Girrahween Park

From Canterbury Commons
Jump to: navigation, search

History of Girrahween Park

This park is one of the few surviving areas of bushland so close to the city. The park contains a variety of types of vegetation, from eucalypt woodland to rainforest remnant to mangrove. The park and adjoining bush is an important remnant of the forest which once covered the region, and provides a link between the northern and southern distribution of these species. Wolli Creek marks the border of the park and is the largest tributary of Cooks River, forming part of the Cooks River catchment. This is the main area of bushland in the river system retaining natural vegetation. The park was dedicated in two sections, in 1935 and 1957. As well as bushwalks, it also offers grassed areas with picnic and playground facilities.

Some areas of the bush in Girrahween Park have been degraded by introduced species (weeds), which have invaded the bush since houses were built nearby. Since 1984 Canterbury City Council has funded the National Trust to conduct a bush regeneration program control these weeds and so to preserve the bush. By preserving the bush, the conservation of native animals and birds is encouraged.

The local Aboriginal people were of the Daruk tribe, probably of the Bediagul clan. Girrahween Park, with its diverse range of flora and fauna, including sea food, must have provided an important food source for the local people, and the overhanging rocks would have provided shelter. Girrahween is an Aboriginal word meaning place of flowers.

The cliffs in the park are formed of Hawkesbury sandstone. A local quarrying industry developed nearby, and the sandstone in this region was used for building. Many local houses are built of sandstone quarried from along the Wolli Creek Valley.

Girrahween Park has been incorporated into a new park in the Wolli Creek valley known as Wolli Creek Regional Park, which has been formed from land acquired by the State government.

References

National Trust of Australia (NSW) for Canterbury City Council Bush management program annual report 1999-2000 National Trust of Australia, 2000.

Morgan, George The story of stone in the Wolli Creek Valley research and writing by George Morgan, geological content written by P.J. Conaghan; editorial assistance Judy Finlason, Debra Little & Peter Stevens. Sydney: Wolli Creek Preservation Society, 1994.