Darebin Parklands Discovery Trail

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					                                                   Darebin Parklands
                                                    Discovery Trail
  Use these notes in conjunction with the Darebin Parklands brochure map.
1.▲ DCMC Environment Centre                production of the 1906 Ned Kelly
The DCMC environment centre                film – Australia’s first motion         8. ● Mulberry Avenue 1860
houses historical and aerial photo         picture. Both buildings were            The Mulberry Avenue trees are
displays, information sheets, a wide       demolished in 1956.                     Black Mulberries (Morus nigra).
variety of brochures, natural                                                      They were planted around 1860 by
exhibits and a water-testing               5. ▲ Spiritual Healing Trail            Chinese market gardeners working
laboratory. The offices                    The Spiritual Healing Trail is a gift   for John Sharp Adams. Olive trees
accommodate the Darebin                    from the Aboriginal and Torres          and an olive grove on the nearby
Parklands Rangers, Darebin Creek           Strait Islander community as a          slopes were also planted around
Co-ordinator and assistant plus a          gesture of reconciliation. The trail    the same time.
Waterwatch officer.                        was conceived by the Darebin            Mulberry Avenue was a part of the
                                           Aboriginal Reconciliation Working       old Cobb & Co wagon track and
2. ▲ Darebin Creek Shared Trail            Party with the approval of the          leads onto the floodplain where the
The original shared trail running          Wurundjeri, the traditional             track then leads to the creek
along the western edge of the Park         custodians of this land.                crossing near the Sidney Clifton
was constructed in 1991, with the                                                  Bridge. More Mulberry trees are
section going through the Park             6. ■ Basalt Tessellated Pavement        centrally located on the floodplain.
being built in 2004. Incomplete in         This Tertiary basalt outcrop was
sections, the trail will eventually join   formed around 800,000 years ago         9. ■ Donaldson Creek
the Main Yarra Trail.                      due to lava flows from several          Confluence
                                           volcanoes near Beveridge 40             The Donaldson Creek begins west
3.● Old Steam Shovel                       kilometres north of Melbourne. The      of the corner of Banksia Street and
Counterweight                              lava flows moved along existing         Waterdale Road Bellfield, and for
These huge pieces of red gum               streambeds and filled old stream        more than 40 years has been piped
were found in 1983 when the old tip        valleys, creating new paths for the     underground down to Della Torre
site was being remodeled and the           Darebin Creek. Weathering and           Crescent Ivanhoe, where it returns
original steam shovel operator             erosion over the years has exposed      to its natural form. Donaldson
visited the park. He showed the            this basalt tessellation.               Creek is the southern most tributary
ranger where the steam shovel was                                                  along the Darebin Creek
buried (just south of the duck             7.▲ Snake Grass Wildflower              catchment, and now serves as
pond). Unfortunately, rust had             Area                                    stormwater infrastructure servicing
ruined most of the old machine but         The Snake Grass wildflower area         Ivanhoe and Bellfield.
the counterweight survived and             was typical urban wasteland,
was moved to its current location in       covered by Artichoke Thistle, Briar     10. ■ Silurian Outcrop 1& 2
1985.                                      Rose, Blackberry and worst of all       There are several significant
                                           Chilean Needle Grass. The area          outcrops of sedimentary rock
4.● Ivy Cottage Homestead site             was so thick with weeds that when       throughout park. This rock is of the
1870                                       Darebin Parkland rangers originally     Silurian period. In ancient seas,
‘Ivy Cottage’ was the dwelling of          burned the site, they were              430 million years ago, fine mud and
then highly-regarded member of             surprised by the number of basalt       sand sediments were laid down
the community John Sharp Adams             rocks scattered throughout the          horizontally and slowly developed
and his wife Maria Barton. John            area. These rocks inspired the          into rock. Eventually pressures
Adams operated the Alphington              DCMC to reclaim the site, and in        under the earth pushed these rocks
General store, owned large parcels         1997, with funding from Darebin         to the surface resulting in the
of land in the area, and was a long        City Council and Parks Victoria,        dramatically different landform on
-serving member of the Heidelberg          over 25,000 grasses and                 the Ivanhoe side, as compared to
Shire Council. Adams lived at the          wildflowers were planted. The           the volcanic Alphington side. The
cottage while his large farmhouse          fenced area is a direct seeding         darker layers are made up of iron
‘Rockleigh’ was being built near the       exercise using varieties of native      oxide, with the layers being like tree
corner of Separation St and Yarana         grasses. This ongoing project is a      rings in allowing geologists to age
Rd. To the east of the cottage             favourite with the rangers.             the rock. Silurian rock produces
stood a coach house and stables.           *The first stop of the Spiritual        excellent caves, with several small
These stables were used in the             Healing Trail is in this area.          examples in the large escarpment
further down stream. The                 Sidney Clifton Bridge. The weirs        *The second stop of the Spiritual
Wurundjeri people occasionally           were constructed around 1860 and        Healing Trail.
used these caves for shelter when        were used to irrigate the market
passing through this area.               gardens, citrus groves and apple        17. ■ Silurian Crossover
                                         orchards on the floodplain.             outcrops
11. ■ Billabong Formation                                                        These Silurian sandstone outcrops
The formation of a billabong usually     14. ● 1933 Workers Cricket Pitch        are unique on the Alphington side
takes thousands of years but, as a       Still existing are the remnants of an   of the creek, as most of the western
result of the urban expansion and        old cricket pitch constructed by the    side of the Darebin Creek is strictly
ever increasing stormwater flows         quarry workers in 1930s during the      volcanic basalt.
and flash floods, this section of the    depression. The area at that time       The creek at Darebin Parklands is
Darebin Creek is changing by the         had no trees, except for willows        known as a ‘lateral stream’
year. Water always tries to find the     along the edge of the creek.            because its flows between two
fastest path to its final destination.                                           different types of geology, meaning
In this case floodwaters flow too        15. ● Ellis Stones Gum Tree Walk        that the creek usually signifies the
rapidly to go around the 90º bend,       In 1973–74 pioneer Australian           change in geology.
and instead have eroded a path           landscape architect Ellis Stones
straight across the floodplain. As       became actively involved in             18. ● Cobb & Co Wagon Track
the floodwaters race through this        Darebin Parklands and supervised        The Cobb & Co wagon track was
section, tonnes of rock and              the first community planting with       established in the mid 1800s and
sediment deposited on the original       volunteers from the Rockbeare           planted with pine trees by the
creek bed eventually closing off the     Conservation Group (now the             Heidelberg Roads Trust in 1853 to
bend, further increasing flow over       Darebin Parklands Association).         help wagon drivers locate the creek
the floodplain and thus establishing     Ellis Stones designed the original      crossing. Pine trees were selected
a new path for flowing water. At the     Rockbeare Grove entrance, which         because they are a fast-growing tall
downstream end, deposited                unfortunately the only surviving tree   tree, and with their darker foliage
sediments close off the old creek        remaining is a Rose She-oak. This       can be easily identified from a
path and isolate it as the new creek     selection of Eucalyptus trees is        distance. The Cobb & Co track
path flows freely. This isolated area    known as the Ellis Stones Gum           crosses the creek and then goes up
now becomes a billabong, also            Tree Walk as a tribute to his           through Mulberry Avenue. These
known as an oxbow lake.                  contribution and support in             pine trees are on the Heidelberg
                                         assisting the Rockbeare                 Significant Tree Register. The two
12. ● Market Garden Site 1860            Conservation Group in establishing      varieties are Pinus radiate, the
Remnants of the market garden            the Darebin Parklands. Roosting         Monterey Pine, and Pinus
and orchards remain, with the            Tawny Frogmouths are regulars to        canariensis, the Canary Island
central mulberry trees, quince,          these trees and a keen eye can          Pine.
plum and Almond trees scattered          observe the birds on branches
along the lower floodplain near the      close to the trunks.                    19. ● Old Rangers Hut 1980
creek. The orchard also contained                                                This original Ranger hut was built
Apple, Pear, Loquat, and Orange          16. ● Sidney Clifton Bridge 1978        by Rockbeare Park Conservation
Trees. Maize, Tomato, and Peas           In 1978 a group of volunteers from      Group volunteers and opened by
were grown on the floodplain and         the Rockbeare Park Conservation         the Premier of Victoria Sir Rupert
transported to market in Melbourne       Group helped construct the              Hamer on 16th November 1980. It is
by horse and cart. Heidelberg Shire      footbridge across the Darebin           now the Darebin Parklands nursery
records show that the market             Creek. Ivanhoe resident and             and planting depot.
gardeners successfully obtained a        founding Rockbeare Conservation
special licence for the use of ‘night    Group member, Sidney Clifton was        20. ▲ Ivanhoe Wetland 1992
soil’ (human waste) as a fertiliser      a lecturer in mechanical                In 1973 the original wetland was
on the floodplain. Cider and olive oil   engineering at Melbourne                bulldozed by the Melbourne
were produced by John Adams,             University, and with the help of        Metropolitan Board of Works
who won a prize for his oil. Most of     other volunteers, he built the          outraging residents who then
the orchards were cut down for           wooden formwork for the bridge in       formed the Rockbeare conservation
firewood during the Depression of        his lounge room. The formwork was       group to stop the destruction. The
the 1930s. A vineyard was also on        then carried down to the creek site     wetland was designed in 1982 with
this site, until the Phylloxera          and concrete poured late afternoon.     money donated by Australian
disease destroyed the vines in           Volunteers finally finished the         Paper Mills and was moat shaped
1890.                                    bridge by the light of kerosene         with a small island. Various works
                                         lamps. Future Deputy Prime              undertaken to improve its habitat
13. ● Historical Weirs 1860              Minister Brian Howe and Local           value over the next five years had
Remnants of two bluestone weirs          MLA Bruce Skeggs formally               with limited success. In 1992
can be found in Darebin Parklands.       opened the Clifton Bridge 5th           Melbourne Water funded the
The first is just downstream of the      August 1979. The Clifton Bridge is      Darebin Parklands Management
Palm tree and the second, which          one of only a few bridges in Victoria   Committee to completely renovate
still diverts water during floods, is    licenced to be submerged.               the wetland and re-design it for
50 metres downstream of the                                                      environmental education
excursions and for wildlife habitat.                                                water to be pumped out of the Duck
The adjacent creek ford was               25.▲ Mt Puffalo viewing hill 1998         Pond area into the Darebin Creek.
constructed to enable trucks to           A play on words, Mt Puffalo (Mt           This natural amphitheatre area,
remove the excavated material up          Buffalo) was constructed in 1998          with an earth stage and power
onto the tip site area. The wetland       from 90,000 cubic metres of               supply, now serves as the
is now habitat for Southern Pygmy         material excavated from the               Parklands’ main activity and festival
Perch, Long Neck Tortoise,                Domain tunnel under the Yarra             centre.
Southern Water Dragon, Tiger              River. It offers 360° views of the
Snakes, and Peron’s Tree Frog,            CBD, Mt Dandenong Ranges,
Southern Brown Tree Frog, Spotted         Kinglake Ranges, Kew and Surrey           Please contact the Darebin
March Frog and a variety of               Hills.                                    Creek Management Committee
waterfowl.                                *The final stop of the Spiritual          if you would like any further
*The third stop of the Spiritual          Healing Trail is here.                    information on the Darebin
Healing
                                                                                    Parklands or any of the features
                                          26.▲ Tip Water Treatment
21. ▲ Crossing Stones 1984                System                                    described in these notes.
Power for the North East sewage           The ever-improving treatment
pipeline distribution station was         system collects water (leachate)          Ph: (03) 9499 3486
installed in 1984 under this part of      from beneath the tip site to prevent
the creek. The Crossing Stones            it entering the Darebin Creek, and        e-mail: info@dcmc.org.au
were constructed by the Melbourne         then aerates it and strips heavy
Metropolitan Board of Works during        metals and excess nutrients from          or visit our website at:
these works.                              the water through a system of bio-
*The fourth stop of the Spiritual         filters. This water is then pumped
Healing                                   through a bio-swale, and then into        www.dcmc.org.au
                                          three wetlands before either being
22. ● Firemen’s Memorial 1968             retreated or used to irrigate the
Two Metropolitan Fire Brigade             northern end of the Park. The
firemen were fatally burnt fighting a     Parklands treats an average of 2
fire that started in the Alphington tip   mega-litres (2,000,000L) a year.
on 1st March 1968. The firemen
were fighting the escaped tip site        27. ● Old Tip Site
fire on the lower floodplain when a       This area was used as a diary farm
wind change forced them to head           from the 1850’s to the 1900’s, then
back toward Rockbeare Grove.              from 1912 to 1965 the site was
Within sight of the truck, both men       quarried for bluestone (another
were trapped in an old wire fence         name for basalt) which was
and a large patch of prickly Gorse,       extracted and crushed to make
which ignited and critically burnt        blue metal aggregate for local road
both men.                                 construction. The quarry hole
                                          extended to Wingrove Street to the
23. ▲ Pobblebonk Pond                     south, and north to the picnic area,
Pobblebonk Pond was funded by             where the current amphitheatre
Banyule Council and constructed in        indicates the excavation edge.
early 2007. It has been designed to       From 1965 to 1975 this site was
filter litter from Ivanhoe stormwater     leased to Northcote City Council
flows as well as serving as frog          and used a domestic rubbish tip.
habitat. It is hoped that the             Now that this large hole is filled with
Pobblebonk Frog, also known as            waste, water from the underground
the Banjo Frog, will colonise this        water table seeps into the site and
wetland along with other significant      mixes with the waste. This
frog species.                             wastewater is what needs to be
                                          treated before it reaches the creek.
24. ● Hurstbridge Rail Bridge
1933                                      28. ● Old Quarry Wall
The original single rail line to          This basalt rock outcrop is a
Heidelberg was construct in the late      remnant of the northern end of the
1800s, but as the population grew         bluestone quarry . This area was
so did the need to update the single      mined in the late 1940’s and early
rail track into a two-line track. The     1950’s. The lake is known as the
bridge was constructed in 1933,           Duck Pond and is filled via an
although it wasn’t until the late         underground spring created
1950s that the second line was            through quarry works in the 1950’s.
installed.                                Quarry workers opened up the
                                          southern end to allow seeping

				
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