Pre-European occupation utilised the area bounded by Booragoon Lake, which was a popular camping area with ample food supplies and birdlife. The WA Museum has discovered evidence that the western side of the lake has been used as a camp site and food source for at least 38,000 years.
Today Booragoon Lake still provides refuge for a variety of birdlife. It forms part of the Beeliar Regional Park chain and supports a great richness and abundance of wildlife, providing habitat, refuge, breeding grounds and sources of food for animals.
The name of Booragoon’s shopping centre, Garden City, was to personify the Melville district at the time it was built (1972). The district, which had suburbs containing large quarter-acre blocks with gardens and jacaranda-lined streets, was known as the ‘Garden City’. The suburb has an active conservation group in the form of Friends of Ken Ingram Park.
Booragoon houses the Melville Discovery Centre, a museum of local history and artefacts illustrating the history of Melville and its people. There are also research facilities covering the various suburbs. Nearby, the free Limestone Summer Concerts are on offer at the Civic Centre Amphitheatre.
Booragoon’s diverse collection of community facilities includes the St John Ambulance Cadets Melville Division, City Of Melville Citizens Relief Fund and the Civic Square Library. This library is a quiet, enjoyable sanctuary, which is also a place for families in the school holidays with holiday activities and a rich and varied collection of reading and visual material for all ages. There is also the well-equipped Melville Aquatic Fitness Centre – formerly the Len Shearer Aquatic Centre, which opened in October 1977 – and a complex of sporting fields.
In conjunction with major stakeholders the City of Melville has prepared a vision plan for the commercial heart of the City with five key principles being the basis for future development. These are: integrated community; pedestrian priority; importance of public places; response to the natural environment; and commercial viability.