Location: Corner of West Street and King Street, Hurstville
Features: Chinese Poet Sculpture
Facilities: Exercise Equipment and playground area
Ma’anshan Friendship Park is a newly created neighbourhood park situated on the corner of West Street and King Street, Hurstville. The park commemorates Kogarah City Council’s Sister City in China named Ma’ anshan in the province of Anhui. Ma’anshan Friendship Park has helped to build the Sister City relationship between Ma’anshan and Kogarah that has developed since 2003, when knowledge was shared about environmental initiatives.
The park was constructed in 2009 after the acquisition of three properties on the corner of King and West Streets, Hurstville. After community consultation, a contemporary landscape design approach was adopted to reflect both the deepening relationship with Ma’anshan City, and the cultural values of the Chinese and multicultural communities of Kogarah.
Ma’anshan Friendship Park allows for passive recreation and features compact landscape plantings that create aesthetically pleasing surroundings. In addition, a pergola has been constructed with seats that allows for picnics and games of chess. There is a series of exercise equipment to encourage local residents to improve their agility and fitness. The mounded lawn areas create visual interest with open flat areas allowing people to complete Tai Chi. Pathways have been constructed to provide access and connect the existing landscape spaces.
A focal point of the park is the statue of Li Bai (Li Po), ‘Immortal Chinese Poet’. It is a stainless steel sculpture that is positioned in the lower southern corner of the park. Li Bai was one of China’s most important poets who made contributions to Chinese literature and greatly influenced other poets of the time.
Li Bai lived in the 8th Century of the Tang Dynasty and was renowned for his unntamed passion, metaphysical imagery and fascinating imagination. Li Bai’s poems were a reflection on nature, friendship, Taoism and a celebration of his drunkenness. Metal tablets with inscriptions from his poetry can be seen on feature rocks throughout the park.
The statue was donated as a token of friendship by the Municipality of Ma’anshan, People’s Republic of China, in September 2009. The feature rocks were generously donated by Cowra, an Australian Sister City of Kogarah.
Ma’anshan Friendship Park was opened officially on the 26th of September 2009 when a delegation from the Ma’anshan Municipal Government visited the City of Kogarah to celebrate the Sister City relationship between the two cities.