The Marcus Clark Reserve is 0.79 hectares of bushland on The Avenue near the centre of Mt Wilson.
Providing access to this reserve allows people to view a type of vegetation not common at Mt Wilson and keeps some of the native vegetation close to the main road through the village.
The soil is shallow, sandy and infertile in contrast to the rich basalt soil in most of the Mount Wilson area. The block is currently covered with low open forest with scrub undergrowth and is adjacent to the main road through Mount Wilson, providing a good opportunity to illustrate a very different type of environment. The growth is substantially different from the tall eucalypt forest or rainforest in other parts of Mt Wilson.
The reserve was originally gifted (for a nominal sum) to the Mt Wilson P&C Association on 20th December 1949 by Sir Reginald Marcus Clark and Roland Cuthbert Clark, his brother, to be held under a Trust Deed with the trustees being directed by the Mt Wilson P&C Association. The Clark family who gifted the land wished it to be used as a residency for the teachers or for educational purposes.
The Mt Wilson Public School was officially closed in 1983 and the P&C Association formally ceased to exist in the early 1990s. So there was no organisation to direct the Trustees how to act.
By the early 2000s the land had lost its original intent and the Progress Association wanted to act to restore the original purpose and to preserve the block of land. At that stage the land was owned by two people (one of the original three had died) acting as a trust and it was decided to transfer title in the land to the Mt Wilson Progress Association. On the 19th July 2006 title in the land was formally transferred to the Mt Wilson Progress Associaition.
There is a path through the centre of the Reserve which leads from The Avenue to the Fire Station car park and onto walking trails to the Wollongambe Canyon. It winds through the trees and as the land is almost level there is little water run off.
The plants on the reserve are identified on plaques including information about the plant. The reserve area includes unusual grasses, ground covers, shrubs and trees. Many of these are not seen in surrounding areas and the effect of different soils and fires over many years provides an unusual environment. The reserve takes advantage of this unusual situation and provides information for visitors and teaching groups who visit the area.
It is the basalt soils capping sandstone that has made Mount Wilson the attractive location it is. The rich soil and high rainfall have created rainforest and tall eucalypt forest. These are well known and much admired.
The birds seen in this part of Mt Wilson include the Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoo, Gang Gangs, Eastern Rosella, King Parrot, Fan Tailed Cockatoo, Channelled Bill Cockatoo, Boobook Owl, Tawny Frog Mouth Owl, Wood Duck, Brown and Grey Goshawks, Kookaburras, Robins, wrens and thornbills, Scrub wrens, Grey Strike Thrush, White Throated Tree Creeper, Numerous Honey Eaters, Silver Eye, Red Browed Finch, Satin Bower Bird, Magpies, Currawongs and Ravens
Swamp Wallabies, Brush Tailed & Ring Tailed Possums, Wombats and Antechinus are frequently seen in this part of Mt Wilson and, on rare occasions, the echidna.
Marcus Clark Reserve from the Avenue