Public space reclaimed

Marissa Calyan and Adrian Pickett with Mosman Park Primary School Chaplin Rhonda Miller.
Marissa Calyan and Adrian Pickett with Mosman Park Primary School Chaplin Rhonda Miller.

‘The kids really enjoy the new park, because the drinking prevented them coming here,’ resident Marissa Calyan (27) said.

Anti-social behaviour, including drug taking, appeared in the park after the playground was installed by the council in June last year.

Graffiti and vandalism of the equipment was also reported almost immediately.

The council’s maintenance staff fixed the damage before the council asked residents, including many in Homewest homes nearby and children at Mosman Park Primary School, to adopt the park.

‘It was about involving the families who live around the park, and for them to have an investment in it,’ school chaplain Rhonda Miller said.

On September 14, more than 20 pre-primary to Year 7 children from the school, who live next to the park, created small mosaics along its path to try to combat damage and public drinking in the Town, which has a small community safety budget.

The streets near the park and the adjacent The Rope Walk often appear in police reports of burglaries and thefts.

‘It’s great to see the community getting active in those areas and taking control,’ Senior Sergeant Mic Dalla-Costa said.

The council has Police Community Crime Prevention funding to now host neighbourhood barbecues and can loan equipment, picnic blankets, children’s activity sets and signs so residents can meet their neighbours and discuss local issues.

To organise a barbecue, call the community development team on 9384 1633.