Topical Matters

What's happening around the park recently. (regularly updated) (Index of articles)

Working Bee This Saturday (28-01-2023)

We hope to extend the Karkarook Native Garden a few more meters toward Fairchild Street.
The garden so far is looking great with the weeds well under control and our plantings looking really healthy.
It's going to be warm so I'm going to start early (8am).
Feel free to join us.

Here's the To-Do-List

The notice posted at the entrance to Karkarook Park

Funding for upgrades to Karkarook Park

It was announced in 2019 that $600,000 of funding from the State Government 'Active Wellbeing Program' would be applied.

Covid caused delays but works were expected to commence in 2021, but delayed until Spring of 2022, then Autumn, then late 2022.

The latest advice seems to suggest "late 2023"

Our Bird Survey / Observation group will be at Karkarook Park - Sunday 15th January.

Margaret, Ian and Rhiannon will lead the group for their walk through the park conducting the monthly survey and helping the group with their bird identification skills. Always an interesting and enjoyable couple of hours very well spent.
Gather up you binoculars and meet at the Dragonfly at 8:30 am

First working Bee for 2023!

Saturday 14th January will see us back in the park doing what we do - and loving it!
From 9 am to 1 pm (with a tea break at 10:30!) we'll be hard at it. Here's a list of what needs doing. We'll pick the tasks suitable to the people we have, the weather and other factors. You can be sure we'll leave the park just that little bit better that we found it.

Why would you do it?

Happy New Year!

News Years day found me sweeping the leaves from the path by the native garden. I did get some strange looks!

I could get my exercise in a gym and leave the place as I found it, or get my exercise at the park and leave it a little better than I found it - and it's free.
Not for everyone, but if this strikes a cord with you - come and
join us!

New Planting in the Karkarook Native Garden

Saturday 10th December 2022
At our last activity before Christmas we took the opportunity to put some plants in the ground!
A row of Lomandra longifolia (Spiny-Headed Mat-Rush) along the path and Isoleptus nodose (Nobby Club Rush) in the damper depressions.
There's a lot more planting to do in 2023 - please join us!
Our next Group Activity will be Saturday 14th January

Karkarook Lake

2nd December 2022
Karkarook Lake is looking a little healthier, but the slight increase in the water level is due only to recent heavy rains. Water should be half way up the rock embankment at this time of year and fluctuate seasonally (40 cm + or -).
Parks Victoria are working hard to rectify the problems with the bore pump which feeds the lake.

More information here ...

The Karkarook Native Garden is taking shape

26th November 2022
Little by little we're taming the rough scrub which surrounded the nursery compound.
Still some way to go.
Over the coming years this area will become a specimen and seed bank from which to propagate plants, ensuring a healthy diversity of vegetation in the park.
Thanks to all the volunteers who have worked to get us this far.

Purple Swamphen with hatchling

October Bird Survey: Sunday 23rd

Time: 8:30am - 11:30am

Location: Dragonfly/informational centre.

What to bring: Binoculars, warm wet weather gear, hat, sunscreen e.t.c

RSVP if you can make it so we can estimate the numbers!.

Contact details:

Rhiannon: 0432 523 643,

Closed tracks and straightened posts!

Mid-week Crew Making a Difference

Wednesday 5th October
Our mid-week team (Phil, Paul and John) got busy straightening posts and shutting down a couple of informal tracks.
The team decided to gather and do what needs doing each 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 1:30 pm 'til 4:30 pm.
Members and registered volunteers are welcome to join in (If not a registered volunteer, come along anyway and we'll help you get registered).

Whats happening to our lake?

People have noticed that the shoreline of Karkarook Lake has receded substantially. The water level is a good meter below what it should be.

The reason is Parks Victoria's reluctance to draw water from the aquifer.

The aquifer below Moorabbin is good quality and substantial enough to easily maintain Karkarook Lake on a sustainable basis. Why is it not happening.

Click here to see why it is so important to manage the water levels responsibly.

Free Children's Books from the Lions Club

and Friends of Karkarook Park

The Little Library in the Playground in the Park

Thanks to the Dingley Village Men Shed for building and installing our Little Library.

The Little Library is maintained weekly by Friends of Karkarook Park, with books supplied by the Lions Club of Moorabbin and the Lions 123Read2Me children's literacy project.

Feel free to take a book or two for the children to read, or for mum and dad to read to the smaller ones. You can also leave a book if you wish. Each week the books are checked for quality and refreshed with 'gently pre-loved' books from the 123Read2Me charity.

You can also donate quality children's books in the collections bins at Bunnings (Moorabbin) and most Officeworks stores.
- - Volunteer book sorters are urgently required! --

Karkarook's Native Garden is Taking Shape

10 September 2022

Members got stuck into weed suppression (cardboard) and mulch spreading at the Saturday morning working bee.
Thanks to Lucian, Rhiannon, Judi, Renate, Sabine, Blair, Phil, Grant and John.
Still a lot more to do, but what is done is solid progress. When the time comes we have lots of plants propagated from seed and cuttings collected from the park. In addition, with the 'Volunteer Growth Fund' grant, we intend to purchase semi-established plants, native to the area but not currently found in Karkarook. In the future, this will provide a source of seed and cuttings for propagation and furthering the bio-diversity of the park.

Fantastic results from the Community Planting on National Tree Day.

31st July 2022

Thanks to the 45+ community members who got the job done. Lovely to see family groups, uni students and seniors all pitching in.
Particular thanks to Ranger Janelle and Joe (FoKP) who gave instruction and support to many 'first time' planters.
The ground was harder than expected and it was tough going with a chilly wind, but the results will be appreciated by future generations.
Many thanks to Moorabbin Lions for the sausage sizzle - hot and yummy!
Read more on the re-vegetation of this corner of Karkarook Park ....

Great turnout at the working bee (23rd July) and lots achieved, not only on the garden, but also the nursery. Photo shows preparation and stockpiling of plants and materials for the native garden.
Good to see so many new faces - hope to see you again! Read More.... (updates included)


Some people just get things done!

June 2022
The fence at he north-west corner had been in this condition for some time. A FoKP member with some experience (and will remain nameless) decided to do something about it.

The rustic post and rail fence along Warrigal Rd is a lovely feature of Karkarook Park but does need maintenance from time to time.

Great job Phil! (woops)

After !

Why Stay on the Path?

June 2022
The original top soil at Karkarook Park was shallow and mainly sand. When the park was re-constructed from the sand mine that it was, only a thin layer of top soil was placed over the excavated depression which is now forms the slope and shoreline of the lake. Tree roots must stay close to the surface to find nourishment. Just a little disturbance and the fragile soil can easily wash away exposing the roots to damage and destabilizing the trees. Mid-story and ground cover plant don't stand a chance and the entire ecosystem of the park bush-land is adversely affected.

Taking a shortcut through the bush may seem harmless, but over time will destroy this fragile ecosystem that we are trying to build up.

Friends of Karkarook Park, together with Parks Victoria are working on a management plan to deal with this problem.

Bird Survey - Sunday 17th July

Bird surveys are carried out at Karkarook Park every month, usually a low-key affair, but there is a need to expand our knowledge base among our members, and several members have shown interest in participating, so here is advance notice of the next survey.

Thanks to Ian and Margaret Langdon for doing these surveys for many years (and it is hoped for many more!). Thanks also to Rhiannon for encouraging participation in the important and rewarding activity. More Information Here

The details for this Sunday:

Date: Sunday 17th July Time: 8:30 am - 11:30am Location: Dragonfly/informational center.What to bring: Binoculars, warm weather gear, hat, sunscreen e.t.c

RSVP if you can make it so we can estimate the numbers!

Contact details:

Rhiannon: 0432523643,

Ian and Margaret Langdon: 95465253

Ranger Des Lucas Retires

Our good friend and mentor Des Lucas is call it it a day after 44 years of service. Des started with the MMBW in 1979, transferring to Parks Victoria when it was established in 1996. He has been a leading figure in the eastern metropolitan parks ever since.
Des intends to do every bush track connecting Highway 1 to the coast, right around Australia (big trip!)

In his usual friendly manner, Des has offered to do another guided walk at Karkarook before he heads off - so watch this space..

FoKP at Bunnings 'Easter Brunch'

2nd April 2022

President Megan in her Easter bonnet! Bunnings (Moorabbin) customers had the opportunity to learn about what is happening at Karkarook and all about the Friends group and our activities.

Des Lucas (right), pictured with Joe Gullo a volunteer who has also been part of Karkarook Park since 1998

Informative ' Ranger's Park Walk' Saturday 26th March

Head Ranger Des Lucas has overseen the development of Karkarook Park since the Boral handover in 1998 and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the park infrastructure, flora and fauna.
Des will lead this guided walk around Karkarook Park offering commentary and answering questions. Des advises to allow two hours for the 'walk'
This is an opportunity not to be missed as Des will be retiring in a few months.
Anyone interested in Karkarook Park, its development from sandpit to park, and in its future, should not miss this opportunity.

Saturday 26th March 10 AM meet at the dragonfly lookout / BBQ area.
Non-Members please book with the Secretary: 0418 177 777

February’s Bird Survey at Karkarook Park was a Huge Success...

About 40 species in total were spotted. A highlight was witnessing the majestic Swamp Harrier sailing high over the lake. Swamp Harriers are large raptors that journey from Tasmania to spend the cooler months on the mainland.

Click for more....

Many other larger charismatic birds can be found around Karkarook Park. Little Pied Cormorants are commonly seen on buoys and piers stretching out their black wings to dry after diving deep underwater to hunt. The regal White-faced Heron can often be found walking across sandy banks with their long legs. Occasionally Great Egrets can be spotted too, with their awe-inspiring snow-white feathers and neck that is longer than its body!

But Karkarook Park houses beautiful birds both big and small. There are an abundance of small songbirds hiding throughout the park. With a little patience and a keen eye, you might be surprised at what birds you may find. This month we were lucky enough to observe a Golden-headed Cisticola darting amongst the reeds, giving away it’s location with their unique buzzing calls. A common small bird, the Brown Thornbill, has also been seen in increasing numbers amongst the dense shrubs.

I encourage anyone interested in learning more about birdlife to join us in one of our monthly surveys.

While everyone else nattered on after the committee meeting, Joe and Lucien got stuck in and propagated another 50 Leptospermum Continentale (Prickly Tee-Tree)

Committee Meeting & Working Bee

Sat 12th March 2022

A good roll-up of committee, members and friends.
An informative and productive meeting minutes of which are available here
(currently in 'draft')

FoKP Water Health sub-committee

FoKP has now established a sub-committee tasked with managing our water health monitoring team! Early days, but training for our new team is available. Anyone interested in participating please contact the secretary

Support for the Karkarook Park Bird Hide
and Outdoor Classroom

Lions Club of Moorabbin has allocated a further $13,000 to the project, bringing the total allocate by the Lions Club to $15,000. A site meeting with the architect and engineer will take place on Monday (7th March) and some firm plans will be made to move this project forward to completion.

Concept drawing - View more..

Karkarook Lake at a Very Low Level

Low water levels concentrate the nutrients and are a major contributor to algae blooms.
Karkarook Lake is fed from an underground aquifer, pumped from a bore near Henry Street (a source of very good quality water). The cause of the low level was an 'electrical issue' with the pump which was being worked on (as previously reported) . Unfortunately we have learned that the pump needs replacing but there are no funds to do so.

Local Rangers (and FoKP) are terribly frustrated with the chronic under-funding of Parks Victoria and particularly Karkarook Park. There is an election coming. If you get the opportunity, please talk to your representatives, and let them know how we value our parks and funds must be provided so that they can be properly maintained.

Karkarook Lake - as it should be.

FoKP Working Bee - Saturday 26th February

A great role-up for the working bee, including some newbies (welcome Annette, Christian and Inga!). There was another 'push' clearing weeds from the proposed Native Garden area, and a working party went in the park and cleared to blackberry from the NE corner of the lake. A number of people got stuck into the igloo and shade-house getting it in tip-top shape and propagating another 50 plants.

All-in-all a great effort and a very enjoyable morning. Thanks to all.

Good News about Karkarook Lake

Advise from Parks Victoria received today: "A number of subsequent water tests have shown that the high levels of algae at Karkarook Lake have subsided and are not harmful. The lake is now open again and signage has been removed. It is safe to use the lake for recreational activities "

The issues putting the lake at risk are still a concern. FoKP will continue to raise these concerns at every opportunity.

Karkarook Lake Closed Due to Blue-Green Algae Bloom

Thursday 17th February 2022

Karkarook Park Lake is closed to recreational activities due to a Blue Green Algae Bloom effective from tomorrow 18th February 2022 ( the park itself - walks, playground, and passive recreation areas are unaffected).

Unfortunately, there is a chronic under funding of Parks Victoria, and subsequent lack of maintenance of the systems that would prevent this.

Details of the cause of algae blooms, and the systems that are in place at Karkarook (but not operative), can be found in the Karkarook Lake Operations Manual.

UPDATE: (20/02/2022) Parks Victoria have advised that the electrical issue with the bore pump (cause of low water level in lake) is "being worked through at the moment" The "de-stratification issues will not be addressed in the short term"

A Good Mornings Work!

Saturday 12th Feb 2022

We didn't get around to the weeding (save that for a cooler day maybe).

We did have a very productive propagation session with 350 Leptospermum continentale (Prickly Tee Tree) and 150 Acacia suaveolens (Sweet Wattle) pricked out from seed trays kindly donated by the Greenlink Sandbelt Community Nursery.

Not shown in the video is Will and John Scrubbing and disinfecting the tubes prior to use.
We also had a visit from Mr Robbie Beaton, a candidate for the seat of Isaacs in the coming election. We took a walk around Karkarook and Robbie is now well versed in the problems faced by the park.

Our next working bee will be Saturday 26th February.

FoKP Activity Saturday 12th February : 9am-12noon

Site of the proposed Australian Native Garden (pictured) will be the center of our activity on Saturday (12 Feb 2022). The Lomandra longifolia (Spiny-Headed Mat-Rush) planted out many years ago seem to be holding their own, but the Themeda triandra (Kangaroo Grass) has been out-done by invasive grasses. Our plan is to remove these invasive grasses by winter (substantial progress has already been made), then plant out with quality native shrubs and grasses and heavily mulch the area. We have applied for a grant to fund this activity.

There are other tasks to do - the fun one will be to scrub our stock of tubes in preparation for pricking out seedlings. We're full of opportunities here at FoKP - if you want to become an expert on how it's done, here's a 'How-to' link:

We have a couple of seed trays ready for pricking out ( Leptospermum continentale - Prickly Tea Tree) and Acacia suaveolens - Sweet wattle).

So there's plenty to do!

Bring your drinking water - we'll have a bucket of ice to keep it cold.

Weeding the Site of Proposed Native Garden

Activity for the day (22/01/2022) centered around the nursery out-skirts, the site of our proposed 'Showpiece Native Garden'. Pictured are the crew taking a well deserved rest after a mammoth weeding effort and bagging up a blackberry root dug up from the lake shore.

FoKP have applied for a grant to fund the establishment of the Garden ($2,000) It is proposed to purchase quality native mulch and semi established native plants giving the garden a good start. It is planned to have the garden complete by September (this year!).


Progress on Bird Hide Site

Thanks to Soil-Test-Express for the geo-tech testing of the bird-hide site.

No surprises (30cm gravel fill, 70 - 100 cm of clay on top of natural sand).

Mark (Co-Struct) can now compete the builder's plans and we can put together a firm proposal to Parks Victoria (a big step forward from 'concept')

More Info on Bird Hide here.

Dog's off leash - in danger of snake bite.

Two dogs have died from snake bite at Karkarook Park in recent months and several others have required veterinary attention.
Dogs are relatively safe when on leash, but even in the off-leash area, best kept under voice control and out of the long grass.

Traffic Noise from Dingley By-pass

Efforts are underway to establish traffic noise mitigation measures. More detail here

Old Photo Album found in bottom draw

An important record of the 'early days'