The Water Race opened in 1905, providing the first water supply for the town of Lilydale, its formation and artifacts are included in the Shire’s Heritage Overlay (HO255)).
Friends of Water Race and Quinn Reserve (FWRQR) formed in 1998 to
– restore the alignment of the Water Race as a walking trail, incorporating existing roads, with linkages to the Mt Evelyn Aqueduct Walk, Warburton Trail, Lillydale Lake and Silvan Reservoir.
– enhance the environmental characteristics of the Water Race and Quinn Reserve and
– preserve and publicise the historic aspects of the Water Race.
The walk is 5.7km long and runs from near the Commercial Rd and Birmingham Rd intersection to the Hazel St and Monbulk Rd intersection.
One of our first achievements was working with the students and teachers of Birmingham Primary School to effect indigenous plantings and participate in a project to clean out and plant seedlings on the Puddle Dam floor. This was made possible by a grant in 1999 of $965 from Least Waste plus technical assistance from Yarra Ranges Council (YRC).
A Community Grant from Parks Victoria of $3813 in 2001 contributed to revegetation of a part of Quinn Reserve to help filter grey water runoff into Quinn Creek. Quinn Creek runs down the centre of this riparian reserve.
A Community Development Grant from YRC of $1300 in 2007 enabled the publication of a Water Race Trail map and brochure. The brochure gives details of the trail which is a combination of footpaths, unsealed and sealed township roads beside or close to the Water Race alignment.
Over the years of 2013 – 2016 we have received grants totaling $31,770 under Melbourne Water’s River Health Incentives Program to weed and revegetate with indigenous plantings at the Horseshoe Falls Area of Quinn Reserve. This riparian reserve is known for its platypus population and the home of at least one regular nesting pair of Powerful Owls.
Again, we have received another grant of $7220 for 2017 from Melbourne Water under their River Health Incentives Program to further extend our progress in eliminating weeds and replacing the area with dense indigenous plantings.
These current works programs have been compiled in cooperation with the Council and EcoRepair, for the Water Race Trail and Quinn Reserve. This is a 3-way team effort to rehabilitate stream frontage areas of Quinn Reserve by removing dense areas of noxious weeds and replacing them with dense plantings of native sedges, shrubs and eucalypts.
A small amount of each annual Grant is allocated to a Weed Trade Day where local residents are invited to bring their garden weeds to a venue on an allocated day to exchange their weeds for indigenous garden plants. A skip for the weeds is provided. Residents are encouraged to stay for a BBQ and drinks and discuss their weed issues. Each event is also used to encourage residents to participate in the group’s pre-weeding program and the subsequent planting days.
This year, 2017, our Weed Trade Day is being held on Sunday 7th May 2017 from 10.00am to 2.00pm at corner of Quinn Crescent/ Marcus St/Falkingham Road, Mt Evelyn.
In addition, we are further developing our own Facebook page to publicise progress and to give notice of weeding and planting work parties.
Friends of Water Race and Quinn Reserve