Natural Treasure of Ocean Grove

From green space to community hub, Ocean Grove Park and Pavilion has some history.

Often when we see a park, we don’t look and think about the backstory of the land and how it came to be a park. Unsurprisingly, urban development has been going on for hundreds of years, and parks and ecosystems are often the first to be demolished in the name of progress. Luckily, Ocean Grove Park is no exception, thanks to locals who care.

History of Ocean Grove Park


In 1887 when the plans were first lodged to subdivide the township of Ocean Grove, the sales plan showed the Ocean Grove park as a “reserve for Sunday school picnics and other gatherings.” For years the park was used as just that – a place for the community to gather and enjoy the natural surroundings. However, over time the park suffered years of neglect.


In the mid-nineties, the current owner, a local church, suggested the park be rezoned as residential and subdivided. Following many objections from the Ocean Grove community, the rezoning was abandoned. However, the church no longer wanted the park and offered to sell it to the town for $800,000, which was too much for a town of 10,000 people. After much to and fro, the park was purchased by the Minister of Planning of the Victorian Government. At the same time, the Ocean Grove Park Association was established and entered into an agreement with the Minister of Planning to maintain the park and raise $200,000 (half the purchase price) in three years; otherwise, some or all of the Park would be sold for profit.


With vigor, the Association set out to raise funds to complete the Park purchase and execute the Conservation and Management Strategy.


About the Conservation and Management strategy of the Park:

  • 150 yellow gums were planted using a Trees Victoria grant.
  • Water and power were reticulated along the west side of the park.
  • Woody weeds and dead trees were removed.
  • The external fence was restored with volunteer help.

Ocean Grove Park rejuvenation

The Park’s rejuvenation created interest for holding community events. Carols in the Park was first held in 1998. And the following year, the first Tranquility Fair was held.


Then in 2000, the Trust for Nature, became the owner of the Park. It’s an organisation that restores, protects and manages native vegetation and ecosystems on privately held land. Soon s Land Management Agreement was signed. Then the Association formally took full responsibility for the Park. Upon the ownership changeover, the Park began to see serious redevelopment. A Master Plan was adopted, which included a playground installation. Financed in part by AG and ID Johnston Trust grant and the Association, the playground was critical in becoming a community hub.


Following the playground installation, fitness equipment was purchased and installed. The park also includes: picnic seating, a gazebo, a basketball court, and drinking fountain. The Park began to take shape as the natural heart of Ocean Grove. Funded from various sources, including grants from the federal and state of Victoria’s grant programs and Barwon Primary Care Forum, plus the Association’s volunteer-raised funds.

Pavilion added to Ocean Grove Park

A long time in the planning, the late Neil Wallace originally developed the concept of a cultural hub in the Park. Then in 2014, construction commenced on the Pavilion. Completed and opened in 2015, the Pavilion was funded via the State government, the City of Greater Geelong and local fundraising efforts from the Ocean Grove Connected Community.

Location of Park

Centrally located on Presidents Ave located behind the Ocean Grove main street. The Park is enjoyed by locals and visitors to the region. Check out the heaps of regular and one-off events we hold.  The Ocean Grove Park and Pavilion has become a place that brings together the community.


If you are interested in booking an event or kids birthday party at the Park or Pavilion, visit our Booking page  for more information.