Urban Wetland Park (Nugegoda)

100 Nawala Road, Colombo

The architectural highlight of Nugegoda - Colombo's favourite centre of cheap clothes and choking traffic - has ceased to be its arching flyover. Strange as it may sound, there really was a time when residents were atwitter with excitement at the rising curlicue of concrete stretching across that brief section of the traffic-ridden Highlevel road.

However, as of just a few days ago, Nugegoda has also become home to an urban wetland park - the government's attempt to breathe life into the town's close knot of concrete-happy architecture. Amidst the fumes and noise of the dusty Nawala Road now lies an 18 acre reprieve of freshly reclaimed land. Consisting of cycling and jogging paths, fountains and benches, and even an old army tank - for children to clamber over - this water and walkway recreational space finally provides Nugegoda residents with a place where they can, well, chill.

Unfolding over a long strip of land, peachey-white sand paths are fringed by lush greenery, twisting along the wetlands to offer the picturesque solution to exercising, courting and relaxing in the city. Whether going for an evening stroll or umbrella shaded tryst, this definitely beats hopping manholes and dodging buses on the Highlevel Road - or lingering down residential lanes for alone time with a lover.

Right now the park is very new, ergo untouched by vendors selling ice cream or those flashing gadgets that whirr and whizz through the air. There's not a great deal to do beyond walking around not inhaling exhaust fumes - nowhere to grab a Fanta or some wade - but it's likely that's going to change soon. Apparently a floating restaurant (?) is on the way.

As with the beautification projects in Battaramulla (The Diyawanna Walkway) and Independence Square, the park provides a much needed public space for nearby residents - the sheer crowd milling across its sandy paths only two days post-opening shows just how much. With a few more benches and places to eat, the place could be great. The wetland park has quite literally changed the face of the town overnight. From its former existence as an unlovely tangle of ill-planned shops and houses, there's finally something pretty in Nugegoda - somewhere to go besides McDonalds.

Comments

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  • Tim

    No dogs??? But why???

    15 January 2013 01:07 AM
  • Tania P.

    Definitely much needed public space. I am yet to see this but they've done a very good job both at the Independence square as well as Diyawannawa. "No dogs allowed." Are you sure? I thought I saw some sporting white attire during the opening ceremony....

    15 January 2013 03:10 AM
  • Hoi Hoi

    ^^ ballo haemataena kakka daana nisaa. Our people do not clean up their animal's mess.

    15 January 2013 03:18 AM
  • SS

    exactly ... there are very few responsible per owners in SL that cleans up after their dogs. Until this big cultural shift happens it's best to ban dogs

    15 January 2013 01:24 PM
  • Lankan Thinker

    Great to see some more green spaces being created in the city. However I do wonder what kind of message we are giving to the younger generation by putting a killing machine in a social/leisure place. I am Sinhalese and find it inappropriate. I can only wonder what Tamil residents of Nugegoda feel when seeing this thing on every visit.

    16 January 2013 02:08 PM
  • Nitin

    "However I do wonder what kind of message we are giving to the younger generation" The message is not to forget our war heroes, who died for us and the country and made spaces like this possible for citizens. If not for their sacrifices its certain this park wouldn't exist and colombo would be in lockdown.

    17 January 2013 08:16 AM
  • Peace

    I agree with Lankan Thinker, Nitin, Killing machines are definitely NOT appropriate play apparatus for kids in any environment. Our tributes to the war heroes will take place on the special days and places designated annually, and nevertheless will be in our hearts forever. There is a time and place for everything ......

    20 February 2013 02:59 AM
  • sack

    The tank or the IFV is there because the park was built by the military.

    21 March 2013 12:11 AM
  • Sarath

    I highly appreciate for not allowing dogs inside the area. I used run along the road before the park was opened and it was a nuisance with dogs not only for me but for other people also those who are on the early morning.My point of view is that the Urban Council should make an arrangement to free the area from this wild dogs. that is a good for the the health of the people,the Government saves money for minimizing its expenditure for anti rabies vaccines and minimize accidents due to the dogs.

    21 March 2013 12:10 PM
  • HSN

    Does any body know the length of the running area in this park?

    02 October 2013 11:45 AM
  • Vidu

    now this is made more appealing by a calypso band which is playing during the weekend from 7.00pm onwards on both sat n sun. its sheer bliss having to listen to quality music while relaxing with the family members seated on the floor or the cement benches. further it is my opinion that no food and no dogs keep the area free from garbage and make it safe for small kids as lankans are yet to learn responsibility towards using public spaces....

    01 November 2013 07:01 AM
  • Shaq

    They could construct some fishing piers around the waters to encourage freshwater fishing.

    08 December 2013 07:46 PM
  • preggy

    Nice place to relax and walk when ur pregnant ... way less unnessary attention from ppl as compared to walking in galleface...

    11 January 2014 06:06 AM
  • A

    Looks amazing, cant wait to visit this place. About Dogs - its sad, however our people are not there yet, they cannot clean up even their own mess, I saw plastic bags dumped in to Waters Edge area during my recent visit.

    16 January 2014 03:20 AM
  • sachu

    is lovers allow to this park

    03 August 2014 10:13 AM
  • sarasi

    well maintained but i see few fogs now and then!!!! lololololololol

    01 September 2014 10:11 AM
  • Rasangi

    Is cycling allowed over here?

    20 November 2014 06:22 PM