Irene Crump Reserve is located at the southern end of Freshwater Beach. It can be accessed from the beach or the eastern end of Undercliff Road, Freshwater. The reserve includes part of the popular walkway and stairs that form an important pedestrian connection between the Freshwater and Queenscliff Beaches.
In 2022/2023 Council and the Geographical Names Board of NSW approved the renaming of the reserve (previously named Undercliff Reserve) in recognition of Irene's outstanding contribution in securing public ownership of the reserve for future generations to enjoy. The naming also acknowledges her contribution to the community as a prominent environmental advocate and leader for over four decades and as a long-standing director of the Harbord Community Pre-school.
A Manly Daily article from 11 September 1991 recounts the events in 1970 that led to the preservation of the reserve. The article states that a development application had been lodged to construct home units on the site and down onto the sand and that, while still under assessment, the developer attempted to clear the site. Upon hearing this, Irene Crump went to the site and climbed what is understood to have been a large Coral tree and refused to come down until work stopped. She was dubbed ‘Harbord’s bravest woman’ when she recalled that:
They were cutting the branches off the tree from around my legs and told me that if I didn’t move I could get hurt or even killed … So I told them there were more ways to die for your country than going to war.
Eventually the development was scaled back, and part of the land was retained for community use.
A naming ceremony was held on Thursday 23 November 2023 with three of Irene's four children attending along with many of her grand children and great grand children. You can read more about the naming ceremony here.