There are some experiences synonymous with the Dandenong Ranges and feeding birds at Grants Picnic ground is one of them.
In its formative years, children, parents and tourists would flock to Grants Picnic Ground to feed the colourful lorikeets and king parrots that resided there.
In recent years flocks of Sulphur-crested cockatoos have pushed the lorikeets out and the cockatoos have drawn the ire of residents due to their insatiable appetite for verandas.
Those residents may soon get what they want, with Parks Victoria announcing on 14 March that they are looking for new tenants to take over the site.
As part of the reviewed leasing contract; the feeding site will be repurposed.
The Popular visitor destination, is now open via expressions of interest to manage the site from February 2020.
Victoria Purdue, Parks Victoria District Manager for the Dandenong Ranges and Yarra Ranges said the lease includes the opportunity to ‘repurpose the existing bird feeding area, as bird feeding will no longer be permitted from February 2020.’
She said the decision has been made in line with conservation best practices, and following a study by an independent wildlife consultant on impacts.
“The removal of bird feeding in February 2020 presents a new opportunity and we are excited to see what immersive and innovative concepts the market responds with for Grants,” Ms Purdue said.
“Set amongst majestic Mountain Ash, sclerophyll forest landscapes, Tree Ferns and Lyrebirds, the lease site holds great opportunities for the next 21 years.”
Grants Picnic Ground is managed by Parks Victoria and the current lease agreement allows feeding until February 2020.
The site includes a kiosk and tearooms building with outdoor timber deck, kitchen, office, outdoor pavilion, two visitor toilet facilities, barbeques, picnic facilities and parking for both cars and coaches.
Grants Picnic Ground received around 750,000 visits last year, with approximately 10 tour buses per day stopping through on various tours around the Yarra Valley and surrounds.
Stage one of the two stage expressions of interest closes at 4pm on 17 May 2019.