The layout of Edwards Park has adapted to a range of activities over time. The radial paths meeting in the centre create a setting that lends itself well to Port’s current preoccupation with exercise, health and fitness. A playground for children has been a part of Edwards Park from the beginning.
Edwards Park was once part of the tapering Sandridge Lagoon. The Lagoon was a profound shaper of Port’s history, leaving its trace in the street layout of the Esplanades East and West.
A landscape plan for Edwards Park prepared for the City of Port Phillip in 2001 describes the history of Edwards Park in so far as it can be gleaned from Council records. Unlike neighbouring St Vincents Gardens and the St Kilda Botanic Gardens, there is no single designer of Edwards Park.
The land, having been reclaimed from the Lagoon was not suitable for housing. Establishing jurisdiction over the land in the first instance took many years of protracted argument with authorities. Pressure for a children’s playground came early from the Guild of Play reflecting the need for such opportunities for children in Port at that time.
The Canary Island palm trees appear to have been planted some time between 1923 and 1931 – though the exact number and date is not established.
|image courtesy of Fred Nicholson|
Edwards Park is named after Henry Norval Edwards who was Mayor of Port Melbourne in 1884 to 1885. He was first elected to the Council in 1883 and retired in 1907. At the time of his Council service, the lagoon was ‘a murky stream’.
Sources and further information
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