Werribee River Park, on the west side of the river estuary, was launched by the Victorian State Government on Wed 4 Oct 2006 as a new Parks Victoria regional park. The Minister at the time said works would include a trail along the Werribee River, an entrance road, a car park, a pedestrian bridge to connect to the Werribee Mansion precinct, and visitor facilities.
We began exploring the park not long after, and on Monday 9th January 2011 we were invited to help guide a walking group of twenty plus people from the Victorian National Parks Association, who wanted to see some aspects of Werribee Park Mansion grounds, and have a look at the new Werribee Regional Park. They weren’t disappointed with their visit, and a number planned to come back again. Highlights included the heritage orchid, wallabies, Red-rumped parrots and great views on a beautiful day along the escarpments of the newly created Regional Park.
WRivA officially became the Friends Of Werribee River Park (FOWRP) in July 2012. As the FOWRP WRivA has to work within the Park’s strategic plan and management policies, as well as following Parks Victoria’s volunteer charter:
- Work as part of the Parks Victoria team and demonstrate professional behavior towards Parks Victoria staff, other volunteers and the public;
- Collaborate with Parks Victoria in activity planning and implementation, paying due respect to Parks Victoria’s management objectives and capacity and responsibilities;
- Follow specific instructions, requirements and guidelines and take reasonable care of themselves and others;
- Take opportunities to improve individual and group skills and capabilities for participating in park management;
- Recognize and not exceed individual physical and skill limits;
- Provide feedback and constructive comment aimed at improving Parks Victoria’s management of volunteer activities.
In 2013, over 30 hectares of Werribee River Park was planted out by direct seeding and seedlings during mid-August. Many kilograms of mixed seed, seed mix and seeding machine at work, and over 18,000 seedlings were planted. With preparation and direct seeding work by Greening Australia, and seedlings planted by Habitat Land Management, the project sites have mostly been successful. FOWRP welcomed the initiative as one which will support and enhance the social and environmental aspects of the park, and will give precious habitat for many species.
By 2015, WRivA had begun to conduct regular planting activities in locations close to the river in the park. Starting with NatureWest, others who have worked with us include Riverwalk Estate, Gen-U, Mambourin Enterprises and many volunteers.
The park has limited facilities and is relatively unknown to the general public. The park needs a modern safe and accessible connection to Wyndham’s River Path and the Federation Trail at Concorde Cres Werribee. Prohibiting factors present currently include a litter strewn, gravel spread and untidy area leading onto the sewer aqueduct, which provides the way for foot traffic across the river, and an un-safe pathway under the Maltby Bypass to and from the park.
It is the aim of FOWRP that the park be renamed to avoid confusion as to where the park is located. One suggestion is ‘Cocoroc Park’, after the Waddawurung word and name for the district.