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Upgrading a popular and historic park

We’re upgrading Jacka Park playground in Freshwater to provide an inclusive, fun and challenging play experience for a range of ages and abilities.

Our proposal for the playground includes a senior climbing tower with slide, a junior play zone, three types of swings and nature play.

The design will be inspired by the local history of this popular park, including references to the flora and fauna that once flourished in the area.

The upgrade will also provide accessible path connections, improved seating, landscaping, a new picnic table and a water station.

We consulted on the concept plan for the playground upgrade between 5 August 2021 and 5 September 2021 and received 167 comments. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback.

The project team is currently reviewing the feedback.

Check out the concept plan

Click on the 'hotspots' to view some of the improvements and elements we're proposing. For more detail about these and other design features, you can download the full concept plan by clicking the blue button below.

Hotspots on concept plan with key design features

Learn more about the history of Jacka Park

Sapper Leslie Jacka was killed in action in Gallipoli on 1 December 1915. Leslie was a cousin of Albert Jacka, a Victorian who was the first Australian awarded the Victoria Cross in World War 1.

In 1917, Mrs Blanche Jacka was granted use of the land opposite her home in Wyndora Avenue to make a garden. This land had remained unsold because of its swampy nature. Above it, Freshwater Creek rose from a spring near Raffo Lane.

Along the banks of the creek were patches of quicksand and the whole area was covered with scrub and wildflowers with such descriptive names such as: Snake flowers, candlesticks, eggs and bacon, and honeycomb trees. The crimson bottlebrush was Mrs Jacka’s favourite flower.

Snakes, lizards, bandicoots and ticks abounded in the area and bullfrogs and small fish inhabited the creek. A grassy paddock to east of the swamp was owned by C.W. Holloway who had planted it with trees and bulbs. This paddock later became part of the park.

In 1917, members of the Freshwater SLSC and teachers and students from Hurlstone Agricultural College cleared a section of the park to make Mrs Jacka’s garden.

Photo: 1930 view of Jacka Park centre from 87-89 Wyndora Avenue

Photo: 1945 Jacka Park near Wyndora Gully
Source: Gwen Gordon

In June 1978, Warringah Council voted to develop Jacka Park as an open space and children’s play area.

In 1979 the Jacka Park garden was officially opened with several of Mrs Jacka’s relatives present.

The War memorial at Jacka Park was dedicated in Feb 1985 and the ‘Wall of Remembrance’ was unveiled in 1995.

The first playground was first installed in 1988.

In 2006, the playground was upgraded with contributions from local Bendigo Bank to support the local Harbord Community.

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Name Lisa Waugh, Asset Management Officer - Parks & Recreation
Phone 1300 434 434
In writing

'Jacka Park playground upgrade', Northern Beaches Council, PO Box 82, Manly NSW 1655.