May 19 - 25, 2024: Issue 626


'Lynne's Park' at Warriewood Officially Opened

Lynne's family and Mayor Sue Heins at the official opening. Photo: Cr. Miranda Korzy
The long-awaited park for Warriewood residents was officially opened on Wednesday May 15, with lovely tributes delivered by Trent Czinner, son of Lynne, and Mayor Sue Heins.  Lynne's extended family, former Pittwater Council General Manager Angus Gordon, councillors and residents attended the ceremony.

The park increases the amount of green space available for the community of Warriewood to use at this location and complements the existing park affectionately known as ‘Rocket Ship Park’ through a new bridge connection across Fern Creek. The park was renamed, in consultation with the community, to Lynne Czinner Park after the former Mayor of Pittwater, an environmental trail blazer.

The new green space includes:

  • A shared path and pedestrian bridge connection across Fern Creek
  • Picnic areas with BBQ facilities, shade and water bottle refill stations
  • Network of pedestrian paths
  • Open grassed areas 
  • Native plantings and landscaping
  • Car parking on Dove Lane

Mayor Sue Heins said this highly anticipated open space will be well utilised by the community. 

“By naming this green space after Lynne we honour her legacy. May this space forever stand as a testament to her dedication, vision, and service to our community. 

“This project was fully funded by developer contributions providing a wonderful new open space for the community to enjoy now and into the future.” Mayor Heins said. 

One of Lynne’s three children, Trent Czinner described his mum as being incredibly generous and doing anything for others.   

“We are so proud and thankful to the Council for choosing to honour mum in this way.  Mum loved plants and nature and advocated for shared outdoor spaces, and she would have loved this park. We grew up in this area and it holds a special place in our hearts.

“Mum became a Councillor only to make a difference, but I know she would be chuffed to be recognised for her years of tireless work on the Council. In fact, I think she would cry with joy and be lost for words with the naming.

“On behalf of mum, her children and grandchildren, I want to say how humbled and honoured we are that this absolutely wonderful park carries her name and I hope it will be a place that creates special moments and memories for all of the lucky people who live here or come to visit.” 

Mayor Sue Heins stated in her Address:

''I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands, of elders past and present, on which we celebrate today, and other Aboriginal people who may be present.

I would like to express my gratitude that we share this land today and my sorrow for the cost of that sharing. I hope that in the spirit of reconciliation we can move forward to a place of justice, healing, and partnership as we walk gently on this land.

It is lovely to be able to welcome Lynne’s family and friends here today to recognise a truly remarkable woman, the late Lynne Czinner.

I want to welcome my fellow Councillors here today:

  • - Councillor Ruth Robins
  • - Councillor Miranda Korzy
  • - Councillor Vincent De Luca OAM

I also want to pass on apologies from former Mayor’s Patricia Giles, OAM, Jacqueline Townsend, David James and Alex McTaggart who unfortunately could not be here today.

To Lynne’s children, Trent and Antonella and their families a very special welcome. I understand your brother Nick is overseas but hope he may soon have an opportunity to come and see the Park.

While it has been a few years since Lynne passed away, we are here today to remember and recognise her long-standing contribution to the community by naming this park in her honour.

Lynne was a passionate advocate for the protection of our natural environment, and I know she was highly regarded for her commitment to protecting more specifically the Warriewood wetlands and escarpment.

Lynne believed in sustainable development in Pittwater and wanted to ensure there were recreational facilities established to enable residents to be able to enjoy their surroundings.

A big believer in making decisions based on what her community wanted, Lynne was always happy to hear what they had to say. She once said in relation to her duties as an Elected Official – “… they are your conduit to good local decision making”. I couldn’t agree more.

She was instrumental in ensuring there was an interconnected network of open spaces as part of the development of the Warriewood Valley land release. The recreational facilities needed had to reflect the need for all ages.

Lynne was also Director of North Sydney Waste Board, Secretary of Sydney Coastal Council, represented Pittwater on the Kimbriki Committee and was a strong support of the Peninsula Music Club.

She also served on the EPA’s Beachwatch/Harbourwatch and Catchment Management Committee and many more – she was incredibly committed and gave so much of her time for the betterment of our community.

Back in September 2020, Council resolved to find an "appropriate location for a memorial in Lynne's honour”.

So after consultation with Lynne’s family, it was decided that naming the reserves at Fern Creek Warriewood would be a fitting recognition of her contribution to our community.

The Warriewood Wetlands are precious hectares of land and the largest remaining sand plain wetland in the northern Sydney area. It is vitally important not only as a home to so much wildlife but in local flood mitigation and sediment filtration.

We are very fortunate to have such a unique place to enjoy.

Thank you all for coming today and now before we hear from Trent who will say a few words on behalf of the family, it is my great honour to now officially open the Lynne Czinner Park.

In his Address to those who gathered for the official opening, Trent said:

Thank you Mayor Heins and Councillors and welcome to Lynne’s friends and family wo are here today.

I am Trent Czinner, Lynne’s youngest son, and it is a huge honour to be able to say a few words on behalf of Mum and our family.

I am Trent Czinner, Lynne's youngest son, and it is a huge honour to be able to say a few words on behalf of Mum and our family.

I want to firstly thank Mayor Sue Heins, former Mayor Michael Regan and Councillors at Northern Beaches Council for their incredible generosity in honouring mum in this way. I also want to thank Eliza Halsey and all of the people at the Council who have worked so hard to create this wonderful space. You must be very, very proud.

Lynne lived on a 5 acre block on the hill just there from the late 1970s and until she passed away in 2020. It is magical that Lynne Czinner Park borders the land that mum loved and nurtured for more than 40 years.

Lynne, her partner Bern, my sister Antonella, brother Nick and Bern's daughters Ali and Stephie had decades of wonderful memories here. We renovated the property just known as "Pecan Grove" but it was tragically destroyed in the 1994 bushfires. My brother and I watched the fire sweep across the hill there behind Mater Maria and head towards the house before we escaped. Fortunately, it missed everything else and no one was hurt.

Mum was born Lynnette Marie Holden and grew up in Eastwood. Her parents would bring her and her sister to the Northern Beaches for holidays and weekends and she fell in love with the area.

She married my dad, John Czinner and took his surname. The name "Czinner" is Hungarian and is the name of my grandfather, Lynne's father in law, who moved to Sydney in the mid 1930s.

I do need to acknowledge, and perhaps apologise to all of you for, the difficult pronunciation of Czinner. As someone who has said this many times - here is my tip: just ignore the "c" - it's pronounced Zinner.

In fact, I was thinking if it proved too difficult people might just end up calling it 'Lynne's park' - which she would also love.

Many of you may not know the history of this area, but 40 years ago there were rows of glasshouses here and Warriewood Valley was full of horse paddocks. We, along with other local kids, would ride horses on the side of the roads.

Mum also arranged with the owners for us to take a short cut from Macpherson Street across the land just there past the glasshouses and up to our house. Like many of the families around them, the owners had moved from the former Yugoslavia and started growing tomatoes in Warriewood.

This area was unlike anything else in Pittwater.

In the 1980s, when development started in Warriewood Valley, mum decided the locals needed a voice to ensure the then Warringah Council understood the importance of open spaces and sympathetic development. She became President of the Warriewood Residents Association and spent hours talking to Councillors and fighting hard for Warriewood to retain its unique character.

She knew that development would occur but also knew we could preserve some of the natural environment, could plant the right trees and that the families who moved here should have footpaths to use and great spaces to enjoy.

A few facts about Mum - her first job was making architectural models for Harry Seidler buildings, she studied design but did not purse it as career and instead become a full-time mother.

In the mid-1980s along with a friend she enrolled in a Horticulture course at TAFE and loved it. By the time she finished the course she knew the botanical name of all the local flora. As a young teenager I remember being very impressed when these strange Latin names would roll off her tongue. She had found her passion.

Following her time at the residents association Lynne became interested in local politics and joined the movement to break up Warringah Council After that success she was elected as a Councillor on the first Pittwater Council. She remained on the Council for 16 years, and had terms as Deputy Mayor and Mayor.

I handed out how to vote cards for her and scrutineered the vote counting a few times. When asked by a voter what she stood for, I would say: - ‘she's actually my mum - she wants Pittwater to be a place that we all want to live in and it stays the most beautiful part of Sydney.

She was elected so I guess that’s what others also wanted.

Those who knew Lynne, would agree that she was an engaging, generous and intelligent woman. She cared deeply about people.

She loved her job as a Councillor and a Mayor and inspired many of the people she worked with.

She loved a joke and a glass of wine, a very long telephone call and just a little gossip. She dedicated herself to helping people and the community. She loved life. She was one of a kind.

She was a loving mother and grandmother who enjoyed pushing her grandkids on swings or seeing them ride bikes or run around the park. She understood that those moments were precious and enriched lives. So, on behalf of mum, her children and grandchildren, I want to say how humbled and honoured we are that this absolutely wonderful park carries her name and I hope it will be a place that creates special moments and memories for all of the lucky people who live here or come to visit.

Thank you very much.

The works cost $1.696 million, excluding GST, with the contract awarded to Regal Innovations Pty Ltd at the end of November 2023. The contractors undertook clearing lantana and planting over 4,000 plants, featuring native melaleucas, tanikas, and pelargonium australe, and included using adopted sustainable processes in the landscaping delivery at Lynne Czinner Park.

Approximately 1700 tonnes of material was scheduled to be imported into the site. The intention was to remove the old soil to make room for the new soil. As part of this process, the material would have been taken to landfill or a recycling venue.

Instead, the project team worked out how to ameliorate (perfect) the soil, by using the heavy machinery and added compost, fertilisers, and lime to change the pH and bring the 1700 tonne of material up to standard.

'This process will improve the overall plant health, growth, and revegetation of the 7.5km of turf and 600m2 of garden beds that make up 'Lynne's Park'.' Council stated during the build process

The only jarring notes are synthetic turf has been installed in the outdoor gym/fitness station area, despite not appearing once in the concept drawings that were made available for the community to comment on, or Plan of Management (PoM) adopted by Council at the March 2022 meeting, and still do not form part of the documents to record this as now being present in this landscape. 

The other ongoing issue is the creek itself is choked with weeds such as lantana, which can readily be seen from the new bridge installed across Fern creek, and which residents have been calling for action to address the problem for years now, and which wasn't a problem under Pittwater Council. 

However what will now be known as 'Lynne's Park', as Lynne née Holden would have liked it known as unofficially, realises a project commenced over a decade ago.

June 1, 1939 - September 11, 2020

Lynne was elected in Pittwater Council's first election on 24 October 1992, and serving consecutive terms until 2008. 

Cr. Czinner said then;

“I am committed to protecting our natural environment and lifestyle, promoting ecologically sustainable development in Pittwater, and to providing walking and bike paths as well as recreational facilities for all ages. I believe we have a very strong environmental team who will achieve great things for Pittwater. I am available and open to listen to any ideas or issues residents may have with Council. We will get back to the “grass roots” of the people to really reflect the desires of our residents – consulting with them, talking with them and finding out what they want. All Councillors will be out and about – they are your conduit to good local decision-making.” 

A Warriewood Residents Association member and advocate for the return of Pittwater Council post the forced amalgamation of May 2016, Lynne's years of service as a Pittwater Councillor will be well remembered.

From Pittwater Online International Women's Day Profile series 2019 - with Lynne;

Why did you stand to represent residents in local council to begin with?

I ran for Council to try to get the best outcome for people of Pittwater, the South Ward and in particular planning of the new suburb of Warriewood, given the land release was announced soon after the creation of the new council. Did I succeed? The people who have moved to Warriewood seem to think so and judging from feedback the people of Pittwater want their local Council back. 

What does local government mean to you?

Local Government is "government" for the local area by local people who have an affinity with and know what is important to their local community. 

Lynne a few years ago - photo: Miranda Korzy

Above; 'Lynne's Park. Photos courtesy Cr. Miranda Korzy.