This walk begins from behind the shops on the corner of Riversdale Road and Verdun Street. It follows the path to the playground and then the circuit on the north side of the little bridge. Turn right when you cross the low bridge.
South Surrey Park runs along both sides of Back Creek from where the creek crosses Union Rd near Rose Ave to where it crosses Riversdale Rd just west of Through Road. The key stakeholders of the park are City of Boroondara, Melbourne Water and Friends of South Surrey Park. Over the past 20 years these organisations have revegetated and maintained this biodiversity corridor. Improving the park through planting indigenous species, weeding, removing litter and upgrading the creek channel has turned this area into an urban bushland enjoyed by people of all ages.
Sites of Interest
1. Heading North from Behind the Riversdale Road Shops.
2. Big Bridge
In earlier times, removal of all native vegetation was favoured as Surrey Hills became settled. This image shows celebrations for the opening of the big bridge.
- Can you see the poplars that were planted to celebrate the opening of this bridge? Four were planted. How many are still standing today?
- What other differences can you identify from the 1930s to today?
3. Playground: Canopy Trees
This Angophora has been listed as a significant tree with the City of Boroondara.
The most common eucalypts in the park are yellow box. This species of Eucalyptus is excellent for honey production.
4. Little Bridge: Middle Story Plants
Can you locate any other wattles in the park?
Little Bridge: Grasses and Herbs
If you notice young grasses that look like they have been planted in circles they are most probably Microlaenas that have germinated from seed collected in the park.
These rushes prefer moist soils.
Little Bridge: Weeds
5. Square Table
Look at the sign near the square table. Have you seen any of these plants in the park today?
- What can you see?
- What can you hear?
- Have you ever had quince jelly/jam? It used to be very popular.
6. Union Road and Gabion Wall
In Back Creek there are big rocks to improve the water flow. Melbourne Water changed the creek bed by adding these rocks to decrease the erosion along the bank and also to allow the creek to tumble, increasing the amount of oxygen in the water, so a broader range of organisms might live in the creek. However, the creek water is still regarded as having poor quality. Not many organisms live in it here but blood worms (yes, they look red when magnified) are very common as they can live in poor quality water.
- Where has this water come from?
- Would you like to drink it? Why/why not?
- What could be done to improve the water quality in this pond?
7. Anderson Street Back to Little Bridge
There are three years of recent plantings along here. Can you spot where each planting occurred?
Herbaceous Plants in the Anderson St Planting
Lots of Weeping Willows and No Formal Path.