Town brings natural conservation and aesthetics to G.O. Edwards Park

GO Edwards Island - before

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GO Edwards Island - before

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GO Edwards Island - during

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GO Edwards Island - during

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GO Edwards Island - After

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The Town of Victoria Park is home to many beautiful parks, with one of them being the G.O. Edwards Park.

Located at 173 Burswood Road, the G.O. Edwards Park features an ornamental lake with water birds and a large gazebo overlooking the lake - popular for wedding ceremonies and birthdays. The park also acts as a school yard for the local Montessori schools and is used by community groups throughout the day.

In 2018, the park underwent an upgrade as one of the Town’s capital works projects, adding new park benches, improving the barbecues, shelter areas and nature playground while also adding a new toilet block. 

Upon near completion of the upgrade, Jayde Kneebone, the Town’s Parks Maintenance Operator remembered looking out into the island and thinking “wouldn’t it also be nice to provide a more aesthetic background, especially for people who have booked the gazebo to get married?” 

“At the time, the island was overrun with dead Japanese pepper trees which contributed to a weed problem, while also being overpopulated by the ibis bird species,” said Jayde.

“Ecologically, the island’s ibis population not only contributed to an acidic soil condition, making it hard for any flora to grow successfully, but also for other fauna to survive in the island.” 

Jayde and her Natural Area Management colleagues created a plan that concurrently beautifies the park’s island for the community while contributing the Town’s Urban Forest Strategy (UFS) outcomes. 

“One of the UFS’ strategic outcomes is to improve our urban ecosystem by protecting and enhancing biodiversity, green infrastructure and green corridors so that existing trees continue to thrive and provide habitat for local birds and animals” said Jayde.

“G.O. Edwards Park’s restoration aligns with the UFS strategic outcomes because through the project, the Town is returning the island back to being a haven for native flora and fauna.  

The island restoration project has been planned into two stages, over two years - the first was to get rid of the large amount of dead wood, Japanese pepper trees and weeds. This was done last year, and as a result has also moved on the island’s ibis population. 

The second stage, which is currently being implemented, is to replant native plants on the island and add sedges to encourage the turtles and other natural fauna to use the island safely. The variety of native plants for the island have been chosen with expert advice from the City of South Perth nursery, to not just promote our native flora but to also attract more native fauna to the overall park. 

There are over 15 native species of trees and plants chosen for planting at the island. Jayde commented that the G.O. Edwards Park’s island restoration project is due to be completed by October this year with ongoing checks in place.

“There is always loss in planting projects after the project completion, the Town will continue to keep an eye on the new species and help their growth with regular weeding, watering and maintenance,” explained Jayde. 

“It is expected that in the June/July 2021 planting season we conduct a top up planting.”

“Once completed, we’re looking forward to providing our community and visitors a more aesthetically pleasing island - with native flora and fauna - to view and take photos of from the nearby platform at the park.”

Find out more about similar “Greening Vic Park” projects around Town that are contributing to our community-led Urban Forest Strategy.