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From wasteland to wildlife haven

Home to echidnas, flying foxes, native fish, 70 species of birds, and even the occasional kangaroo, the Darebin Parklands are one of Melbourne’s best urban bushland reserves. But the parklands weren’t always like this. When the DPA was founded in 1973, the Alphington side of the park, a former 40 metre deep quarry hole, was a municipal tip. The Ivanhoe side was a neglected and weed infested horse paddock.


The early members of the DPA had the vision to imagine that the parklands could be the magnificent community asset that they have become today.


Almost all of the vegetation that you see today in the parklands has been painstakingly planted by hand by members of the DPA, working with the park’s paid rangers and the community. Find out more about the history of the parklands (including before and after photos of some of your favourite places) in the Wasteland to Wildlife Haven PowerPoint presentation.


The DPA’s goals are to continue protect and improve the bushland character of the parklands, maintaining it as a wildlife haven and a place to appreciate nature. Our long-term goal is to reinstate native animal habitat so that more animals, including the platypus, return to live in and around the Darebin Creek.


The DPA runs many community events including park care days. We also have a Junior Ranger Club, for children under 16, that allows them to have fun and make a contribution to the parklands.