Sutherland Park is named after the Hon. John Sutherland (1816-1889), Secretary for Public Works at the time of the building of the railway. Born in Scotland, he paid his passage to NSW in 1838 and worked as a builder, grazier, businessman and politician. He was Mayor of the Municipal Council of Sydney in 1861, and Member of NSW Parliament 1860-1889.
The land was part of a grant to Isaac Nichols in 1810, and became part of the North Shore Railway Estate in the late 1880s when it was subdivided for housing. Council acquired the land in three stages (1979, 1983 and 1989) to develop as a park.
Landscape improvement work was carried out in 2009 following community consultation. New understorey plants have been selected for their durability, flowering capacity or foliage colour in order to create a visually appealing setting whilst maintaining visual access into the park.
Some of the new plants used include:
- Heliotrope "Lord Roberts" (Heliotropium arborescens)
- White Nun Camellia (Camellia japonica "White Nun")
- Narrow-leaved Palm Lily (Cordyiline stricta congesta)
- Austromyrtus “Blushing Beauty” (Austromyrtus tenuifolia “Blushing Beauty”)
- Philodendron “Xanadu”
An exercise station has also been installed, consisting of a grouping of exercise facilities constructed using recycled material. The facility provides equipment and safe use instructions for warm up, stretch, muscle development, cardivascular fitness and cool down.