The Warralily ‘Green Spine’ of Armstrong Creek in Geelong, Victoria, provides a strong framework and corridor for community connectivity to parks, wetlands, environmental areas, schools, community facilities, and retail precincts. The Green Spine has transformed a degraded creek corridor into a thriving ecosystem, significantly improving water quality entering the RAMSAR listed Lake Connewarre.
The challenge was to transform a highly degraded creek corridor into a flourishing natural environment rich in biodiversity, creating social, economic and community connections needed in the development of a successful masterplanned community.
The Green Spine is the heart and spine of Warralily through:
- Retaining and protecting remnant natural vegetation
- Creating a shared path network and road system along and across the creek providing connectivity for the new community
- Providing 1:100 year ARI flood event protection for the residential community and the RAMSAR listed Lake Connewarre
- Providing a range of play and exercise opportunities
- Creating 22 Hectares of new habitat
The Warralily 'Green Spine' successfully creates an integrated approach to water and habitat management, improved biodiversity; an enduring legacy of community recreation and connectivity to social and economic assets.
The reconstructed creek has capacity for 1:100 year flood volumes and a series of wetlands treating stormwater flows.
Remnant native vegetation is protected within the creek corridor integrated with greenways and conservation reserves. Over 1 million indigenous plants have been planted creating 22 hectares of new habitat.
15kms of shared paths and boardwalks connect the community to 3 playgrounds including Mirambeena Park, an all-abilities play space, exercise stations and site-responsive artworks.
- Equitable all abilities access to play and recreation opportunities along the 8 km path network
- Creation of a strong sense of place and community through artworks interpreting natural and cultural history
- Promoting walking and cycling over car use connecting residents to daily destinations
- Number 1 selling residential estate in the Geelong region, consistently a leader in the Victorian market
- Lots are sold at a premium. Creek adjacent lots attract further premiums and increased resale values
- 35 Ha of habitat preserved and created
- Water quality improvements to Lake Connewarre inflows
- 76 species of birds recorded on site
The art strategy for the Green Spine reveals aspects of the natural and cultural values of the site and surrounds in a journey along the creek. A variety of forms and materials are used including Corten steel and timber sculptures, light boxes and blade walls, stone inlays and carved stones, concrete with steel and shell inlays, telling different stories of the land.
Native vegetation is highlighted at the eastern end of the site with leaf, seed spike and seed sculptures, and light boxes with outlines of indigenous plants.
Native bird life is shown in the centre of the site with steel blades inlaid with images of red-rumped parrots.
Wadawurrung culture is highlighted at the western end of the site with stone axes and grinding stone sculptures created from site boulders and mussel sculptures referencing middens retained on site.
Mirambeena Park provides accessible play opportunities to children of all ages and abilities, attracting people from across the Geelong region.
Recognising the opportunity to provide play opportunities for the students of the nearby special needs school, Mirambeena Park allows interaction between children of all abilities across water, music, sand play and swings, a traffic school path network, half court and skate area.