Ruffey Lake Park is the jewel in Manningham’s crown – a spectacular park nestled in a valley and surrounded by five distinct hilltops. Manningham City Council’s engagement process provided clear community feedback about the many strengths of the existing park design. Urban Initiatives, building on excellent previous documents, sought to enhance this popular park for future generations to enjoy.
The park contained a range of early European settlement features, including old orchard plantings and bullock cart tracks, and is bordered by an original homestead built from stone quarried within the park. There was, however, little emphasis on First Nations use prior to European settlement, and the Masterplan sought to address this and to improve future interpretation and programming.
Although the eponymous lake is man-made, it is located within the natural creek line of Ruffey Creek and collects water via a number of treated and untreated drainage lines. Council, in collaboration with Melbourne Water, seeks to maintain and enhance the existing remnant vegetation areas and make drainage to improve the creek and lake health.
Advocating for healthy neighbourhoods and universal access, the Masterplan proposes the existing path network be upgraded to sealed paths, and that key missing path connections, bridges and boardwalks be constructed. The Hill Tops circuit path is lit to improve park accessibility and safety. By contrast, despite the Ruffey Lake Circuit being located centrally within the park, and a very popular walking route, the Masterplan advocates for dark skies wherever possible to minimise impacts on the native fauna.
City of Manningham