Culture and heritage
Before European settlement the whole Yarra Valley area was part of the Wurundjeri tribe territory. In 1847 the area which is now Westerfolds Park was purchased from the Crown.
In the early 1930s the Turner Family bought the land and built the ‘Manor’ in 1936. By the 1950s the growing population had pushed most of the large-scale farmers and orchardists out of the surrounding area, but residential and industrial development did not occur mainly because of the threat of flooding. In the 1970s plans to create a residential estate were strongly opposed by the community and the state government purchased the land in 1973; to meet the growing need for public open space.
The park was officially opened in November 1984.
In 1841 a punt service was established across the river at Banksia Park forming a key crossing point for the area that encouraged the clearing and development of the surrounding land. The first bridge was built in 1960.
The name ‘Birrarrung’ is derived from an Aboriginal name for the Yarra River; ‘Bay-rayrung’ meaning ‘river of mists’. Stone chips, flakes and an axe head found in the park are remnants of large gatherings of the local Aboriginal people, the Wurundjeri. Because of the constant threat of flooding, residential and industrial development did not occur at this location.
The Yarra Flats areas was a popular site for Aboriginal gatherings of the Wurundjeri people up until the 1950’s. From the 1830s the land was claimed by the state and sold as prime agricultural land. The fertile soils provided excellent conditions for growing wheat and barley.
17 Feb 2014
The discovery of healthy populations of two bio control agents released up to 15 years ago has boosted the prospects for biological control of English Broom. Dr Robin Adair, an expert in the biological control of weeds, was commissioned by Parks Victoria last year to assess the establishment and impacts…
12 Mar 2014
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…
15 Mar 2014 9:00am - 16 Mar 2014 5:00pm
The Back to Steiglitz community art group will have an exhibition in St Paul's church, Steiglitz. There will be 4 artists displaying their works in a variety of mediums and styles. Historic buildings will be open to the public. The Back to Steiglitz group will provide food and drinks for…
16 Mar 2014 2:00pm-4:00pm
To celebrate Cultural Diversity Week Mornington Peninsula Shire and Parks Victoria invites you to a screening of Alias Ruby Blade - A story of love and revolution The acclaimed documentary film follows Kirsty Sword Gusmao who aspired to be a filmmaker and instead became a revolutionary. Whilst working for the…
23 Mar 2014 9:00am-3:00pm
Help create koala habitat and learn about koalas. Enjoy a day helping Koalas in the wild. Search for koalas, monitor their behaviour, remove weeds from their habitat and take records of all other wildlife seen, all in the company of a highly experienced Koala Researcher. Part of the day is…
Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fir...Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fire north of Buchan.View post | Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09.42
The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long w...The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long weekend to provide visitors with a walking experience in the Northern Grampians. Many areas in the park are now open after the fire in January. Full details here http://ow.ly/ukBMTView post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17.11
Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos...Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.Friends Parks Week photosThanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.View post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13.45
Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See...Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See Me. He is from the Karen people of Burma and lived for 15 years in a refugee camp before coming to Australia. See Me is being sponsored by Matchworks and will be working with us for the next 11 months while he completes a Certificate Three in Horticulture. We’re celebrating the many park connections with Victoria’s rich multicultural community during Parks Week. http://ow.ly/ui2jQView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16.14
Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last week...Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last weekend resulted in 4 cubic metres of rubbish being removed from the bush in and around Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers for their efforts on the day. http://ow.ly/uhMnvView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11.43