Willoughby Park named

History is made, a park is named

History is made, a park is named

One way to save an acre of wilderness from dying by neglect is to catch on camera the often fleeting, often tiny, wild flowers that live there. Then show the pictures to everyone you know! In the heart of Lesmurdie’s residential area, with a shopping centre car park on one side and a primary school across the road, there was a bit of bush that no one really noticed or cared about. Up to 2014 this sliver of remnant Jarrah forest was suffering the pressures of an uncaring humanity upon it. Grass cuttings and tree prunings were being dropped there. Cars were nosing under the trees for a bit of shade. Barrows and bucketsful of building waste were being dumped in the bush. Weeds encroached from the edges and litter was dropped everywhere thoughtlessly.

Even before the photographic evidence of endemic wildflowers reached 87 different species there was a groundswell of support to preserve this inheritance. The Lesmurdie and Districts Community Association made its preservation a prime objective. The Kalamunda Shire Council, with a long held pride in its natural environment, put it on its agenda to provide bollard fencing, gravel paths, seat and even a Gazebo. The nearby residents formed a Friends group. And on Friday 20 June before a small but auspicious gathering, six children from Lesmurdie Primary School unveiled the sign declaring it to be Willoughby Park, a historic moment for this hitherto anonymous bit of land.

Reflecting on the occasion: if we cannot see the transient beauty, the sacred qualities in a tiny piece of nature how can we ever expect to save the greater forests of the world? Perhaps we should all try to have a tiny sanctuary like this, close to home, where we can enter quietly and breathe the peace of Nature for a while.

Barrie Oldfield

8 Responses to Willoughby Park named

  • Leo Kerr

    Barrie this is one of those beautiful moments in time when the community is inspired to care for a part of it’s home. Your amazing photographs of those incredibly beautiful wild flowers were a reminder to the wonders of life that resonated with all who saw them. The resulting action speaks for itself. Well done.


  • Nellie

    A Cherrie hello Barry,
    I congratulate on your uplifting story on Willoughby Park written with such inspiration. Many thanks to you and many folks involved.It is very refreshing to know there are continuous wonderful achievements shared to make this a beautiful place to live in. I am deeply touched by the beam of light shining through in times of need of preserving God given Nature. After all we are the keepers and protectors building a land of promise. Much love to nature and the folks who share a common dream…

  • Linda Chapman

    Hi barry, Well done and congradualtions! Lets hope other suburbs will replicate this all over Perth.

  • Harry Smith

    Excellent results Barrie and congratulations on a sterling effort.
    I feel your efforts have not only achieved a reserve and a park, but something that the community of Lesmurdie and the community in general can appreciate long into the future.
    Your book of the wildflowers in the park has found a prominent position on our coffee table and has been viewed by many of our friends who have all commented on the book and your wonderful achievement.
    I feel sure now that you have involved the local schoolchildren, this will add essential benefits in helping maintain the park in the future and may with the added help of their Principal even become a part of their studies and curriculum.
    Best wishes to you and Sallie from your old friend Harry Smith.

  • Robin Faulkner

    Congratulations on Willoughby Park. It is wonderful to see community involvement in nurturing the ‘bush’. This proves that the conundrum of progress vs clearing may be resolved in different ways – and provide an outcome acceptable to all. Well done.

  • Penny & Tony

    Thanks Barrie for your foresight and dedication to protect open spaces within our community, best wishes to you and Sallie, Penny and Tony Warnock

  • Cliff Morris

    Hello Barrie
    Thank you for sharing the good news. It is heartening to see the young people involved.I have quoted this article by George Monbiot before in (Guardian, 20th November 2012), part of which reads:
    “Most of those I know who fight for nature are people who spent their childhoods immersed in it. Without a feel for the texture and function of the natural world, without an intensity of engagement almost impossible in the absence of early experience, people will not devote their lives to its protection”. I am sure your devoted involvement with Willoughby Park has been a great influence on young people.

  • Carol Everett

    Congratulations Barrie,I was so pleased to see all your efforts rewarded with the community showing their appreciation. Carol

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