Our policy

Creating Better Parks Policy and Plan

The aim of the policy and plan is to ensure that open space areas:

  • are attractive
  • cater for a range of users / activities
  • are sustainable.

The purpose of the policy and plan is to:

  • guide how we manage or improve existing parks and reserves
  • ensure all parks provide the right level of recreation opportunity and visual amenity
  • ensure all parklands are developed so that they can be managed by Council in an effective manner.

Read the Creating Better Parks Policy and Plan.

Park gradings

Flagship Parks provide:

  • a diverse range of recreational opportunities
  • an attractive, highly maintained landscape setting
  • a key destinations for families, events and key meeting places for the community.

People visit from a wide area, most of who will drive or cycle to it. Visitors will stay for several hours at the park and will use it mostly on weekends.

These parks will build upon our natural or landscape features. And most are on walking and bicycle trails along waterways.

We decide Flagship Park locations by:

  • having an existing high quality landscape amenity
  • potential to develop a high quality amenity because of its location near a landscape feature
  • having enough size to accommodate a diverse range of facilities
  • being located on a principal trail network or main road.

Facilities include:

  • a large developed playground catering for a wide range of ages and abilities
  • a range of facilities including car parking and public toilets
  • picnic shelters and barbeques
  • an attractive parkland setting
  • irrigated garden beds, lawn areas and extensive tree planting
  • pathway networks
  • potential to provide café opportunities.

Approximate service radius: 3 kilometres

Approximate size: Varies

The HV McKay Memorial Gardens are listed with Heritage Victoria and are historically significant.

The HV McKay Memorial Gardens:

  • are to be kept to reflect their historical significance
  • will be maintained according to the adopted management plan.

Facilities include:

  • well maintained and manicure garden and lawn areas
  • path network
  • irrigation
  • seating
  • interpretive signage
  • drinking fountain.

Approximate service radius: Municipal wide

Approximate size: 0.57h

Photographs of HV McKay Memorial Gardens from 1942 and 2013

Suburban Parks are well developed parks within walking distance from every household. Generally there is 1 within every suburb.

Residents who live within a 20 minute walk use the parks. Most visitors will spend up to an hour in the park. Although some may stay several hours using picnic facilities.

We decide Suburban Park locations by:

  • even distribution so that most residents are within approximately 1 kilometre of these parks.
  • ability to accommodate the proposed infrastructure such as playgrounds and picnic area.

Facilities include:

  • a good quality playground
  • facilities for teenage play
  • picnic facilities, shelters and barbeques in most
  • lots of tree plantings, irrigated garden beds and a high quality grass area.

Approximate service radius: 1 kilometre

Approximate size: 0.6 – 1.0 hectares

Photos providing visual indicators of what a suburban park includes - Duke Street Reserve, Sunshine North - Thea Court Reserve, Keilor Park - Verona Drive Reserve, Keilor Lodge and Ardeer Community Park, Ardeer

Neighbourhood Parks provide a basic local playground and areas for relaxation and play.

Residents who live within a 5-10 minute walking distance use these parks. Visitors spend less than 1 hour at the park, but may use it on a daily basis.

We decide Neighbourhood Park locations by:

  • even distribution so that residents are within 500 metres of these parks.

Facilities include:

  • a basic playground shaded by large canopy trees
  • pathways
  • kick about spaces
  • tree plantings.

Approximate service radius: 500 metres

Approximate size: 0.6 – 1.0 hectares

Photos providing visual indicators of what a suburban park includes - Bonfield Reserve, Keilor - Cromwell Road Reserve, St Albans - Lady Nelson Reserve, Keilor Downs - Empress Court Reserve, Sunshine West

Reserves contribute to the visual amenity of surrounding residential areas. They are:

  • linkages
  • easements
  • parks which provide areas for relaxation and “kick about”.

Reserves include:

  • grass
  • some pathways
  • seating
  • significant tree planting, in line with our Urban Forest Strategy.

Waterways are environments where the you can experience natural landscape qualities and habitats. They include:

  • Maribyrnong River
  • Taylors Creek
  • Kororoit Creek.

Residents use parks along creeks and waterways for relaxation, walking and cycling.

Our Biodiversity Strategy guides:

  • landscape management
  • improvements along waterways, including protected grasslands.

Accessible pathways from the surrounding streets:

  • connect communities
  • provide links between most Flagship Parks
  • link to features in surrounding Municipalities.

Interpretative signage along the waterways celebrate:

  • Indigenous histories
  • Post Colonial histories
  • the natural features of the waterways.

Wayfinding signage provide distances to key destinations connected to the path network.

Design principals

Well developed parks are important to the physical and mental health of residents. They:

  • provide opportunities for social interaction
  • create a strong sense of community.

A balanced range of parks, playgrounds and trails is needed to meet the diversity of community needs.

To create:

  • integrated
  • accessible open space network
  • well connected communities
  • opportunities for sustainable and healthy living

We need safe, accessible and convenient cycling and walking connections between:

  • parks
  • activity centres
  • neighbourhoods and regional destinations.

Open space plays an important role in the protection and enhancement of:

  • environmental values
  • cultural values
  • heritage values.

arks, playgrounds and trails will create a distinctive sense of place and contribute to more liveable neighbourhoods. Cultural stories need to form part of the place making outcomes.

Open space will be connected as part of a municipal network and will also link into the regional system.

We will promote information and the value of:

  • parks
  • playgrounds and trails
  • appropriate activities.

Public safety is an important consideration in the development, management and maintenance of parks, playgrounds and trails.

We will seek partnerships for development, management and maintenance of parks, playgrounds and trails. This is so we avoid duplication and make best use of resources.

Open space will be developed and managed in response to:

  • contemporary environmental values and conditions
  • community aspirations
  • economic considerations

And they must remain viable long term.

There will be an fair provision of park and playground access and quality across the municipality.

A diverse range of park setting types and playgrounds will create an interesting and locally relevant park network.

Changes to local open space networks and improvements to individual parks will be guided by local communities.

Good community access to quality parks, which can be managed in a sustainable manner, provides the basis for an effective park network.