The Blackburn Creeklands consist of three continuous bushland reserves along Gardiners Creek in central Blackburn. Blacks Walk, Kalang Park and Furness Park form afeaturing a delightful mixture of both bushland and open space areas. The creeklands helps preserve the local environment whilst providing opportunities for a variety of recreational and educational activities. The three parks cover a total area of approx 21 hectares, extending 1.4km from Middleborough Rd in the west to Blackburn Rd in the east.
The western end of Blackburn Creeklands features walking tracks through areas of remnant bushland, meandering creek and an open grassy area. It’s a great place to stroll and listen to birds or just relax. A fantastic view over the treetops is afforded by a short walk to the top of the grassy hill in the west of the park. The bushland in this park features many majestic with nesting hollows that provide homes for the commonly seen parrots.
Blacks Walk was named after Malcolm C Black, City Engineer of the former City of Nunawading, 1947-1968. Blacks Walk was acquired by the City of Nunawading (now part of the City of Whitehorse) in 1967.
Of the three parks within the Blackburn Creeklands, Kalang Park is the largest. Stretching almost 1km from Pakenham to Main Streets, with an area of approximately 9 hectares, this park holds an abundance of features to explore. Accessed through a large network of gravel tracks and narrow pathways along both sides of the creek, the northern section of Kalang Park is largely indigenous bushland. Glimpses are possible of tawny frogmouths in the crook of any of the large mature eucalypts and galahs and kookaburras can be heard in the trees above. In the billabong are frogs and in spring, this is a great place to sit and watch the wood ducks swimming with their ducklings. South of the creek there are opportunities for passive and active recreation. These are open grassed areas for sport and activities such as kite flying, as well as revegetated pockets to explore. After rainfall, the ephemeral depressions that skirt the southern pathway hold water and create a unique and interesting environment.
The block on which the sports oval is located was acquired in 1966 by the City of Nunawading to form Kalang Reserve. In addition to the oval, Kalang Park also includes former MMBW land acquired after the successful “Up the Creek!” campaign (1981-1983) which links and integrates the three parks.
East of Main Street, this park forms part of the Whitehorse Heritage Trail and features a great playground and walking tracks. Perceived as ‘healthy place to live’ in 1910, Blackburn was home to ‘Open Air School’ that was situated overlooking Furness Park. Children from poorer backgrounds took the train to Blackburn Station to attend the school receiving a healthier food and a chance to bask in the sun to increase their Vitamin D intake. The school closed in 1963. An interpretive panel offering historic anecdotes is located on the western boundary of the park.
The City of Nunawading purchased Furness Park in 1941 so as to preserve land for indigenous plants and wildflowers.