Curtain Square Site Management Plan

Curtain-Square-13In the second half of 2012, Council began implementing works outlined in a site management plan for North Carlton's Curtain Square.

The plan, which was adopted in September 2011, is essentially a list of priority works largely aimed at improving the health of the park, its trees, and urban wildlife.

DOCX format Curtain Square Site Management Plan - September 2011 (749.81 KB)

This page will provide updates on when different works are occurring so park users and people interested in the project know what's happening.
A newsletter will also be distributed to residents and businesses around the park so they are kept informed of upcoming works.

The following works have occurred in the past six months (August 2012 - January 2013):

  • Soil aeration and improvement works to improve the soil so that it can better absorb and retain moisture.
  • Tree and garden bed planting has occurred along Rathdowne Street, around the park gazebo and at central entrances to the park.
    The planting includes a mix of native and indigenous species, which will provide a food source for wildlife and increased tree canopy in the park.
    New trees will be protected from possum browsing until they have been established. The mix of plant species has been chosen to provide a variety of flowering times, colours and layer (see table below).
  • Banding of three trees with steel collars in January 2013.

Grasses and Strap Leaf Plants

Botanical Name

Common Name

Crinum pedunculatum

Swamp Lily

Dianella tasmanica 

Flax Lily

Doryanthe excelsa

Gymea Lily

Lomandra ‘Seascape’

Seascape Mat-rush

Lomandra ‘Lime Tuff’

Lime Tuff Mat-rush

Liriope muscari


Macrozamia miquelii


Setaria palmifolia

Palm Grass


Botanical Name

Common Name

Alchemilla mollis

Ladies Mantle

Ajuga reptans


Brachyscome multifida

Cut-leaved Daisy

Banksia spinulosa ‘Birthday Candles’

Banksia ‘Birthday Candles’

Correa reflexa nummuliarifolia

Native Fuschia

Hibbertia obtusifolia


Hibbertia dentata

Toothed Guinea-flower

Pultaneae pedunculata

Matted Bush-pea

Viola hederaceae

Native Violet


Botanical Name

Common Name

Hardenbergia vioalcea ‘Mini Ha Ha'

Dwarf native Sasparilla

Clematis microphylla

Small-leaved Clematis

Kennedia prostrata

Running Postman


Botanical Name

Common Name

Abutilon hybridum ‘Orange’

Orange Chinese Lantern

Acacia cognata ‘ Dazzler’

Dwarf Acacia

Alyogyne huegelii

Lilac Hibiscus

Chamelacium ‘Purple Pride’

Purple Pride Chamelacium

Choisya ternata

Mexican Orange Blossom

Correa ‘Dusky Bells’

Native Fuschia

Crowea ‘Edna Walling’

Dwraf Waxflower

Darwinia leiostyla


Epacris Impressa

Common Heath

Eriostem myoporoides

Longleaf Waxflower

Hovea linearis

Common Hovea

Hymenosporum flavum ‘Gold Nugget’

Dwarf Native Frangipani

Nandina domestica

Heavenly Bamboo

Prostanthera cryptandroides

Mint Bush

Spiraea cantoniensis

Reeve’s Spirea

Thryptomene saxicola ‘Mingenew’

Mingenew Thryptomene


Botanical Name

Common Name

Centranthus ruber ‘Valerian’

Juniper’s Beard

Eupatorium purpureum

Kidney Root

Hedychium greenei

Ornamental Flowering Ginger

Hedychium gardnerianum

Ginger Lily

Leonotis leonurus

Wild Dagga

Plectranthus argentatus

Silver Spurflower

Rodanthe anthemoides

Chamomile Sunray

Salvia leucantha

Mexican Bush Sage

Salvia ‘Purple Majesty’

Purple Majesty Sage


Botanical name

Common name

Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffsred’

Autumn Blaze Maple

Dwarf eucalyptus citriodora

Dwarf lemon Scented Gum

Eucalyptus ssp connata

Yellow Gum

Quercus robur

English Oak

Here is the first fact sheet about the works distributed to local residents in late August 2012: pdf format Curtain Square Fact Sheet - August 2012 (801.90 KB)


Managing Possums in the Park

The Curtain Square Management Plan includes actions aimed at managing the park's possum population.
Curtain Square has a possum population density more than three times higher than any other park in Melbourne.
The park's management plan recommends non-lethal measures for reducing the population.

These actions include:

Ban on Possum Feeding

In July 2012, Council endorsed changes to the City of Yarra's local laws.
Council can now issue $500 fines to people who illegally feed possums in Curtain Square.

Feeding native animals is detrimental because:

  • Instead of eating a wide range of natural foods, they become dependent on foods that are not part of their natural diet, which can make them sick
  • Animals that expect to be fed by people may also lose their ability to forage for natural foods. They can also become aggressive, harassing people for food when they are hungry
  • Feeding wildlife can encourage animals into a particular area, leading to an unsustainable natural population.

Because possums in Curtain Square have been fed by park users for some time, Council will introduce a controlled feeding program to wean them off their non-natural diet.
Wildlife veterinarians will provide advice to Council on what food should be given to the possums, and for how long, until supplementary feeding can be stopped altogether.
The feeding program is still being developed and is expected to begin in the first half of 2013. 

Tree Banding

In late January 2013, Council placed steel collars on three trees in Curtain Square to address their deteriorating condition due to excessive feeding by possums.

Fertility Control

Council has begun conversations with the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) about how a possum fertility control program could be introduced.
DSE must approve Council's plan for the program before any fertility control program can be carried out.

Further information

If you would like to speak to a Council officer about any aspect of the works, please contact Joanna Bush, Coordinator – Open Space Planning and Design, on 9205 5794 or at

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