What's next?

The grassed area of the park will be re-opened on 21st May 2023, to allow for 3 months turf establishment from installation.

The grass surface will be more resilient than the previous surface however it will not be open all the time as the wear and tear on grass in a small local park does not allow the grass to continue to thrive.

To find off leash dog parks, go to: 2020-copp_dog-off-leash-map_parks-and-reserves_1120.pdf (portphillip.vic.gov.au)

For project updates visit the Eastern Reserve upgrade project webpage.

Community Consultation

The Process

From 6 Nov until 16 Nov 2022, we asked the community for feedback on possible changes to Eastern Reserve. During this time, we held an online survey and had staff on site doing intercept surveys.

Who we heard from

  • 112 responses were received
  • Responses were received from 84 unique IP addresses, indicating that some households responded more than once (11 responses came from 1 IP address)
  • 55% of respondents attend the park more than once a week
  • 65% of respondents attend the park with a dog

What we heard

  • Neither option received a significantly high level of support from respondents.
  • People who didn’t bring a dog to the park were very unsupportive of either option for surface covering (87% Option 1 and 74% for Option 2)
  • People who brought a dog to the park were more supportive of Option 2 – combination granitic and turf.
  • People who brought a dog to the park were supportive of a combination of natural and manufactured dog play elements.

Click here to view the full engagement report.


Changes to Eastern North Reserve

Council has committed $140K to upgrading Eastern Reserve North Dog Park.

The current surface is in poor condition, and it has been difficult to establish grass in this park because of heavy use by dogs and a shade-covered surface. We’re asking for feedback on trialling a different surface, adding vegetation and dog ‘play’ elements into the park.

We’re asking you to consider which of two options you would prefer:

Option 1:

Granitic Sand surface covering.

Option 2:

Granitic Sand & a section of grass. Based on current usage it is likely the grass area will only be able to be accessed for 6-8 weeks at a time before fenced off to re-establish.

We are running a quick consultation period to try to upgrade the park before the end of the year.

Find out more...

Eastern Reserve is a popular dog park and the current grass surface is in very poor condition. A number of maintenance options have been trialled to improve the surface but they have not been successful.

Shade and high usage present a continued issue when trying to maintain the grass surface in the reserve. Wet winters and grass only growing in spring/summer have made this an ongoing issue and the ground has deteriorated significantly.

On 19 October Council responded to a community petition regarding the condition of the reserve and resolved to consult on ‘upgrading the surface of Eastern Reserve Dog Park to Granitic Sand, additional vegetation and ‘play’ element for dogs’.

$140K have been approved to make these upgrades.

Eastern Reserve has a lot of shade covered from large trees. Grass will only grow in Spring/Summer and at this time the filtered sunlight is not enough to successfully grow grass. The trees shading out sunlight, poor onsite drainage and high usage has resulted in limited grass coverage and poor surface conditions.

To improve the surface of the park our maintenance team trialled rotational fencing-off of sections of the park, to allow grass to recover and introduction of artificial turf installation in portions of the reserve.

These have shown to only temporarily improve the surface, particularly through periods of wet weather, and recent ground audits have recommended alternative surfaces as the solution.

Granitic Sand is a crushed granite, it is highly compactable and a suitable alternative to turf/grass. Granitic sand is a hardy solution that works well in shaded areas, drains well and is easy to maintain. Examples of other parks with granitic sand can be seen in the photo library of this page.

There are ongoing concerns from some residents on the impact of the park on amenity and the suitability of Eastern Reserve’s ongoing use as a dog park.

A review of Off Leash Dog Parks and Restrictions is currently underway and are due to be considered for adoption at the end of 2023.

The review includes development of Port Phillip Dog Off Leash Strategic Guidelines which will outline Council position on the provision, distribution, design and management of dog facilities in public open spaces. This work would consider the future of all our dog off leash areas and parks.

We know from previous experience that it is hard to grow grass at this park with heavy dog use and lots of shade. For grass to regenerate from heavy use, the area will need to be fenced off every 6-8 weeks for approximately 6 weeks, perhaps even more in the winter months. This may lead to this section of the park not being accessible for up to 6 months of the year.

The park is currently a dog off leash area and needs to be maintained to an appropriate standard, therefore work needs to be undertaken to improve the surface.

Any items that are placed in the park through this renewal, will be able to be moved and reused if the function of the park changes.

As per the Council resolution on 19 October the fence is not being upgraded as part of this project.

The upgrade to the park will include new vegetation and equipment, both will be chosen with noise in mind and with an aim to not increase noise from the park. The equipment will be identified through the design process and may include items such as ramps or natural elements such as rocks.

We are running a short and targeted consultation process to give us the best opportunity to employ contractors and get the park renewed before the end of the year.

The ground will be closed for 2 weeks for construction. Areas finished with granitic sand will be reopened immediately after construction, any grass areas will need to be closed for 6-8weeks for the turf to establish. Turf is also scarce at the moment due to flooding up north so turf may take longer to source than usual.