Meet Hazel @ Neil McDougall Park, Como
Updated: Jun 12, 2020
We discovered wonderful Neil McDougall Park while walking around Como after exploring Como Jetty. Enjoy the birdlife as you walk around the small wetlands lake with it's central island which is a wildlife refuge. The short walk around the (unfenced) lake is perfect for little legs or a bike/scooter ride. For the adults the trail features a public art work Poetry Park, a series of panels featuring the work of 12 WA poets.
In 1914 Neil McDougall established a dairy farm at this location. The former farmhouse, built in the 1930's, now known as Hazel McDougall House fronts Clydesdale Street. The farm outbuildings, some of which date back to the early days of the farm, provide an insight into the dairy industry between 1920 - 1960. The McDougall Dairy Farm was the last of the South Perth dairies to remain in operation, producing milk until 1946. Hazel the cow stands at the front of the property in acknowledgement of the original land use.
In 1964 the inner farm was fenced off and the remainder of the property was redeveloped into Neil McDougall Park The farm precinct now includes the McDougall Farm Community Garden which grows organic fruit and vegetables.
Rodrigo's Playground, located in the centre of the park, behind the farm, is a fabulous nature and ropes based playground suitable for all ages. Another public art work, Fiesta Totem Poles, is set next to the playground. The children will be delighted to inspect these closer and discover mosaic renditions of local children's drawings of their favourite parts of Neil McDougall Park. There are also picnic benches, barbecues and toilets.
The park's southern section offers wider open spaces for kicking a ball. Behind the natural grass amphitheatre is a grove of casuarina trees just begging to be explored by the kids: maybe playing hide and seek behind the big trunks with their footsteps cushioned by the pine needles.
From McDougall Park we ventured on into Davilak Reserve for a short bushwalk before following Pether Road to George Burnett Park. This reserve is largely playing fields but every Saturday between 7.30am and 12.30pm you can explore over 80 stalls at the excellent Farmer's Market on Manning held near the George Burnett Leisure Centre. The rear of the Leisure Centre building features Balance, a large urban mural themed around work life balance.
Beyond the Farmer's Market are more wide open spaces dotted with Artworks ,a series of seven rings inspired by bicycle inner tubes. Have a close look to see the decorative detail. There are dedicated cycle paths, 2 playgrounds, Manning Skate Park and a very small wetland to explore at the bottom eastern corner.