Koonung Creek Reserve
|Koonung Creek Reserve|
Grassed informal open space in the reserve looking west
|Operated by||City of Boroondara|
|Paths||Mix of formal and informal pathways|
|Connecting transport||Bus routes 207, 284, 285, 309, 907, 908|
|Facilities||Playground, barbeques, toilets, Dog off-lead|
The area has been green open space since before European settlement, being situated in a valley near the Yarra River. It was not formally declared as parkland as late as 1966, and its exact date of proclamation is unknown.
It remained relatively unaffected by suburban development in its immediate vicinity until the construction of the second stage of the Eastern Freeway in 1982. To provide some compensation for the significant loss of green space by the construction of the freeway, the Country Roads Board and the affected municipalities of Camberwell and Doncaster & Templestowe planted over 12,000 trees, primarily on the North Balwyn side of the freeway. The works also included undergrounding Koonung Creek for 2.4 km to allow for construction of the freeway. These works formed the basis for the use of the area as parkland.
The construction of the freeway through the area also sparked the commencement of a long-standing issue between local residents and the state government on traffic noise. Residents and the local council have lobbied the state government for many years to improve noise attenuation measures, particularly on the stretch of the road in Koonung Creek Reserve. The lack of any artificial noise barriers, relying instead on small dirt mounds and vegetation, has resulted in noise levels well above the 63 decibel limit for new freeways.
More recently, the reserve and surrounding parklands were involved in the East West Link project. Proposed works for the project included widening the Eastern Freeway by one lane in each direction up to Tram Road. The City of Boroondara strongly objected to any potential for parkland to be used in the widening of the road reserve in numerous submissions in 2013 and 2014.
The Koonung Creek Trail runs through the park from east to west along a fully paved 3m wide path. Separate gravel paths have been provided for pedestrians along certain stretches. A playground and public toilet is located near the corner of Wilburton Parade and Arama Street.
Large open sections of the park are dog off-lead areas, while council local laws and a fence prohibit dogs close to the playground. A number of informal ovals are also located throughout the park.
The main sealed pathway runs through the reserve from west to east as part of the Koonung Creek Trail and provides easy pedestrian and bicycle access to the entire park. Many frequent freeway bus services stop on the Eastern Freeway on ramp on the eastern end of the reserve. A small carpark is also accessible off Doncaster Road near the bus stop. The 285 bus provides the only direct access by public transport to the centre of the park. Unrestricted street parking is available along the entire length of the park adjacent to residential areas.
- "Boroondara Open Space Strategy – Balwyn North" (PDF). City of Boroondara. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Melway Edition 1 – page 32". Melway. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Report of the Country Roads Board for the Year Ended 30 June 1982" (PDF). Parliament of Victoria. Country Roads Board. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Freeway strategy to 'worsen noise'". The Age. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Noise drives protest". Progress Leader. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "East West Link submission" (PDF). City of Boroondara. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Playground Finder – Koonung Creek Reserve". Playground Finder. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
- "Koonung Creek Reserve Public Toilet". National Public Toilet Map. Australian Government. Retrieved 2 January 2015.
- "Koonung Creek Reserve / Carron St, Balwyn North 3104". Public Transport Victoria. Retrieved 2 January 2015.