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Published June 5th 2016
Green and space equals good health
What is it about green space which enhances our senses? Is it simply because a lot of us live in urban environments and so we therefore relish these oases or is the reason a more complex one?
Whatever the reason, I decided to explore the inner northern suburb of Prospect to discover for myself some of their top parks and gardens which are utilised for all forms of recreation including a place to walk the dog, taking the kids to the playground, places to enhance fitness levels or events such as fairs and weddings.
Located at the end of Flora Terrace in Prospect, adjacent to Prospect Oval are the Prospect Memorial Gardens which are a great place to have a picnic as well as use the two free electric BBQ's, whilst watching the kids play on an upgraded playground, with recreation of an "enchanted garden" theme.
The park, which is the largest in Prospect, has been well maintained and a brick path covered in art work by local primary school children winds its way through the centre, adding a nice contrast to the green lawned areas. Two large memorial archways adorn each end of the park, dedicated to those who lost their lives during World War One and adjacent is the site where Anzac Day ceremonies are held.
The large park has tennis courts which can be hired and during the summer period, regular concerts are held, entitled Twilight Concert Series on Friday nights, with a different music theme each week.
The Prospect Community Garden is also housed on the western side of the gardens next to the tennis courts and community members work together to grow a whole range of vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers. The opening times are during the winter - 9 am - 12 pm on Tuesdays and 10 am - 12 pm on Saturdays.
Warning - you won't get a park if you are driving on weekends when the footy is being played at nearby Prospect Oval. I would suggest you check the SANFL footy program first before you venture down there, unless of course you are on foot or pedal power.
Perched right on the edge of busy Main North Road is St Johns' Wood Reserve on the corner of Alpha Road in Prospect. Despite its busy location, the reserve boasts a sunken rose garden and an amazing mural entitled "The Train" by artist, Robert Stirling. The first thing you notice however upon arrival at the reserve is the oversized rocking chair, which has been placed there as a part of the City of Prospect's aim to link the community and the arts.
A favourite place for wedding photos and in some cases, wedding ceremonies, Barker Gardens were established in 1938, having been donated to the local council by Eleanor Barker. The arbor is particularly attractive during Spring when the two toned wisteria hang from its framework. The rose garden also enhances the space with some attractive art tiles and an amnesty wall.
The amnesty wall, known as the Human Rights Wall is a unique structure in Australia, depicting victims of injustice struggling to break free and has been around since 1993.
A great place to throw down a blanket on a nice day and lap up the rays of the sun, right on the edge of Prospect Road on the corner of Alpha Road.
Home of the annual Prospect Fair, in March of each year, St Helen's Park was developed in the 1970's from its former site as St Helen's House originally built in 1860. The original coach-house remains at the rear of the park today.
A great place to take your dog for a walk and let the kids run riot on the play equipment, it is also used for wedding ceremonies and other events such as family reunions and catchups for picnics and BBQ's with friends.
The park is relatively easy to get to and the G10 bus service runs along Prospect Road, with a stop right next to St Helen's and there is adequate parking at the rear of the park, and at certain times, within the park itself.
Although strictly outside of the suburb of Prospect, located on the corner of Braund Road and Cochrane Terrace in Fitzroy, however still within the boundaries of Prospect City Council, is the Braund Road Reserve.
Braund Road has gradually become busier over the years in terms of vehicular traffic, but tucked away from busy Prospect Road and Churchill Road at the same time. The reserve has a great playground for the kids and for all you fitness fanatics, there are fitness stations including a shoulder press.
A trip down Churchill Road in Prospect reveals a lot of building activity going ahead with multi-storey apartment complexes rising out of the soil and changing the entire strip from its former life as Lower Main North Road, built originally for access to the growing industrial sites of Adelaide, including British Tubemakers and other factories.
Therefore Charles Cane Reserve on the corner of Elizabeth Street is a sight for sore eyes with its pleasant expanse of greenery. The reserve was named after Charles Cane, whose family moved into the Prospect area in the 1890's, with Charles serving on the local council for 51 years.
The indigenous name for the reserve is Parndo Yerta, Parndo meaning "ball made from possum skin" and Yerta meaning "ground". Quite appropriate considering the grounds are used as sporting facilities for soccer, lacrosse and cricket. On many a Saturday morning or afternoon you will see all of the supporters lined up to watch their family members and friends play on a regular basis.
Charles Cane Reserve is also one of the select "dog-friendly" parks in Adelaide, allowing off-leash between 5 am and 8 am as well as between 5 pm and 9 pm on any day, provided there are no organised activities occurring.
A great favourite for kids, Prospect Estate Reserve near the corner of Regency and Prospect Roads, allows you to wander through some man-made water features with ponds, and creeks traversed by wooden bridges. Seeing these features makes you want to start honing up on your origami skills making paper boats to float down the cascade of waterfalls and creeks. If you are into science, it is a great place also to observe pond life at its best, teeming with all sorts of life.
Towards the rear of the reserve is a playground and there is a nice rotunda with seating and tables for catching up with family and friends, whilst enjoying a picnic or BBQ. BBQ facilities are free and the public toilets during winter are open in winter from 7 am - 6 pm, 7 days a week.