The first stage of this major project is now largely complete – the plants are thriving, the ponds are full and it is already home to quite a few bird species. Here are the pics taken in February 2017:
We hope Stage 2 – the Western section – will commence in 2017 but is dependent on receiving grants to fund earthmoving.
The Howe Parade Extension was an unfenced services reserve for power, gas, oil and sewage – a strip of no-man’s land running south of the bridge through Port land along the southern boundary of the park from Todd Road to the River.
In 2011 we suggested to the many parties with an interest – Melbourne City Council, Melbourne Water, the Port of Melbourne, City Power and others – that it should be formally incorporated into the Park.
We developed a plan to turn what was a steep sided, rubbish-filled drain surrounded by thick blackberries and other weeds along its length into a series of ponds and wetlands suitably planted with locally indigenous species. We argued that this tucked away area should be opened up with a pedestrian and cycling path along its whole length creating a more direct and logical route from Todd Road to the River and the Punt. It was agreed and welcomed by the many people who regularly cycle through the Park.
Earthmoving work in the eastern half, entirely funded by the Friends, commenced in late 2015. The sides of the drain were splayed and formed into a series of connected ponds and gently undulating mounds. Clay lining was used to retain water and in January 48mm of rain fell and the wetlands became wet!
By early October 2016 the lakes were almost full, mulching complete and plants are establishing well.
Some progress pics:
Once settled, we would like to see a boardwalk, rest area, small bird hide and drinking fountain installed.