This was a joint excursion with Maroondah Group, led by Bruce Schroder. The following are excerpts from his notes.
The Laurimar housing estate was originally conceived with the logo “City living, country feel” or some similar marketing pitch! At the time in 1995, the owner of what was at the time, arable grazing land, struggled to convince the City of Whittlesea to allow the land to be developed for housing, as it was very much isolated from any other areas of urban development. Today, it is just part of the urban sprawl, albeit at the very northern limits. By working with the original developer and subsequent developers of abutting farm land, Council was able to achieve an excellent outcome in terms of distribution, quantity, quality and presentation of public open space and the preservation of ancient remnant river redgums throughout the housing estate.
The man-made wetlands form a connecting spine for these interlinked areas of open space and are now a haven for wildlife, birds in particular. A family of black swans with 5 fluffy grey balls of cygnets (sic) was sighted 2 weeks ago! By retaining so many of the old redgums (some estimated at more than 400 years old) in proximity to the newly created wetlands, regeneration of these trees has been given a kick start while the trees have provided immediate habitat in the form of nesting hollows and roosts. Less than 20% of the trees on site were removed for residential development and all of these were placed back in the wetlands (stumps, hollow logs, etc) to supplement the habitat values.
This park has an area of 9.2 hectares. Its facilities include walking and bike path, car parking, exercise equipment, shelters, lakes, barbecues, boardwalks and picnic facilities. (Whittlesea Council description).