The ’green lungs’ of Sydney
Centennial Park play a critical role in Sydney’s green infrastructure and is known as the ’green lungs’ of Sydney. It provides health and well-being of Sydney-siders and also for its international visitors. It continues to be a site of leading and innovative park management practices and horticultural experimentation.
The Parklands’ Management invest critical funding into the Park’s green spaces and facilities which make its a world-class destination for many.
Centennial Park is part of one of the largest community sports precincts in Australia, with more than 560,000 registered sports users, over 40 fields and venues, and more than 35 different sports. The Park features a dedicated cycle lane, sports fields, facilities, equestrian grounds, fitness stations and pedestrian/jogger running tracks.
A high percentage of the Park’s visitors come to walk the dog, run, or cycle (nearly one million cycle visits annually) as part of their commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Others come to relax, walk the meditation Labyrinth, or enjoy the positive stress reduction benefits offered by the Park’s serene setting.
World Urban Parks noted Centennial Park for its “well managed and protected mix of rich nature, well-preserved heritage and provision of a good range of activities, in cooperation with the community in the heart of the densely populated inner Sydney”.
A gathering space for all
From its opening to the present Centennial Park also hosts important social and cultural events and has been used as a meeting place for major commemorative events including:
- 1888: the centenary and the creation of the Parklands was celebrated
- 1897: Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebrations were held.
- 1901: On 1 January 1901, 60,000 people gathered in Centennial Park to witness the proclamation of the Federal Constitution, uniting six formerly independent colonies as one Commonwealth of Australia.
- Gatherings have included ceremonies marking the death of Queen Victoria (1901) and King Edward IV (1910).
- Thanksgiving services and peace celebrations marked the end of the Great War (1918/9)
- Anniversary celebrations include the sesquicentenary celebrations and a naval and military review (January 31st 1938) was attended by 150,000 people, Jubilee of Federation celebrations (1951), and the Centenary of Federation festivities (January 2001).
- 2018: Centennial Park celebrated its 130th anniversary.
Sustainability is key
As Centennial Park’s surrounding population continues to grow, the increased usage demand on the Park and surrounding Parklands will rise ignificantly. The Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust (Trust) is committed to the promotion and protection of these wonderful open spaces and at every opportunity will leverage innovative approaches and best practices to create new opportunities, new partnerships and new ways of doing business.
The challenge of protecting these unique and critically important community spaces becomes more complex with each passing year. The key challenges the Parklands face are:
- Populations growth
- Environmental risks
- Financial sustainability
- Changing recreational needs
- Protecting Trust lands
- Changing climate.
To address these issues the Trust created a Plan of Management in 2017-18, with one key motive – to ensure that these the the Parklands are sustainable in perpetuity – socially, financially and environmentally. That means that they must have the love and passion of the local community; the respect of the political decision makers; and the operational and financial capability to deliver for their visitors.
The Plan, which you can read here, provides a high-level framework and the overarching strategic direction for the Parklands on which Master Plans, Operational Plans and business plans can be built to ensure this sustainability and its protection for future generations.
Was and always will be the People’s Park
Even after 130 years, Centennial Park continues to breathe new life into Sydney and is valued for its nature, beauty, landscape, environmental refuge, a place to spend time with others and a place to be entertainment. It is truly “the People’s Park” and will continue to be for future generations as we support, engage, protect and communicate the story of this extraordinary Park and its history.