Floating wetland in Scarborough Park Central in Monterey

This is what I saw from the car. 

Looking back towards President Avenue

Looking back towards President Avenue

Last weekend we were driving down President Avenue towards Brighton Le Sands & I did as I always do & looked at Scarborough Park on the way past.  I saw something in the pond that made me decide to stop there at the end of the day.  And we did.

I love Scarborough Park.  It’s full of big beautiful trees, but the major attraction for me is the pond in the middle, which is part of the ‘Wetland Highway’ that goes all the way to the Georges River at Sans Souci.

If you like nature & especially birds, anywhere along the Wetland Highway is a great place to wander.  There is a lot of wildlife living here & although houses are close by, the surrounding trees & the naturalness allows you to feel as though you have left the madding crowd.  It’s also quiet.

What we found was a floating pontoon secured to the banks by ropes, which appeared to be a coir mix planted with native grasses.  This was so intriguing that I decided to call Rockdale Council to find out what it was & I am glad that I did.

The pontoon is a floating wetland designed to control & prevent algal blooms by consuming the excess nutrients that enter the pond through groundwater.  Scarborough Park was built in the middle of what was once a rubbish dump.  When it rains, groundwater seeps into the pond bringing with it nutrients that can result in algal blooms.

An algal bloom can completely cover a body of water, clogging the gills of fish & blocking sunlight from reaching underwater plants, which can result in their death.  Decomposition of the algae produces bacteria that consumes much of the dissolved oxygen in the water.  The lack of oxygen & plant die-off creates toxic water killing the fish, insects, other aquatic animals, as well as birds & other land animals.  This is not what you want in any water system, particularly a prime area of biodiversity.

I think the floating wetland is a brilliant initiative.  Not only will it help keep the pond clean & prevent algal build-up, but it also offers another place for waterbirds to perch to watch the water.  The birds may not take up this opportunity in this location because there are lots of trees around the pond that have branches that cascade over the water, but for the Cooks River, there are very few places where tree branches reach over the water.

It would be great to see a few floating wetlands along the Cooks River, as the river has a massive nutrient polluton problem from stormwater entering the river.  I also think it would be quite easy & cheap to modify a floating wetland to allow waterbirds a place to perch.

The floating wetlands not only have a positive impact on the health of the water & biodiversity, but also offer an educational opportunity to anyone that sees them.  Rockdale Council placed their floating wetland in a section that was visible from a high traffic road, which resulted in us deciding to stop & look, as well a phone call to Council to learn more.  I’d say that educational approach worked.

Almost beside the floating wetland.

Almost beside the floating wetland.

A closer view

A closer view

The park was full of waterbirds.

The park was full of waterbirds.  This branch is a favourite for the Cormorants as it juts out over the pond.

Historic sign at the site of the Cooks River Dam in Kendrrick Park Tempe

Historic sign at the site of the Cooks River Dam in Kendrrick Park Tempe

Marrickville Council has recently installed 19 historical signs around the municipality.  I think it is a wonderful thing to be able to stop & learn about the significant history of our municipality & thank Council for doing this.

There is a sign located outside outside the Greek Bakery on Illawarra Road Marrickville & one in Enmore Park, which is our oldest park.  Council’s press release said, “Other sign locations include the Cooks River Dam, Petersham Train Station, Petersham Cemetery & Johnson Estate in Stanmore.”

Council intends to create a map for self-guided walks of the historic sites.

A close-up

A close-up

Four new street trees & verge gardens on Victoria Road, opposite Edinburgh Road.  These will make a huge improvement to the streetscape.

Four new street trees & verge gardens on Victoria Road, opposite Edinburgh Road. These will make a huge improvement to the streetscape.

About 6 new Queenland Brushbox trees,plus verge gardens along Victoria Road Marrickville.

About 6 new Queensland Brushbox trees, plus verge gardens along Victoria Road Marrickville.

Marrickville Council planted 430 new street trees this 2014 planting season, 130 more trees than last year’s planting season.

Every new street tree is a boon in my opinion, but some of the places Council has planted trees is an extra boon.

I was very pleased to see that Victoria Road Marrickville has been planted with many new street trees & verge gardens installed.  Trees were much needed in this area & they will improve the visual outlook of the streetscape.

I was also pleased to see that four Queensland Brushbox trees have been planted almost opposite the Beynon & Haywood building on Livingstone Road Petersham.  These also have verge gardens.

Both sites look improved already.  In a few years they should look really lovely.

New street trees & verge gardens along Livingstone Road Petersham

New street trees & verge gardens along Livingstone Road Petersham

And more at the corner along Livingstone Road.

And more at the corner along Livingstone Road.

 

Lovely old Poplar to be removed.  Unfortunately it is leaning.

Lovely old Poplar to be removed. Unfortunately it is leaning.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Lombardy Poplar (Populus nigra var. ‘Italica’) in Camperdown Park, Camperdown.

Council gives the following reasons for removal -

  • “Tree is leaning with major rootplate lifting and signs of wind throw.
  • Tree is in a state of decline with signs of internal decay.
  • Tree poses a risk to public safety.
  • Tree is causing damage to public infrastructure.”

Council says that the replacement tree species will be determined during the Camperdown Park upgrade.

I hope the replacement is another Poplar to keep the line of this species in this location.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 28th October 2014.   I will not be putting in a submission.

The lean is more obvious on the other side

The lean is more obvious on the other side

Close-up

Close-up

Showing the lower section of this tree.

Showing the lower section of this tree.

The street tree in Davis Street Dulwich Hill to be removed

The street tree in Davis Street Dulwich Hill to be removed

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) outside 8 Davis Street Dulwich Hill.

Council gives the following reasons for removal -

  • “Tree has had a major branch failure leaving remaining stem unsound.
  • Tree is in a state of decline with extensive internal decay and damage from termites.
  • Tree poses a risk to public safety.”

Council says the replacement species “will be determined by Street Tree Master Plan 2014,” but not when they will plant the tree.

I looked up the Street Tree Master Plan & Davis Street is part of the Dulwich Hill West Precinct. Eucalyptus eximia & Acmena smithii var. minor are planned for this side of the street.

I will not be putting in a submission.

The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 28th October 2014.

The branch

The damage

The branch that came off

The branch that came off

Black Tea-Tree outside 21 William Street Marrickville

Black Tea-Tree outside 21 William Street Marrickville

Showing the split

Showing the split

Street side

Street side

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove the following trees in Marrickville.

Tree number 1:

One Black Tea-Tree (Melaleuca bracteata) outside 21 William Street Marrickville.

Council gives the following reasons for removal -

  • “Active split at junction of co-dominant stem.
  • The tree poses a risk to property and to the public.”.

Council say they will replace this tree during the 2015 planting season with the “species to be determined by Street Tree Master Plan.”

I looked up the Street Tree Master Plan & Williams Street is part of the Newington Precinct.  Trees planned for this street are Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia ‘Tod’) opposite wires & Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) under wires.   This tree is under powerlines, so it will be replaced with a Weeping Bottlebrush, a lovely tree that attracts lots of birds who feed on the flower nectar.

Tree Number 2:

One Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) outside 13 Wharf Street Marrickville.

Council gives the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant mechanical damage.
  • Tree is in a state of decline.
  • Tree poses a risk to public safety.”

Council says the replacement species “will be determined by Street Tree Master Plan 2014,” but not when they will plant the tree.

I looked up the Street Tree Master Plan & Wharf Street is part of the Marrickville South Precinct. Weeping Bottlebrush (Callistemon viminalis) are planned for this street.

No wonder this tree is to be removed.  Pruning for powerlines has removed one side of the tree & at least two other main branches.

The deadline for submissions for both trees is Tuesday 28th October 2014.  I will not be putting in a submission for either tree.

Pruning for powerlines has left a lopsided tree. Pruning for powerlines has left a lopsided tree.   Pruning for powerlines has left a lopsided tree.

Pruning for powerlines has left a lopsided tree.  The red semi-circle indicated the tree to be removed.

Large branch removed

Large branch removed

More pruning indicated by the yellow lines

More pruning indicated by the yellow lines.  The top was also a large branch.

Gotcha!  White-faced Heron fishing in the saltwater wetland in Tempe Reserve.

Gotcha! White-faced Heron fishing in the saltwater wetland in Tempe Reserve.

The very first Australasian Bird Fair is happening this weekend at Newington Armory, Jamison Street, Sydney Olympic Park.

From the website –

“The Australasian Bird Fair seeks to connect birders & nature lovers from across the region with resources, information & inspiration from around the world. Our goal is to enhance human experiences with birds in the many ways we regularly encounter them. We aim to enrich the lives of people in an ever widening audience by awakening a deeper connection & love of nature along with an expanding conservation imperative.”

There is a lots happening. See the website for more information & to book tickets – http://www.birdfair.com.au

My propagated plants from when I did the workshop last May.  All, but one plant survived & I now have many more propagated plants in pots around the garden waiting to grow up.  You won't be disappointed if you do this workshop.

My propagated plants from when I did the workshop last May.  All, but one plant survived & I now have many more propagated plants in pots around the garden waiting to grow up.  You won’t be disappointed if you do this workshop.

Marrickville Council is holding a free half-day propagating workshop. A teacher from Ryde TAFE will deliver the workshop.

There are still vacancies for this Saturday 25th October 2014.

I’ve done this workshop & loved it. See – http://bit.ly/1k1Qvvq   I learnt a lot & gained confidence in propagating native plants.

If you have a particular native that is doing well in your garden, this workshop will help you learn how to propagate clones for your garden, verge and/or to share with friends & neighbours.   Propagating also helps save lots of money.

DATE: Saturday 25th October 2014

TIME: 1.30pm – 5.30pm

WHERE: Marrickville Community Nursery, Addison Road Centre, Addison Road Marrickville.

Afternoon tea supplied, plus course notes.

BOOK: by calling Council 9335 2222 during business hours.

Huge loss to this park

Huge loss to this park

I was told to visit Tillman Park as the lovely Fig tree next to the railway line had been chopped down.  The first connection I had in the park was with a man who was very angry that this tree had been removed.  He told me that the tree had been chopped down in the last couple of days.  The stump, about 1-metre round, was still wet.

I have no idea why this tree was removed. If there has been a Notification of Removal on Marrickville Council’s website, I missed it.

I hope Marrickville Council elects to replace it with another Fig tree. There are fewer and fewer of these trees in the municipality.

There is room for this species in Tillman Park.  Marrickville Council has designated Tillman Park a ‘priority biodiversity area.’  Fig trees are entirely appropriate as they are a great resource of food for wildlife.   Fig trees are also impressive & we need to still have such trees in our parks.

The tree that has been removed had a canopy spread of around 15-metres. Before Council pruned it a couple of years ago, the boughs looked like an upturned bowl making it a lovely, relatively private refuge to sit & enjoy the cool shade & the birds.  I shall miss this tree & I know that others in the community already are.  Right now the space looks like an empty scar.

This whole area of dirt & rocks was covered by the canopy of this Fig tree

This whole area of dirt & rocks was covered by the canopy of this Fig tree & there is more area behind the camera.

The stump

The stump

 

 

 

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

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