personal interaction with the bay, it’s water movements and marine life. Originally flagged as a potential swim site for the Parramatta River this project has strived to connect people to the waters edge. When the ongoing challenges of water quality precluded for the medium term future the inclusion of swimming opportunities, the design focused in on maintaining the water connection in a diverse number of ways. The design maintains flexibility which will allow adaption into a future swim site as the river water quality improves further.
The park also contributes to improving the health of the bay by providing protective habitat at the water’s edge. By transforming a 107m section of the original 1970s seawall into a natural informal character, the rockpools, salt marsh and living seawall tiles, integrated into the intertidal zone, encourage a diversity of marine life to help strengthen the rivers ecosystem.
McIlwaine Park provides an inclusive destination for the growing population of Rhodes, engaging the community with the river and its changing faces. We are excited to see this park open, and look forward to following its further evolution.