Depending on how you measure it, 9th May 2013 is the 30th birthday of the Blackburn Creeklands park!
A celebration was held at the Scout Hall on the 17th November 2013 from 2 – 4PM. There were displays, old photographs for viewing, afternoon tea and an optional walk in the park.
During the early 1980s, local residents formed the Blackburn Creek Conservation Group and ran its Up the Creek! campaign for the acquisition of all the land along the creek between Pakenham and Main Streets not required for further works.
Following very successful community action, the then Nunawading Council voted unanimously on 9/5/1983 to acquire land from the Board of Works which enabled Blacks Walk, Kalang Park and Furness Park to be linked along Gardiners Creek. Had the community not acted, the MMBW would have sold off significant parts of our park for housing development!
Here is part of the business paper for the council meeting:
…and here is a local newspaper report of the time recording the happy event:
The Blackburn Creek Conservation Group is the forerunner of today’s Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committee. Several key players involved in the original community action are still actively involved. We, of today’s community, owe them, their former and current colleagues a huge debt for the gift of their time, expertise, passion and effort in preserving, nurturing and enhancing such an enjoyable park. We should also acknowledge the essential contributions and expertise of council staff, management and contractors toward the same ends.
By the way, another nearby community (Forest Hill/Vermont) is going through a similar process now trying to preserve land no longer needed – in this case, by VicRoads. We wish that community as much success as we’ve had in preserving our bushland park. Please click this link for further information. We must act in a timely way before these opportunities vanish forever – the importance of open space for both people and wildlife will only become increasingly important as Melbourne’s population density increases.