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Generations of Campbelltown children had swum from the beach on the Georges River, although it was affected by sandmining. In the 1950s and 1960s, illegal sand-dredging became a covert industry in Macquarie Fields and one of the best known miners was Bob Simmonds. As a result, the area behind the beach had become a wasteland. Campbelltown Council itself had taken gravel, and removed vegetation, from land between Fifth and Sixth avenues, and there was a sandstone quarry further south. Rubbish and cars had been dumped in the bush, where people also followed the dangerously incompatible hobbies of trail-bike riding and bow-hunting. The bike riders inflicted much damage on the terrace above the river.
In the 1970s the council stopped the sand-mining and began planning a new reserve. Eroded areas were stabilised, native vegetation was replanted, and the reserve included a wildlife protection zone as well as bush tracks, boardwalks, barbecue areas and picnic grounds. It was named after Bob 'Simmo' Simmonds.