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Published July 22nd 2020
Relax and unwind with the sound of running water
About Roma Street Parkland While the 16-acre Roma Street Parkland is a recreational haven, known for its manicured flowering gardens, exotic trees and cushioning soft, sprawling lawns, it is also home to several outstanding, flowing water features, bringing some extra serenity to this Brisbane urban oasis.
The parkland was opened in 2001 by the Queensland Government and features elevated walkways, subtropical urban forests and recreational facilities like barbeques and cafes. Alongside these, I also found four manmade water features at Roma Street Parkland, which add to the outdoor ambience of this city favourite.
1. The Water Wall at The Celebration Lawn The Water Wall looks exactly how it sounds – a wall of concrete with streams of flowing water gently cascading from the top to its base. The wall can light up in the evenings given it an extra spectacular appeal. Cushioned by pathways and the grass, it is easy to get up close to this wall of water and is the perfect background for a selfie or photo with family and friends.
2. The Lakeside Fountain It's hard to miss the giant concave lake which is a centrepiece of the parkland. Sitting in the centre of the lake is a classically-styled water fountain. Parkland signage reveals that the lake has a volume of 11 million litres which is the equivalent of 6 Olympic-size swimming pools. It has a surface area of 6 hectares and a maximum depth of 2.5 metres. So, it is certainly big enough to withstand a significant fountain. Tempting as it might seem particularly on a hot day, be sure to stay on the walkways. Swimming and diving are not permitted in the lake.
Recycled water from the lake is used to maintain the parkland sustainably.
3. The Spectacle Garden The Spectacle Garden is situated in Colin (Col) Campbell on one of the higher levels of the parklands. Viewers of Gardening Australia and listeners of 4BCwould know that Colin Campbell was a local and national gardening media personality who lobbied tirelessly for Brisbane to establish its own inner-city gardens to rival some of the world's best like Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London. Well, his efforts paid off and it seems only fitting that a special part of the garden is dedicated to him and his horticultural contribution.
The water feature that flows through the Spectacle Garden represents the spring, from which the nearby inner-city suburb Spring Hill took its name. It links the Upper and Lower Parklands.
4. Cascading Streamers
One of my favourites of the park's water features, which sits in behind the Water Wall and beside the Lake Fountain, is the Cascading Streamers. Here you can experience water sprouting intermittently and shooting across the installation.
Experiencing these four brilliant features left me wondering, what is it about the sight and sound of water flowing freely that often makes us feel so good. You know the sense of almost instant relaxation that you get from hearing the crashing of waves of the ocean, or sitting on the banks of the river or stream. Problems, instantly seem a little lighter and smiles, a little wider. Well, it appears that waterfalls offer health benefits as well as being a gardening element. The psychological benefits have found to include:
• Feelings of well-being
• Increased alertness
• Decreased depression
• Increasing prosocial behaviour
• More mental energy
• Improves sleep
The Chinese principles of feng shui, which balances the energy of the natural and built environment, believes that water can bring you wealth and prosperity. You see, flowing water symbolises income. As well, water also helps to humidify the air, which increases the air quality and is another benefit for your health.
So, if you feel as though you need a little extra boost of serenity and peace, why not head to the green, recreational oasis of the Roma Street Parkland in the centre in the city and take in the glorious beauty of the water features.