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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Quarry Reserve - Ferntree Gully

An exploration of the Quarry Reserve on January 31, 2017, the site of the former CSR quarry.

Access is via the car park on Quarry Rd.

This story is from the Knox Leader:

"Local residents now have a 15.5-hectare neighbourhood park of unique character with a lake, bushland and large flat areas—a rarity in the foothills of the Dandenongs—suited to family ball games, picnics, walking the dog, a spot of fishing, wildlife and plant observations, taking a seat to enjoy the environment, and trekking through nature trails. 

A meandering, 600-metre accessible pathway down to a lakeside boardwalk and shelter will enable park users to enjoy new vistas of the lake and surrounding cliff faces.

Other improvements included as part of the current works are the construction of a proper carpark at the Quarry Road entrance, sealing an unmade portion of Quarry Road, and the installation of seats in some small terraced areas. The park includes plants grown from seeds harvested from the area to keep it as close to the original native bushland types as possible. A swampy woodland has been established around the lake, attractive to local waterbirds.

Knox Council’s Open Space and Landscape Design Coordinator Marshall Kelaher says works to deliver on the park’s masterplan are now about 75% complete. “Future works will include a walking trail that properly links Quarry Park’s upper trail into the Dandenong Ranges National Park and extension of that same trail all the way around the park,” Mr Kelaher says. “Revegetation work will also continue.” Bayswater resident and past president of the Knox Environment Society, Darren Wallace, has taken a keen interest in Quarry Park since delivering some early revegetation works on behalf of the previous site user, CSR. “It’s a lovely setting for nature conservation,” Mr Wallace says. “The lake gives it unique habitat attributes, and the experiences it provides with waterbirds and water for children in an urban environment are particularly valued locally.” Parks users should note that the lake is very deep (11 metres), has no shallows and is not safe for swimming. The cliff faces remain dangerous from the former quarrying days and must not be climbed."

Sadly, an 18yo Monash student, James Taylor,  was killed in March 2016 after falling 200 metres down the cliff-face. With a mate he was attempting to climb the cliff, and  had reached a point just 10 metres from the top when rocks gave way. Paramedics who arrived quickly at the scene were unable to revive him. (From a report in the Knox Leader, March 31, 2016)

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