Why is the park being upgraded?

Gardiner Reserve was identified for an upgrade through the Open Space Strategy (2012), which outlines the development of new and existing open spaces now and into the future.

North Melbourne was also the focus of a 2002 feasibility study, which highlighted the benefits of expanding Gardiner Reserve into Dryburgh Street. A principle of the 2012 Arden-Macaulay Structure Plan was to “increase the provision of public open space to support population growth and ensure it is equitably distributed for the community to enjoy”.

This project seeks to deliver on the community feedback that supported these important strategic documents. To date, a number of open space sites have been expanded in North Melbourne as a result of this past work, which include:

  • Errol Street Park
  • Howard Street Reserve
  • Clayton Reserve

Tree planting and design is guided by, and reflects, the Urban Forest Strategy (2012).

This project is fully funded and is being delivered as part of the City of Melbourne’s 2017-19 Capital Works Programs.

Gardiner Reserve upgrade concept

A draft concept plan was developed in August and released for community consultation in September 2017.

The plan outlines the proposed expansion, including spaces for play, active areas, new trees and planting.

Before and after of the Gardiner Reserve park upgrade.

Read the draft concept plan

Community consultation

In September 2017 we asked locals for feedback on suggested expansion and upgrade plans for Gardiner Reserve. In total, 71 community members provided input in person or online. All of the feedback received helped refine the final park landscape design as well as our understanding of local community priorities.

As part of the consultation we spoke to children and parents about what they love most about the existing playground, and what would make it better.

Read the consultation summary

What will happen to the old park benches?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the old park benches, bins, tables and BBQs when we undertake open space upgrades? In the past, they were likely to be disposed of as hard rubbish and all new furniture purchased. In keeping with City of Melbourne’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure, we’re reducing waste by giving our old furnishings a new lease on life.

We’ll be sanding back and powder-coating metal elements slate grey, replacing all timber elements with new polished natural slats, and cleaning and servicing electrical elements. Our maintenance team is very excited to have the opportunity to revive these high quality amenities for many more years of community enjoyment.

The new colouring of the furniture will look up-to-date and sit sympathetically among the freshly landscaped environment.

Gardiner reserve bench

Revived park bench

Gardiner Reserve