Bush tucker community gardens, murals and play spaces were unveiled as part of the new-look Dapto Square on Thursday.
The project was launched as part of an overall plan to revitalise Dapto’s town centre.
The area now features a new play space, two community gardens planted with bush tucker plants, new seating, shade and a wall of murals created by young members of the Dapto community.
Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery described it as “a great outcome for Dapto Square”.
“The new Dapto Square was a vision from our Dapto residents following community consultation for the Dapto Town Centre Plan,” he said. “Community members wanted to see Dapto town centre as a unique and welcoming place, pedestrian-friendly, attractive and vibrant.
“The Dapto Square project is one part of the Town Centre Plan.
“This will be a start to the ongoing implementation of the Dapto Town Plan.”
Dapto Chamber of Commerce president Ian Fitzgibbon said when the Dapto Square project started two years ago, the idea was to revitalise the space.
The Dapto Futures Group was then formed, which included the likes of the chamber, Dapto Neighbourhood Forum 8, the Rotary Club of Dapto, CareWays Community, Dapto Leagues Club, Dapto Mall and community representatives.
Mr Fitzgibbon said 800 surveys were sent out to the community.
He said creating a safer, more welcoming space became the priority.
“This is what the community said they would like within this area, so we tried to create the space that they said they were after,” he said.
“We’re really pleased with the end result; it’s given us a really good use of the space, and I think invigorates the space. It’s the gateway to our shopping centre… It’s really something to be proud of as a community.”
Endeavour Energy and Greening Australia helped students from Dapto High School plant bush tucker and bush medicine plants in the two gardens.
The Futures Group is an ongoing project, in consultation with the Dapto community, ward councillors and council staff.