Wharf St smart park now online

The ribbon has officially been cut and the turtles have been released at the Wharf Street Basin Next Generation Community Park in Cannington, and the City of Canning‘s first smart park. All the ministers, scientists, engineers, and collaborators were there on 8th September 2020 to see it finally open.

All the requisite ministers and turtles were there to see it happen!

This state-of-the-art park (described in a previous blog) follows the principles of a Waterwise City and is equipped with a range of Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to measure water quality, weather conditions and power use in real time (perfect for the nerds out there who love to track their steps, sleep, and now park statistics!).

While still providing flood protection by operating as a stormwater basin, it has been cleverly transformed from an inaccessible, low amenity sump into a multifunctional space to relax in, a habitat for wildlife, nutrient-stripping wetland, and an area to learn more about water.

There’s an app (of course) – Smart Canning – that you can use in the park that lets you be a scientist, play games and learn about stormwater.

And on top of that the park also has free WiFi, smart bins and irrigation, solar power, a small nature playground, boardwalk, informal education space, 40 m art mural, and a bridge that connect Wharf St to Leila St – that’s a lot packed into a park! Plus you might spot a sneaky southwestern snake-necked turtle (also known as Booyi in Noongar, some as old as 60 and all microchipped), or motorbike frog (Kooya)!

Whadjuk/Balladong Nyoongar & Eastern Arrernte artist J.D. Penangke (Jade Dolman) painted the incredible Wharf St park mural in collaboration with artist Brenton See (Source: Jade Dolman, https://www.jdpenangke.com/murals-1)

To help clean stormwater containing the usual suspects (nutrients and hydrocarbons from dog poops, fertilisers, grass clippings, detergents, and oils), and ultimately, the water that flows into the Canning River (or Dyarlgaard), many local native wetland species such as swamp oak (Casuarina obesa), giant rush (Juncus pallidus), gotu kola (Centella asiatica) and bare twig sedge (Baumea juncea) have been planted in the park. So water quality nerds (such as those at Urbaqua) will get the chance to collect data on how this nutrient-stripping wetland is improving the water.

Come say hi to your friendly southwestern snake-necked turtle when you come visit the park! (Source: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation https://rivers.dwer.wa.gov.au/species/chelodina-colliei/)

Funding from the Australian Government’s Smart Cities and Suburbs Program, Water Corporation, and Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) allowed the City of Canning to turn the Water Corporation’s typical fenced stormwater basin into this very smart public open space for everyone to enjoy and learn from.

Find out more by watching this short animation or go to the City’s wesbite www.canning.wa.gov.au/smartpark