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Brimbank Park connecting with local community

Monday 14 July, 2014

A job that would have taken Parks Victoria Rangers Kirraly and Dannica hours to complete was done in less than half an hour thanks to some new volunteer hands at Brimbank Park.  

It was hard rubbish collection week, and someone had decided to use a heap of materials left in a nearby street to build a cubby on an escarpment in the park.

After helping plant around 250 indigenous plants, six enthusiastic Karen volunteers and four park rangers helped dismantle the cubby and take the pile of rubbish back to the curb side for collection.

The Karen, who originate from Burma, were working in the park as part of the Working Beyond the Boundaries program which encourages culturally and linguistically diverse groups to get involved with park management through hands on experience.

“It wasn’t your typical type of park management project,” says Ranger Kirraly Moran, “But it was a good one for a group to do together for a quick and pleasing result.”

Parks Victoria’s Brimbank staff are now looking to provide opportunities in the park for culturally different groups, and working with local councils and support agencies to develop programs that match local needs. There are a number of ideas currently being considered such as a community garden, a local community hub and trainee partnerships operating from Brimbank Park.

“The focus at Brimbank Park is to encourage more use of the park by the local community, especially those who don’t traditionally use parks,” says Ranger in Charge Tim Carver.

“We want to see people visiting the park and enjoying the physical and mental benefits of being outdoors and among nature. It’s a two way process; the local community connecting with the natural environment in our park, and us connecting with and contributing to our diverse local community.”

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Sally Nowlan