Informal use ovals
During the 1990s a number of ovals were converted to dryland (non-irrigated), reflecting their low usage levels at the time. Unlike sportsgrounds, neighbourhood ovals are not irrigated and so are not suitable for organised, formal sporting use. They also don’t have facilities such as pavilions, toilets, change rooms, canteen facilities and match play lighting but they are a great space for informal recreation and a play space for the local community.
Neighbourhood ovals are mown on the same cycle as other suburban mowing, around six times per year depending on the season. The surface is also inspected periodically to ensure it is in a safe condition.
The appearance of neighbourhood ovals is dependent on rainfall. Like other non-irrigated open space areas, they will appear green when rainfall is sufficient but will brown off in dry times.
The ACT is fortunate to have access to 880 individual irrigated sportsgrounds and there are no plans to reinstate irrigation at neighbourhood ovals. To do so would require considerable investment to re-establish the required soil and grass cover and renew irrigation systems.
Community ideas about how to manage and activate the valuable open space of neighbourhood ovals are welcome. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.