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14 April - Ongoing severe weather - impacts and recovery

Updated Thursday 14 April

All roads and gates are open in the Parklands. 

The sportfields remain impacted by the recent weather. Please visit this page for field status updates.

Current issues in the park

Currently the Parklands is experiencing a record-breaking rainfall event associated with the La Niña weather pattern. The Parklands has recorded 1,333 mm of rainfall this year which is 112 % of the average annual rainfall in the first 14 weeks of 2022. In March alone over 582 mm has fallen in Centennial Park.

The rainfall event, combined with the La Nina weather pattern, is contributing to significant issues in the Parklands including:
 
  • excessive growth of grassed areas
  • extended closures of sporting fields 
  • significant flooding of formal garden areas with damage to plant collections
  • erosion of sandy areas 
  • 10 whole tree failures and multiple branch failures (big and small)
  • waterlogging of picnic areas and wedding sites

Maintenance disruption

Regular maintenance of the Parklands has been disrupted and impacts as resources have been redirected to assist with flood mitigation and clean up. Other factors in play include: 
  • COVID - affecting our staff and the ability to source contract labour in the landscape industry
  • loss of working days - 59 of the last 90 days have been affected by rainfall
  • supply chain shortages - delays on parts and materials unavailable due to flooding in other parts of Sydney/NSW.
  • mowing frequencies have been doubled 
  • other service providers contacted and staff working around the clock to catch up 
  • Sporting fields - a number will remain closed until the end of April, as are reliant on natural drainage and evaporation for drying 
  • Tree removal - fallen trees will be attended to when site conditions allow us to use machinery. It is expected that the removal of fallen trees will take time to complete due to access and weather conditions. Priority has been to ensure fallen trees are secure and pose no risk to visitors 
  • Mowing - heights have been raised to minimise clippings and mitigate damage to the ground - some areas may remain long until they dry out more
  • Continued rainfall will mean areas will take longer to service, with the focus on high use and licensed areas at present 
  • Major upgrades and mainteance projects have been delayed and will reopen later than expected
  • After a harsh two years of extremely dry conditions the growth in the grass is providing some density in the outer areas of the Parklands that have no irrigation
  • Overall improvement of the health of our tree collection with the supplementary water. Only intolerant species in low lying areas have been impacted and we will be reviewing those plantings
  • Parklands water supply is at 100% with a full soil capacity. 

There are still significant areas that are waterlogged across the Parklands and visitors should take extra care as they take time to recover, including at:  

  • Lachlan Reserve open space and picnic area
  • Column Garden and Rose Gardens  
  • She Oak  
  • Paperbark Grove 
  • Busbys

Sporting Field updates

A majority of our sporting fields are currently closed due to excessive saturation. Inspections are being held every day but it is looking likely that a number of fields will remain closed for several weeks. For the latest, head to Sports Field Status page which is updated daily. 



Lachlan Reserve Area

There has been significant damage and losses to the tree population across the Parklands, with tree failures occurring in multiple areas, including at: 

  • Paperbark Grove
  • Fearnley Grounds and the Children’s Learners Cycleway
  • Sandstone Ridge Forest 
  • Lachlan Reserve  
  • Federation Valley (behind the amenities building) 
Please take extra care in these areas and be assured that all of them have been inspected by our arborist team and the area made safe. Smaller branches are being removed as soon as we can, but some of the larger trees will remain on site for some time until the ground dries and they can be removed easily and safely.


Learners Cycleway

Paperbark Grove

Sandstone Ridge
 

 

Mission Fields Access

Due to heavy rain, a number of our Parkland projects have been delayed including the Musgrave Pond restoration works and the McKay Field upgrades. For the latest updates, check out our project pages.

Report hazards 

Fallen trees and branches remain a risk to visitors. If you spot any hanging branches, fallen trees or other hazards that look unsafe in your travels, please be alert, but not alarmed and report to our Park Rangers immediately on 0412 718 611.

Stay safe.