George Street Reserve in Sandringham protects one of the last remaining patches of indigenous heathland vegetation in the Bayside area. Although the reserve is small, the sandy walking tracks allow visitors (and their dogs) to enjoy close-up views of the heathland and wildflowers, while fencing off substantial areas for conservation purposes.
When it was first reserved in the 1920s by the then-Sandringham Council, George Street Reserve was largely dominated by Coastal Tea-tree. But after an unplanned fire in 1984, a diversity of heathland plants unexpectedly regenerated and prospered in the reserve. Since then, several more fires (both planned and unplanned) have continued to encourage the growth of heathland species, including locally rare species, and today the reserve is considered to have some of the best heathland in the region.
Parking is available on the streets surrounding the reserve. The walking tracks can be accessed from the south-west corner of the reserve (off Tulip Street) or the north-east corner of the reserve (off George Street). The tracks are flat and well marked with the main track crossing diagonally across through the centre of the reserve, with several other smaller tracks meandering through the bushland. There is also a wide grassy fire break around the west and northern boundaries.
In late winter and spring, the heathland plants put on a lovely display of wildflowers. The first to bloom are the various wattles and the Native Fuchsia (Correa reflexa), the latter with a variety of colours from reds to greens. Many species flower through spring, such as Showy Bossiaea (Bossiaea cinerea), Twiggy Daisy-bush (Olearia ramulosa), Flax-lily (Dianella revoluta) and Small Grass-tree (Xanthorrhoea minor). The northern section of the reserve becomes more woody with eucalypt trees providing a shady overstorey.
The most intact patch of heathland is in the south-east corner of the reserve. The majority of the vegetation is fenced off for protection, but can be easily viewed through and over the fences. There's also plenty of wildflower photo opportunities outside of the fenced areas.