Sep 21

A Park is what we need…

This just in from the fabulous Friends of Canadian Corridor. Sunday September 21st

People from across Ballarat and district met in the Canadian Forest in Mount Clear on Saturday morning to participate in the Friends of Canadian Corridor launch of the proposal for a Canadian Multi Use Forest Park on 619 hectares of forest and ex plantation land.

“We want a Canadian Forest Park”, was the unanimous call of one hundred and twenty-five attendees. Special guests included the Mr Geoff Howard MP, and state election candidates Mr Tony Goodfellow and Ms. Sonia Smith.

FoCC Welcome to country - Uncle Bryon and Linda Zibell

FoCC Welcome to country – Uncle Bryon and Linda Zibell. Image by Jeff Rootes

Mr Bob Hartmann, Co Convenor of the Friends said, “It is time for the Canadian Forest to be cared for. We call upon all political candidates in the forthcoming state election to provide statements of commitment from their leaders and to include the Canadian Multi Use Forest Park in their party’s platform.”

Last Friday Daniel Andrews, Victorian ALP leader, and local member Mr. Geoff Howard, publicly announced their enthusiasm for the Forest Park project with a $2 million promise for establishing the “Canadian State Park” upon election. The Greens candidate Mr Tony Goodfellow and Nationals candidate Ms Sonia Smith also congratulated the Friends on their initiative in seeking to protect a Ballarat gem – a valuable green forest corridor to enhance habitat for birds and koalas and also provide opportunities for recreation and tourism.

Bob addressing the crowd

Bob Hartmann addresses the crowd. Image by Jeff Rootes

The large crowd were treated to a Welcome to Country and smoking ceremony by Uncle Bryon Powell, Wadawurrung. It was a beautiful ceremony that strengthened a sense of community for all. Uncle Bryon emphasized the forest’s meaning and the need to look after it for generations to come.

To commemorate the launch young people planted four indigenous trees as a symbol of returning the denuded ex plantation land to the forest. Many people stayed on for a wildflower walk with local field naturalists, followed by refreshments at Earth Ed Centre, Mt Clear.

The Friends of the Canadian Corridor formed in November 2012 to represent residents and community groups interested in establishing a Forest Park. The friends are now made up of approximately 40 community organisations such as walking groups, mountain bikers, field naturalists, environment groups, landcare groups, schools, service clubs, orienteers, running groups, and many individual members.

The friends particapating in the smoking ceremony in the forest

The friends participating in the smoking ceremony in the forest. Image by Jeff Rootes

The friends have have consulted widely with the City of Ballarat, government departments and community groups interested in the forest so that future generations can enjoy a Canadian Multi-Use Forest Park. The vision includes plans for walking and cycling tracks, picnic area, mountain bike trails as well as protecting koala habitat and Ballarat’s eastern scenic skyline.

FoCC Contact

Jeff Rootes

Sign up at top right for regular updates about Ballarat East, or click here:



  1. Frank Golding says:

    Great work! Although I now live in Melbourne, I always loved the Canadian Forest when I lived in Ballarat. It’s a magic place.

  2. Diane says:

    Thank you to Uncle Bryon, the smoking ceremony was impressive! Well done to the main drivers of FoCC, Bob Hartmann, Linda Zibell and Jeff Rootes, such vision!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search Box

About BE Net

Ballarat East Network (BE Net) has been developed by residents to support the community of Ballarat East shape and protect the East by supporting sustainable, good design that reflects our Neighbourhood Character.

Subscribing to our blog (see below).

Contributing your issues by email to infoATballarateastDOTnet

Sharing what happens in your part of BE, like those yellow sign.

Join the growing list of interested residents and supporters who want to protect the personality of Ballarat East, by reading the posts, commenting and taking your own action.

Sign up for BE Net enews

For news and information about supporting good design and protecting neighbourhood character for our area.
* = required field

Contribute to BE Net

BE Net is as good as the information we share. There are no rights and wrongs. We just love to hear from you!

BE Net is about sharing information about happenings in Ballarat East, to support a vision for our past, our personality, with a goal to inform our sustainable and charming future.

Please subscribe above (all welcome), and contribute by email to infoATballarateastDOTnet

Please include your name and email address so that we can talk to you before we post your information.