Page Park Turf Turmoil investigated ahead of two major scheduled reviews

Users of the Park would be well aware of the Page Park Turf Turmoil. In recent years the turf in the much loved and much used park has deteriorated.

This has been evident in the dormant growth season of the Kikuyu grass.

 

Poor Page Park DivetIt has, over that time, deteriorated to a point that I believe requires attention. As reported back then, it prompted me to move a motion on notice in Council back in August of last year. The motion; to investigate the cause of the turf disintegration at Page Park and identify possible solutions to rectify the disintegration.

Council resolved unanimously, in favour of my motion.

I was mindful when moving that motion that Council has two pivotal reviews scheduled for 2020. In other words, the information resulting from the investigation would inform those reviews.

The first of these is a review of our Parks & Gardens Strategy. The second a review of our Dog & Cat Management Strategy. With Page Park being widely used these days for dog exercising, it is timely to investigate causes of and identify remedies for the condition of the turf.

IPOS Consulting Pty Ltd presented a report to Council at our last meeting. The report addressed the Page Park Turf Turmoil. A full copy can be found here under item 4.4 of the Council Agenda.

 

In essence, the report identified two major contributors to the deterioration that has occurred. The first contributor is the recent increase in use of the park during the dormant growth season of the Kikuyu grass. The second is ageing and under-performing water reticulation infrastructure.

 

The consultants identified a need for an upgrade of the reticulation system. For the use the park is experiencing they also recommended an increased maintenance regime. While their recommendation will give the grass every opportunity to improve they confirmed it may not be the answer.

In other words, if the quality of the turf remains an issue following an upgrade of the irrigation, use of the park may need to be considered. Accordingly, it may then be necessary to limit the times and days in which dogs are permitted to be off-leash within the park.

Finally we agreed that, until the two previously mentioned reviews are completed, we should refrain from taking immediate action. Rather than commit to increased expenditure, we will simply maintain the current maintenance.

Now we await the scheduled reviews into our parks & gardens and the dog & cat management.

 

 

Poor Page Park. In Need of Love and Attention

Much loved Page Park is today a poor park. A park in need of love and attention.

Poor Page Park TurfA well used park, as are all in the City of Unley, it has seen some dramatic change in activity in recent years. Corresponding to this change in activity the condition of the turf has deteriorated.

 

 

So concerned am I about the condition, I moved a motion on notice this week at Council. The motion read.

A report be prepared for the November 2019 Council meeting regarding
the condition of the turf at Page Park, including:
– An assessment of causes of disintegration;
– Possible solutions to rectifying disintegration.

We have seen families picnic under the trees, kids kicking (in the past) footballs. Others shooting rings on the recently updated basketball ring. Members of the community have likewise taken advantage of the outdoor gym provided at this location. Tennis is played at the adjacent bitumen paved public tennis courts.

More recently (since the fencing off and the later provision of self closing gates) it has become a favourite venue for exercising dogs.

 

Sparse Turf at Page ParkUntil the last two winters the turf and the general condition under foot has been no different to other parks in the City of Unley. The last two years, by my observation, the turf has deteriorated dramatically.

 

There are significant sections/areas with no turf. Poor Page Park DivetThere are also a number of divots in the ground. If there is any presence of rain the affected areas are quite slippery. This combination presents in my opinion as a work health safety concern.

 

 

Council has been concerned for a few seasons now about the condition of nearby Goodwood Oval. A current comparison however between the two facilities would suggest Goodwood Oval to be in very good condition, notwithstanding the pounding it would get from the sprigs of footballers.

Although the reason for the deterioration is not apparent, the numerous divots can probably be considered as the result of dogs digging. Given it is worse than Goodwood Oval and unsafe when wet I believe it timely to request an investigation and report.

Council backed my motion unanimously. This gives poor Page Park and chance to look forward to improved health, whatever use it accommodates in the future.

 

Providing Local Leadership: Page Park Dog Park

Linked to many other parks and reserves last year an effort to adjust the hours for dogs off leads in the Page Park Dog Park failed.

 

Page Park Dogs

Page Park Dogs

Many parks and reserves in and around Clarence Park cater for children. Goodwood Oval backs up the two dedicated playgrounds at Princess Margaret and Dora Guild Playgrounds. As a result Page Park Reserve has become by default, Page Park Dog Park.

 

Because of this dog owners using Page Park requested we consider extending the hours when dogs could be off leash during the winter months.

Council considered the request. In so doing we (Council) linked Page Park to many reserves throughout the City of Unley. Concerns that extending the hours would interfere with access to the same reserves by children prompted us to reject the proposition.

Anyone who uses or passes by Page Park would be well aware of the heavy usage by dog owners. We owe it to them to reconsider a Page Park Dog Park only (stand alone) with a new motion for extended hours.

I propose to reintroduce the concept of extended hours in the next term of Council. In so doing we will need to reconsider the times. We will need to look into how to avoid extended use interfering with the use of the tennis courts. We will also need to ensure people using the gym equipment are not inconvenienced.

Researched correctly Council will be in a much better position to make a more informed decision. At the same time we can improve the dog friendly infrastructure with things like dog fountains.

With your help I can by providing local leadership work for you to bring about a solution that works for all the users of this park.

Written & authorised by Don Palmer, 19 Kelvin Avenue, Clarence Park SA 5034