Cooper Park

Trendy Sydney dress circle gets creek and stormwater works to match

Cooper Park contains the largest area of bushland in Woollahra Council area and the only significant natural creek system in the eastern suburbs. Urban development has put a great deal of pressure on the park.

Storm water run-off, dumping, garden waste and litter led to loss of native vegetation and habitat and an increase in weeds in the park.  The creek has experienced declining water quality and siltation which in turn affects habitats and biodiversity.

Woollahra Council received $250,000 between 2009 and 2011 from the NSW Environmental Trust for ‘The Cooper Creek Sustainable Water Project’. The project aimed to ensure the long term health of Cooper Creek for future generations.

Council engaged Storm to develop a rehabilitation design for the upper reach and pond of Cooper Creek.  Storm also designed Water Sensitive Urban Design features in the trendy suburban catchment streets upstream of Cooper Park.

The waterway rehabilitation works were outstanding in appearance because they are bordered by a high sandstone wall which provides excellent viewing over the entire extent of works in the creek.  The site has been completely transformed into an urban creek oasis and is completely unrecognisable from its former weed infested state.

When the works – by Total Earth Care – were nearly complete, the steep slope above the works suffered a massive landslip and the slip material careened over the sandstone wall and into the rehabilitated creek.  This was a big news story at the time, but the sip and the works were soon repaired.

This extensive rehabilitation program encompassed weeding, clearing, dredging, riparian rehabilitation and planting, landscaping and structural restoration efforts throughout the eastern end of Cooper Park.

The WSUD works in the catchment comprise raingardens and permeable pavements to slow and treat stormwater before it enters Cooper Creek.