Park sparked by tiny glint

Barrie Oldfield and Shire of Kalamunda president Sue Bilich enjoying a collection of his photographs on the new park bench at Willoughby Park. Picture: Julian Wright
Barrie Oldfield and Shire of Kalamunda president Sue Bilich enjoying a collection of his photographs on the new park bench at Willoughby Park. Picture: Julian Wright

What he thought was a purple sweets wrapper glistening in the sun in the neglected 3000sq m block of land turned out to be a wildflower and it prompted Mr Oldfield to fetch his camera and take some photos.

‘The sun was catching it at just the right angle and its colour was intense,’ he said.

‘That one flower aroused my interest.’

Not only did it kick-start his appreciation for the vegetation on the block, but also a project to salvage and protect it and make it a haven for locals.

‘I managed to photograph 87 different wild flowers, all of them native to this little patch of land,’ Mr Oldfield said.

‘Up to then, this land had been neglected; it was regarded a wasteland. People were littering it and dumping rubbish or old bricks and bits of concrete.

‘I collected my photographs and put them in a book and with this collection I was able to get more people interested in saving this little patch.’

With assistance from the Shire of Kalamunda and Lesmurdie and Districts Community Association, amenities were added, the space named and it was unveiled at an official opening last week.

Now called Willoughby Park, the land is between the Lesmurdie Primary School and the Sanderson Road shops. It features footpaths, a gazebo and a resting bench.

Mr Oldfield led attendees at the launch in singing Happy Birthday.