Parks Week in the City of Perth
Perth is a simply stunning city and as soon as you’ve spent some time here you'll realise it’s full of wonderful open spaces just waiting to be discovered.
Whether you’re exploring the wildflowers in Kings Park or sitting amongst the botanicals in the Queen’s Gardens watching the world go by, you’ll find plenty of parks for just about any recreation or activity.
For City of Perth Parks Operations Coordinator Blake Humble, most working days are spent supporting the maintenance activities across 106 hectares of the City’s parklands and he wouldn’t want it any other way.
“Working within the natural environment, priorities can change hour to hour. I could be working with staff to plan our maintenance programs, reviewing irrigation scheduling and water budgets or responding to a fallen tree. The variety in my role is one of my pleasures,” he said.
“Seeing the extra attention to detail from our Parks team really creates a sense of pride in me.”
When Blake isn’t working there’s certain open spaces he likes to explore, like Heirisson Island (Matagarup).
“You can take in the view to the north and see the Matagarup Bridge and Perth Stadium or the view to the west of the city skyline and Kings Park.”
Culturally significant to Perth’s Whadjuk Nyoongar people, Matagarup Island provides an oasis in the middle of Perth’s CBD where visitors can spot kangaroos and native flora aplenty.
If you look closely, you might be able to see the Saltbush Blue butterfly which calls the saltmarsh home.
On his adventures throughout the City of Perth’s parks, Blake is no stranger to discovery and has come across many secret spots and fast facts along the way.
In celebration of Parks Week 2020, we have decided to share some for readers to discover:
What is the City’s oldest park?
Stirling Gardens were officially opened in 1845 and are the oldest botanical gardens in Perth. The site was set aside for botanical purposes in 1829 and was originally used as an acclimatisation garden for introduced species such as grapes and imported fruits.
Where can you find the oldest tree?
Some of the oldest trees would be the Melaleucas at JH Abrahams Reserve. These trees are believed to be remnant trees that once lined the banks of the Swan River.
Where can you find waterfalls?
There are two - Harold Boas Gardens (West Perth) and John Oldham Reserve (Narrows Interchange). I don’t think too many West Australians know there is a waterfall in the centre of Perth!
What animals or birds are visitors likely to discover?
- Quendas in Victoria Gardens
- Black Swans in Queens Gardens. You might even spot a cygnet or five.
- Rainbow bee-eaters in Point Fraser
- Forrest Red Tailed and Carnaby’s Black Cockatoos in Point Fraser
- Several migratory wetland species which are protected, such as sandpipers, greenshanks, egrets and terns in Point Fraser and Pelican Point, Heirisson Island, and
- Oblong turtles in the Narrows Interchange.
Where can you find the most interesting statue?
An interesting statue to discover is the Peter Pan replica in Queens Gardens.
In 1929, the statue was presented to the children of Western Australia by the members and friends of the Rotary Club of Perth to celebrate the centenary of the state of Western Australia.
The statue is a replica of Sir George Frampton's famous Peter Pan statue, located in London's Kensington Gardens in England and is one of only seven made from the original mould.
How many species of plants can you find in the City’s boundary?
The City’s boundary includes Kings Park which features around one quarter or 3000 species of all Western Australian plants.
What has been some interesting uses of the City’s parks over the years?
- Wellington Square – this park was a swamp system and of great significance for the Whadjuk people who lived there for many thousands of years. Following this, it was used for horse training and cricket.
- Queens Gardens – clay mine for brick manufacturing.
- Mardalup Park – gas works.
- Langley Park – reclaimed from the Swan River during 1921 to 1935, and was used as an airstrip.