The Mikawomma Reserve is found in the suburb of Woodville Gardens on the corner of Liberty Grove & Ridley Grove in South Australia, Australia. Mikawomma is the Kaurna name for the plain that lies between Adelaide and Port Adelaide. On (at) Mika plain, lived many old men (Teichelmann & Schurmann, 1840: 16 Grammar section). The Kaurna people are the traditional custodians of the Adelaide Plains area. The landscape design and the artworks in Mikawomma Reserve reflect indigenous plants and animals as well as culture and history.
Mikawomma is a public reserve and an innovative stormwater management system. The reserve has a gently sloping basin and in times of heavy rain it will temporarily hold stormwater from the local area. The water will be released slowly back in the underground pipe system preventing streets and footpaths from flooding.
The landscape design for Mikawomma is based on plants native to Adelaide area. There is a dry creek bed that meanders through the reserve. The plants along the creek and the basin of the reserve are the same species that occur along creeks in the Adelaide plains. Similarly, the plants are higher up around the perimeter of the reserve are native to the Adelaide foothills. The Kaurna people used some of the plants in Mikawomma Reserve as a source of food or useful materials.
There are many works of art around the reserve area. Ideas for the artworks were developed in consultation with community members and specifically the Kaurna community. Local people and school children painted the tiles that cover the gum leaf shaped seats. The tiles have images of the things that you would find on the forest floor. The feature of the reserve is the sculpture World of Knowledge - Tip of the Iceberg. This work represents Kaurna people as educators. Some of the artworks are hidden and need to be discovered, like the animals carved into boulders, and stepping stones with Kaurna numbers. Images of the carved animals are on the bridge. The bridge railing is styled on a fishing net that resembles a Kaurna fishing net woven from bulrush fibres.
The artists who have worked on the reserve are Silvio Apponyi, Geoff and Adam Barnes, Mark Blackman, Tony Colangelo and Dianne Longley. Adrian Potter and Bridgette Minuzzo were principal artists for Mikawomma Reserve.
The Westwood Urban Renewal Project is a joint project by Urban Pacific Limited and the South Australian Housing Trust in conjunction with the City of Port Adelaide Enfield. The Mikawomma Reserve was funded by the Government of South Australia through Arts SA.
The project was designed by landscape architect Warwick Keates of Hassell in collaboration with Adrian Potter and Bridgette Minuzzo with the support of the local community.
The board walk was constructed through the Construction Industry, Training Board with school participation. Many people participated in the development of Mikawomma Reserve including the Kaurna community, Community Consultative Team, Ridley Grove Primary School, Ferryden Park Primary School, the Parks Community Centre and local residents.
The Mikawomma Reserve has won four awards (in 2004) in the following categories: