Monday 13 June 2022. It is Queen’s Birthday Monday and we decide to walk to Edgewater Lake. We proceed along Geelong Rd, cross Ballarat Rd, and approach Footscray Park. En route we pass the site of the new Footscray Hospital; no fewer than nine cranes loom over it.
Opposite the entrance to Footscray Park, across Mills Close, is Victoria University’s Hoadley Building, where a strange bas-relief sculpture, a little like Da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ drawing, personifies Physical Education. We enter the park and make our way through the lovely Edwardian botanic gardens.
In early June the trees still carry autumn leaves.
It is a cold, grey day.
The gardens flow down a ridge towards the Maribyrnong River; we follow the path that winds through them.
At the bottom of the ridge, on the river flats, are Footscray Park’s recreation areas, where dog walking, jogging, football and picnicking are popular. Flemington Racecourse lies across the river.
We skirt the western boundary of the park and arrive at Footscray City Rowing Club. Overhead flies a flock of seagulls.
Here we come to the Maribyrnong River Trail, which follows the river for fifteen or so kilometres. We walk north along the trail to Edgewater Lake, about 600 metres away.
Edgewater Lake lies within Burndap Park. Along the lake’s southern and northern boundaries lie wetlands, where several species of water birds are found. Today we see (clockwise from left) Hardheads, Australasian Swamphens and Pacific Black Ducks.
Edgewater Lake and its wetlands were created as part of the large-scale Edgewater urban redevelopment project, built on former Department of Defence land. Smart apartment buildings line the lake’s small marina.
After a while we make our way back along the river trail to Footscray Park. Instead of following the path through the Edwardian gardens back to Geelong Rd, we utilise the stairs that run up the ridge alongside Victoria University. From the top the view is expansive.
We walk back along Geelong Rd, passing American artist Tom Bills’s monumental concrete sculpture ‘With and With Each Other’, and the hospital site.
We arrive home happy.