Dom Serra Grove

19 September 2013 — The City of Subiaco, in Western Australia, has worked with a Benedictine Monk community to redevelop a park, which has won the Parks Award at the 2013 Parks and Leisure Australia WA Awards of Excellence.

The recently upgraded Dom Serra Grove, on the corner of Hay and Jersey streets in Daglish, was recognised by judges as “an excellent example of how to achieve high quality cultural and environmental conservation and efficiency outcomes through community engagement”.

Parks and Leisure Australia deputy president and one of the judges, Joanne Smith, said she was impressed by the city’s entry.

The award seeks to recognise parks that:

  • demonstrate sound and progressive planning, development and management processes
  • include innovative features that could usefully be applied by others or from which others can learn
  • have achieved identifiable improvements to the quality and range of community leisure opportunities

Dom Serra Grove sustainability features included:

Best practice

  • hydrozoning – grouping plants with similar irrigation requirements, reduction of turf (passive area in shade)
  • reticulation design – ensuring all planted and turf areas are irrigated via separate valves/stations
  • reticulation installation – providing buffers to hardscape to minimise runoff/spray drift onto hard surfaces
  • planting/species selection – selecting local native species and mediterranean species to improve biodiversity
  • planting design – planting according to site aspects, shade and north facing walls

Innovation

  • high-efficiency sprinkler nozzles – utilising Rainbird Variable Arc Nozzles to provide uniform coverage and reduce wind drift and misting
  • solar/wind powered bollard lighting – illuminating and providing security through the main access way by sustainable means
  • recycled plastic furniture battens – zero maintenance, supports the city’s sustainable purchasing policy, where the purchase of goods and services involves an assessment of whether they are favourable to the environment, including recycled materials that reduce waste to landfill
  • compacted gravel surfaces – reduction in the total irrigated area of the site, and provides a permeable surface that promotes drainage and local stormwater infiltration
  • urban agriculture – edible elements are included with the park (olives, almonds, pomegranates, lemons, figs and herbs) available for community consumption
  • demonstration landscape – plant selection and options as well as a waterwise demonstration verge
  • turf species – use of Empire Zoysia turf, which requires less water and mowing

The city worked closely with the Benedictine Monk community and a working group of local residents to develop an innovative design that reflected the city’s past and the community’s vision for the space.

One of the key aspects of the redevelopment was to feature the existing mature olive grove, planted by the Benedictine Monks, and to continue the Mediterranean theme throughout the landscape design.

The Parks and Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence were established in 2003 to encourage professional development and highlight best practice and innovation in the industry.

The City of Subiaco’s entry is now a finalist at the national awards in Melbourne next month.