At the last meeting of the Association, member Elizabeth Meredith updated members about recent works undertaken by the City of Whitehorse at the Bluebell Hill Reserve. Elizabeth is currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the reserve and was a foundation member of WERA (West of Elgar Residents’ Association).
In case you haven’t heard of the Bluebell Hill Reserve, it is situated at the southern end of Harding Street and is one of a number of small local parks within the City of Whitehorse. Harding Street is a high point in the metropolitan area and an unusual feature is the lookout with views over the suburbs to the city skyscape. The lookout is perched above a steep embankment and beyond, towards Edyvean Street, is a playground and the Bluebell Hill Tennis Club, located in the south east corner of the reserve.
Both the topography and the reserve’s name have links to the area’s history. A very early resident was one John White who migrated to Victoria in 1848 and became the owner of the land from “west side of Pembroke Street to Everton Grove, and from Canterbury Road to Shepherd Street”. He was a quarryman, and it is believed the current parkland was a part of his quarry.
A later resident was John Barratt who farmed 9 acres, possibly inhabiting John White’s timber farmhouse. It was he who coined the name Bluebell Hill and the 1868 rate records show he established both an orchard and a vineyard. This rather romantic name is still appropriate, as in spring the hardy bluebells still pop up.
For a period, this area was a rather unkempt open space but, thanks to local residents and council, this is now a special corner of 3127. It is largely planted with native species, many chosen to attract nectar-feeding birds. And locals continue to be vitally involved through the Advisory Committee, meeting for working bees and the opportunity to socialise.
To find out more go to https://bluebellhillreserve.com.au/