A raised boardwalk will be built alongside a huge stretch of The Manly Warringah War Memorial Park, also known as Manly Dam, connecting two more secluded picnic areas, and adding a long scenic water-side stretch along the popular walking spot.
The announcement comes as the State Government agreed to match Northern Beaches Council dollar for the dollar via a green spaces grant to bring the concept to fruition.
The new 390m path will start where the current accessible concrete path ends just before Picnic Area 2 (further along the dam away from the children’s playground area, which is Area 1). It follows the waterline around past this picnic area, through the bushland and on to Picnic Area 3.
Mayor Regan said he welcomed the funding and looked forward to delivering the significant project, though exact project start dates were still being developed.
“The Manly Warringah War Memorial Park, or Manly Dam, is a special and much loved place for veterans but also very popular with families and locals for picnics and watersports,” he said.
“The new raised boardwalk, funded dollar for dollar by Council and the NSW government will provide the missing link between Areas 2 and 3, taking visitors off the road and through the bushland along the waterline with a number of viewing platforms.
“It will be fully accessible ensuring everyone can enjoy the picturesque track.“It’s been great to have been successful in our grant application – thanks to Council staff for their ability to have these plans ready to go when funding becomes available.”
Deputy Mayor Candy Bingham said the near 400 metres in raised boardwalk would be a very welcome addition as it will be completing a “major missing link in the bush track around Manly dam.”
The future health of the dam and associated waterways has been a point of contention for some time, but particularly lately following local concerns the proposed Northern Beaches Tunnel and widening of the Wakehurst Parkway could have various flow on environmental effects. You can learn more about these objections via the Save Manly Dam Bushland Facebook page.
The Manly Warringah War Memorial Park holds particular significance in remembering fallen service personnel from the First and Second World Wars, as well as being of significance to past and present day members of the Defence forces.
The area is a unique landscape rich in natural biodiversity, shaped by the interventions of engineering and science. Once the source of drinking water in Sydney’s north, freshwater continues to flow from the catchment to the sea.
Along with a rich Aboriginal cultural significance, the area’s European history is layered with stories of social and recreational activity, Council literature states.
Adjacent to this area is a hub of international research through the work of the Water Research Laboratory (WRL), a facility of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW Sydney.
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