Situated between Perry Lakes Estate, Oceanic Drive, Bold Park and Underwood Avenue, Perry Lakes Reserve in Floreat, Western Australia, is an iconic regional park with a rich history. Within the 80-hectare Reserve are two lakes, East Lake and West Lake, comprising approximately 12.6 hectares. In its current form, the reserve dates from 1962 when the area was landscaped in association with the construction of Perry Lakes Stadium and associated sporting tracks and facilities for the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games. The sporting complex was demolished in 2011 to make way for a housing development.
Over the last 30 years, the water levels in both the East and Wet Lakes had declined to the point that both lakes were dry for many of the warmer months of the year. Perry Lakes water levels are directly influenced by groundwater levels in the superficial (Gnangara Mound) aquifier and directly impacted the changes in the water cycle. Significant impacts were observed through increased water abstraction for irrigation and public drinking water and compounded by reduced annual rainfalls. Climate change has further impacted water levels.
In 2023, the Town of Cambridge completed a project to re-direct freshwater overflow from nearby Herdsman Lake into Perry Lakes' West Lake. Overflow had previously flowed out to sea north of Floreat Beach through a Water Corporation stormwater drain (Herdsman Main Drain). Kerry Shannon, the then Mayor of Town launched this $3million project in January 2023.
In close collaboration with the Town of Cambridge, Friends of Perry Lakes committee and members undertake revegetation, weeding and vigilant monitoring of water levels. Continuous efforts include safeguarding fauna like the snake neck turtle populations, observing new bird species and tracking any noticeable changes such as tree health.
Image by Jack Joyner, Winner of Environment Award in 2023 Friends of Perry Lakes Photo Copetition.