I went to a lovely National Tree Day event today organized by the Wolli Creek Preservation Society – contact link on blogroll on the left-hand column. A large crowd of all ages divided into small groups for a guided walk through the area of Wolli Creek bushland that is at risk of being destroyed for an extension to the M5 motorway tunnel.
From the Wolli Creek Preservation Society newsletter June 2012 – “The top priority for the society at present is the threat posed to the Wolli Valley bushland by the Roads & Maritime Services proposed duplication of the M5 east motorway tunnel. Plans for a cut-and-cover tunnel east of Bexley Road would wipe out a rare stand of remnant rainforest trees, wreck the natural creek line & destroy two hectares of high-priority bushland where restoration work has proved highly successful. Exploratory drilling could happen at any time.”
Painted hands prepared by local school children marked the track & here & there in the bush some of the beautiful trees were wrapped in colourful material. This was very successful in bringing one’s eye to the range of trees within this area. It was a gorgeous effect & must have taken quite a while for those who prepared the site for today. It was interesting to have the time to look at the trees that could be lost to the M5 tunnel & appreciate just how many very large trees are located in this section of Wolli Creek.
What was also nice & helpful was that plants, weeds & trees were labeled along the path allowing us to learn their names, as well as know what vegetation was good & what were weeds.
There was also a historical section called ‘Bowen’s Camp’ showing where a couple with two children lived during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This would not have been an easy time & though water is close, growing food must have been hard in the sandy soil. I thought it quite lovely that the sandstone markers the Bowen family used for their paths & gardens had been preserved & not lost over time.
The walk finished at the new Bioretention Basin – see – http://bit.ly/Ms5rzR & then went up to Johnston Avenue where a sumptuous morning tea was waiting. A volunteer gave a number of illustrated talks about the history of this section of Wolli Creek & how the M5 motorway tunnel would literally destroy the area we just walked through.
I’ve been to a number of National Tree Day events & planted trees. This was the first event where I was given time to admire trees as well as information about an area of bushland that I knew very little about. I enjoyed the experience & very much hope that a new route is found for the M5 motorway tunnel.
A short diversion of the M5 tunnel route would allow a very special piece of vital bushland to be retained. This would be very good for wildlife that have very little in terms of real areas of habitat left in the inner west & also provide many ongoing & important health benefits for the community. Wolli Creek itself & the Wolli Creek Preservation Society deserve our support to retain this precious area of remnant Sydney bushland.