Gayle is a retired accountant and a photography enthusiast living on Victoria's beautiful Bass Coast. Gayle is passionate about writing and keen to showcase Aussie culture to a global audience. Gayle loves her family, dogs, sunsets, and chocolate.
Published September 24th 2016
A Community Park For More Than A Century
Buchanan Park has been serving the community for more than a century but is no longer set in idyllic rural surrounds. It is flanked by the Berwick campus of Monash University on the one side and factories on the other but rather than detracting from its charm it is now a welcome oasis. Old and well-established trees provide ample shade area in this well provisioned 2.8 hectare park which caters to the whole family.
Mature oak trees are a feature in this relaxing park (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Two free to use electric BBQs sit in a grassed area with seven picnic table and chair sets. Two of the tables are undercover in a gazebo and another three are shaded by a substantial oak tree. This exemplary BBQ and picnic area was a project of the Rotary Club of Berwick. If you're not inclined to bother with a BBQ or picnic there is a McDonalds across Clyde Road which can be accessed via the safety of traffic lights.
Part of the BBQ and picnic area (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
A $200,000 skate facility close to Clyde Road, in the north east section of the reserve has been designed with elements for both skaters and bike riders and caters for beginners through to experts. Also popular with scooter riders the skate facility has a quarter, a sub box, a stair set with a short run up, a banked hip with a parking block, a number of granite ledges and a rail.
The skate and BMX facility (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Three separate playgrounds in dedicated areas with woodchip bases cater for younger children. Near the picnic ground and gazebo is a set of swings, one of which has the back support and leg holes for babies and toddlers. In a nearby area, a multifunction two platform unit has a slide, a sloped climbing board, a giant abacus, a pretend shop front, a steering wheel and a porthole.
The largest of the three playgrounds (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
A little further away, behind the skate facility, the third playground has a larger multifunction unit. This one has a higher platform with a slide, two ladders and a spiral climbing pole. The covered platform has a steering wheel and a porthole. There is also a short flying fox, a set of monkey bars and a chain balance bridge. Two park benches provide parents with a relaxing viewpoint.
A pond sits between the playgrounds. This elongated pond is home to ducks and when I last visited I spied a family with ten ducklings swimming there; a spring time delight for the children.
A family of ducks on the park's pond (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Further into the park, a path in the shape of Australia meanders through native plantings. State borders are painted on the path and children can have fun circumnavigating the nation. The Australia Path encompasses an open grassed area and sits beside lawns dotted with mature shade trees.
Buchanan Park showing the map of Australia Path (Map courtesy of Google Earth)
At the southern end of the Australia Path is Memorial. The memorial is dedicated to the National Servicemen of the army, navy and air force who served between 1951 and 1972. There are two park benches on the adjoining path; a fitting place for quiet reflection.
The National Servicemen's Memorial (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
At the southern end of the park, bordering the University, is an open grassed area with plenty of space for children to kick a footy or bat a cricket ball. A line of oak trees define the long side of this area and at the front of the park is a small but picturesque wetlands.
A small but picturesque wetlands (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Buchanan Park has a long history. In 1894 it became the first permanent home of the Berwick Agricultural Show, then the Mornington Farmers' Society Show, and remained so until 1963 when the show moved to its current home at Akoonah Park. Buchanan Park is named after James Buchanan who was the founder of the Mornington Farmers' Society and the park was gifted to the community by his great granddaughter Mrs Keith Andrews.
A clean simplicity of white (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
This park is well used by the community having played host to such diverse events as Barks in the Park, a day out for dog owners and their four legged friends; Drum Circle Berwick, a community event for Earth Hour; and A Mini-Field of Women, a pink event to fight breast cancer.
The insects are happy with the native plantings (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Buchanan Park is at 74 Clyde Road on the corner of Enterprise Avenue and Clyde Road, Berwick and next door to the Monash University Berwick campus. There is a carpark off Clyde Road and there is off street parking in Enterprise Avenue. Enquiries can be directed to the City of Casey Customer Service on (03) 9705 5200. The park is free to enter and there are public toilets.