Project Update

Thank you for your feedback.

We have summarised what we heard during the consultation carried out in March 2023, and you can now view the Community Consultation Summary.

This feedback, along with technical design considerations, will inform the final detail design which is expected to be completed mid 2023.

Construction is planned to commence in 2024-2026, subject to funding.

About the project

We have developed a concept plan for improvements at Gilpin Park in Brunswick. The plan includes the construction of a wetland.

We are going to turn the current shallow drainage line in Gilpin Park into a vegetated swale. The swale will look like a dry creek bed with indigenous plants. Stormwater will flow through the swale into the wetland located at the western end.

Scroll down to further explore the project.

Concept plan

The concept plan is informed by what we heard from the community and the Integrated Water Management Strategy 2040. It includes:

  • A swale with indigenous planting
  • A wetland with ponds
  • Footbridges over the swale
  • Dog beach areas for water play
  • Increased habitat for wildlife

Click on the spots below to explore the plan.

The concept design for the Gilpin Park swale and wetland has been informed by consultation undertaken in 2020-2021 for the Brunswick Central Parklands project.

During this consultation we heard that the community would like to see:


Merri-bek City Council is committed to becoming a Water Sensitive City.

Our Integrated Water Management Strategy 2040 (Endorsed 2020) outlines outcomes for achieving healthy waterways and resilient and liveable landscapes.

As part of this strategy and the five-year Action Plan we are exploring opportunities for cooling and greening across the City and treating stormwater where possible.

The concept design for Gilpin Park has been informed by consultation undertaken in 2020-2021 for the Brunswick Central Parklands Masterplan project.

During this consultation we heard from the community that the community would like to see:

  • more trees
  • more shade
  • more nature and diversity
  • improved habitat for wildlife

For more details on what we heard, you can view the Brunswick Central Parklands Consultation Summaries in the Document Library

Swales are linear, depressed channels that collect and transfer stormwater. They can be lined with grasses or more densely planted and landscaped. Swales can carry stormwater and screen and remove gross pollutants, such as litter and coarse sediment.

There are two types of wetlands, natural wetlands and constructed wetlands.

Natural wetlands are ecosystems that are either permanently or seasonally saturated in water, creating habitats for aquatic plants and conditions that promote the development of hydric (wetland) soils.

Constructed wetlands are a series of shallow, densely planted, man-made ponds that help filter water through physical and biological processes. They provide a natural way to treat and remove pollutants from stormwater before it enters our creeks, rivers and oceans.

The Gilpin Park wetland is a constructed wetland and will include a series of shallow ponds of water surrounded by native plants and rocks.

Constructed wetlands can help to clean stormwater, provide homes for wildlife like local native frogs, insects and birds and contribute to urban cooling and the landscape character of the area.

See an example of a Merri-bek Wetland - Edgars Creek Parkland Wetland.

We are going to turn the current shallow drainage line in Gilpin Park into a natural swale.

The swale will flow into a wetland located at the western end.

Stormwater will be redirected from Pearson Street into the wetland. This will help us create a permanent water body that will support a variety of water plants, as well as provide a home for frogs, fish, and bugs.

Stormwater from a 3.3 hectare area to the west of Gilpin Park will be diverted to the swales and wetland system through an underground pipe.

The diverted stormwater will flow through a meandering swale into a shallow vegetated area of the wetland where pollution (from roads and roofs) is removed through physical and biological processes.

After the water is filtered through the wetland system, the treated stormwater will be piped back into the Pearson street drainage system which connects to the Moonee Ponds Creek.

Healthier waterways

Swales and wetlands:

  • provide natural treatment of urban stormwater runoff before it enters the local creek (water quality treatment)
  • slow down stormwater run off, reducing environmental damage and impacts on our creeks and rivers during rain events
  • increase the capacity of the floodplain to hold stormwater runoff during storms. This helps to relieve pressure on the creek and reduce erosion, however will not eliminate flooding during exceptional storm/rain events

Water security

The wetlands can provide enough water for the existing plants in the reserve, reducing the dependency on potable water supply for irrigation to maintain the parklands.

Habitat for native and endangered wildlife

  • Wetlands provide a safe haven for a range of aquatic wildlife and many other animals such as bugs, insects, invertebrates, frogs, waterbirds and reptiles.
  • Wetlands and swales enhance diversity of local flora (plants) to improve local biodiversity

Improved Open Space

  • Improvements to the presentation and character of your local parkland.
  • Wetlands and swales provide natural cooling mechanisms, contributin to reducing urban heat impacts across the city.

Recreational opportunities

  • The swale and wetland system complements the existing recreational uses of Gilpin Reserve with nature discovery, nature play and a Dog Beach.

Public safety is critical in any wetland design and forms part of the overall investigation and design phases of the project. The design is in accordance with Melbourne Water’s Wetland Design Guidelines which incorporate Victorian safety requirements such as:

  • All deep pool zones within the wetland will be heavily planted with a fringing buffer of plants to limit access
  • The banks of these areas also incorporate ‘safety benching’ wide terraced banks that gradually step down from the top of the wetland to the floor.
  • Where open water is close to the shared path, permanent fencing will be installed.
  • The complete perimeter of the wetland is covered with mass planting that will discourage entry; provide wildlife protection and still allow visual enjoyment.

The curves, shallows and deep pools in the wetland are specially designed to allow water to gradually move through the system, without creating stagnant areas for water to sit. This is important to ensure mosquito larvae cannot breed. Also, by calming the speed of water through the system, this will encourage natural mosquito predators, such as frogs.

Maintenance of the system will be included as part of the package. Our officers will be on site to ensure the wetland is working as designed, the plants are establishing well, weeds are removed, and wildlife and water is in balance.

Yes. Dogs will still be welcome at Gilpin Park. A small section of the wetland habitat will be fenced with a low wire post fence to prevent dogs from entering the habitat area. At the main pool, we will create dog beach area, where dogs can interact with water.