Historic site in North Melbourne gets “beautified”

Historic site in North Melbourne gets “beautified”
Kaylah Joelle Baker

An historic fire station in North Melbourne is in the process of becoming a green oasis after receiving $14,000 as part of the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Fund Grant Program.

Built in 1894, the Curzon St fire station is now a residential building with 12 apartments overlooking a communal garden space in much need of rejuvenation.

Phase one of the project has already been completed after the building’s owners’ corporation (OC) received $5000 as part of an earlier round of the program – the Habitat Grants 2020 program – and plans are now in place for phase two to begin.

“Building on the success of the first phase of the project, we’re expanding green cover to create a lush oasis for residents – enhancing the biodiversity and canopy cover of the area, while maintaining respect for its rich heritage,” the council’s environment portfolio lead Cr Rohan Leppert said.

While phase one focused predominantly on the upper third of the garden, phase two will build on this with a targeted focus on the lower two thirds of the garden.

The overall project, once completed, will result in 59 square metres of new green cover, grassed areas, new garden beds, with a minimum of 60 per cent of plants being local Indigenous species.

Some 35 square metres of concrete will be replaced with a permeable surface, with the aim of reducing both rain run-off and heat retention.

While the project is part of an effort to create a greener, more sustainable city, the council is hopeful that this project in particular will help improve the mental health and overall wellbeing of the community when people can gather outside together.

“It’s great to see this historic site continue to be beautified in the heart of North Melbourne, thanks to further funding from our Urban Forest Fund,” Lord Mayor Sally Capp said.

 

We know that Melburnians want to see more green space in their neighbourhoods, and we look forward to transforming this space into a communal garden for residents to connect and enjoy.

 

The Urban Forest Fund Program, which has been around since 2017, has invested more than $1.7 million into 19 projects valued at more than $10 million, with the program supported by tree removal fees.

Included within the latest $500,000 funding towards the program will be four additional projects, valued at more than $3.8 million.

Other projects already announced in this round of funding are the greening of tram stops around the city, a new native communal garden for an apartment block in Agnes St, Jolimont, and a green wall for the Hero Apartment Building on Little Collins St.

The greening of the historic North Melbourne Fire Station is set to be completed by June 2023, and due to the historic nature of the building, there will also be potential for the public to explore the site in the future.

The station can be found at 100-110 Curzon St, North Melbourne. •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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