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Last year on Clean Up Australia Day, some of the community came to Tempe Reserve & cleaned up the point, the western area & the car park next to the Jets Sports Club. This year we are going to do it again.
Just one hour is all that is needed to collect a vast amount of garbage that makes the park look ugly & importantly, causes much harm & suffering to wildlife. Like last year, we will not be cleaning the rocks around the riverbank as this could cause injury.
DATE: Sunday 3rd March 2013
TIME: 10am -11am
WHERE: Tempe Recreation Reserve. Meet at the picnic kiosks on the western side of Tempe Reserve. Park at the first car park on your right beside the Jets Sports Club as you drive down Holbeach Avenue from the Princes Highway. Then follow the row of Fig trees beside the water for about 100-metres until you reach the picnic kiosks on your left-hand side. There will be signs to guide you.
Please wear suitable clothing, sunscreen & closed shoes. Gardening gloves would be good if you have them, but plastic disposable gloves will be available as well. Garbage bags will be provided.
There will be cold drinks & some morning tea food for those who want to stay around for a while. Kids are welcome as long as an adult accompanies them.
Please spread the word. I hope to see you there. Jacqueline :-)
This story has a happy ending. In October 2011, during a walk in Tempe Reserve, we came across a young Ibis with a string injury. She was a juvenile female & had string wrapped many times around her leg & between a few of her toes. She was limping & in pain. Council park workers were also concerned saying she had been like this for “at least 7-months.” That would mean she was injured around February-March 2010.
For the following couple of months we tried almost daily to catch her, but no luck. The women from Inner West WIRES were great & came many times. The RSPCA came & gave us some tips. Seabird Rescue came twice. Friends also gave of their time. All up 8 Ibis & a couple of Crested Pigeons with fishing line or string injuries were caught.
Unfortunately we could not catch the original bird who we named Sweetie. She was way too smart to fall for any of our tricks & once she realized what was on, would go & sit 30-metres away. If we went towards her she would move until she was 30-metres away again – close enough to see what was going on, but far enough away to be safe.
Eventually the string amputated her back toe & she became really ill. It’s horrible to see a bird shaking from pain. She survived & was left carting around a much smaller bunch of string.
Over the last year a local man called Paul started catching other injured Ibis who came to Tempe Reserve. He uses a fly line for salmon fishing & has been very successful as the line is hard for the birds to see & easy for him to control. In the last month he has caught a couple of Ibis whose legs were shackled by fishing line. One of the birds took him 8-days to catch. It’s a good deed & it brings him much joy when he is successful.
Injured birds are a trademark of Tempe Reserve. Other parks along the river do not have shackled birds. Where fishing prevails, such as around Tempe Reserve, the birds are the inevitable victims of lines irresponsibly discarded around the place. I think of Tempe Reserve as Sick Bay for Ibis.
So back to Sweetie – on the 23rd December we saw her still with her bunch of string. When we visited the next day she flew over & showed us a clean foot. No string! The bundle finally came lose & dropped from around her ankle. What a great Christmas present & a great Christmas Eve! A minimum of 22-months with a string injury, yet she survived. What a spunky little Ibis.
Sweetie has started to lose her head feathers, which means she is turning into an adult, so now she has a chance of a good life. She certainly deserves one. Her toenails also need to be worn down & she will need to recover movement in her bad leg.
From this experience we have met some wonderfully kind people who love our urban wildlife. We have fostered a relationship with the birds of Tempe Reserve & made great friends with a trio of Magpie chicks, which was very special. Here is a short video of them – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=il1lXXNUKys
We learnt about the park – which trees are used, who sleeps where, where the good food is & also how the park responds in all weather as we have been caught in many storms. We also have learnt a lot about Ibis, a bird I was not really familiar with before.
We found Ibis to be kind birds. They like to sit quietly with each other, with blue tongue lizards & with other birds. They even like to sit with people if they like you. Injured Ibis support each other & keep each other company.
If I were to say anything about Ibis it is that they like company, whether you have food or not. They also like to hear singing & will cock their head sideways to listen better. They are smart birds & can learn their own name. Most of them can be trained to a degree.
They like to play with twigs & lengths of grass. They also appreciate clean water & will gather in a neat circle near the fresh water tap waiting patiently until it is ready. If there is water in a plastic dish, they will line up allowing each to take their own turn having a drink.
They weigh next to nothing despite their size & are quite strong & fast if they are trapped. They understand what you are doing when you are trying to snip away line or string from their feet & will stay still watching what you are doing. Try to grab their beak though & they will peck you, but this doesn’t hurt. Their beak is not sharp, which is why they have so much trouble with line & string as they cannot cut, only pull. Once you have freed them, they are a friend. Paul has many Ibis friends. I know there will be quite a few people who will be happy to hear that Sweetie is finally free of string.
Some people hate Ibis & call them ‘tip birds’ or worse. I have learnt to love & appreciate them & it has certainly been a great experience getting to know how they think & behave. They love an opportunity for clean water and a wash. And they love walking about in the rain for a free shower.
There is so much discarded fishing line, string, elastic bands, nylon, balloons & other potentially dangerous litter at Tempe Reserve & it is only getting worse. It is so easy for a bird to get their feet entangled in these things. When it does happen it causes immense pain & suffering & most of the time the birds cannot free themselves. As they tug at the string, it pulls tighter causing more pain. So if you see any of these things while out on a walk, please pick them up. You will very likely prevent injury to our wildlife.
I hope you all had a great Christmas Day despite the thunder, lightning & rain. Jacqueline
There were two largish fires lit at Tempe Reserve during the day of Friday 2nd November. Five Fire Engines responded & put the fires out. Without the prompt phone calls for help & the attendance by the Fire Brigades, this could have been a major disaster. It could have also been life threatening as apparently seven school groups were using the netball courts close by.
We saw evidence of two smaller fires that did not spread, making four fires in total. It is a miracle that more of the reserve was not burnt; especially as it is bone dry there at the moment.
The ground is deep in woodchip & was still smoldering in one place. Stamping on it & drenching with water managed to put it out, but there was steaming when we left. It stinks.
It could have been much worse. Hopefully this was a one-off.
We were greeted by yet another awful scene in Tempe Reserve yesterday. The area around the picnic kiosks was strewn with an enormous amount of rubbish. No people around, just garbage everywhere.
Large aluminum serving trays with food still stuck on them lay on the lawn, surrounded by many serviettes, bits of plastic, cups, plastic spoons & small & large plastic bags. Some of the garbage appeared to have been tossed into the Cooks River Valley Garden.
It took me a good 20-minutes to clean it up & I didn’t get all the rubbish. There was enough room in the many garbage bins for it to fit, all except for two cardboard boxes.
All this garbage would have been pushed downhill & into the Cooks River if left as it was & would create much suffering to marine & bird life both in the river & out in Botany Bay. It is beyond my comprehension how the people who created it could walk away leaving this behind, but they did.
Last March 55 members of the community did a clean up of the litter in the western side of Tempe Reserve & the point. See – http://bit.ly/xgDAtN Many said they would be happy to do this a couple of times a year.
I wrote a post about the second cleanup a while ago, but keep delaying posting it. Why? Because I have strong reservations asking the community to join me in cleaning up Tempe Reserve when there is more than a 50% chance that the park will be left in this state the following weekend. It’s a futile act, like spitting in the wind. I’m thinking that it would be better to ask people to be involved in something where their effort is not destroyed within a matter of days – or weeks if I am to be generous.
It is so sad & disappointing watching a park deteriorate because of people who use & abuse without concern for the wildlife or the rest of the community.
Twenty bottles & a cigarette packet – this is only one pile of plastic drink bottles left on the side of one field on the playing fields of Tempe Reserve. There were many other plastic bottles strewn elsewhere on the playing fields & this happens all the time. What is it with this park that people trash it so much?
I even chased a massive plastic bag rolling across the playing fields that had contained the uniform of one of the players. Within 3 minutes at the most, this bag would have been in the Alexandra Canal starting a journey of destruction.
I don’t understand why the players do this. I also don’t think it is the job of Marrickville Council staff to pick up the vast amounts of litter left behind after each game – unless of course, this service comes as part of the hiring fees – which I doubt.
Next stop on our bike ride was Mackey Park, which is always left spotless by the clubs. Mackey Park gets just as much use by the clubs as do the playing fields of Tempe Reserve.
As fate would have it, I crossed paths with one of the managers of the Canterbury & Western Suburbs Cricket Association. He kindly answered a number of my questions telling me that the Club ensures that all the Club Secretaries & the Captains know to tell all players (7yrs – adult) that they must clean up after themselves & leave no litter behind. Leaving a mess behind may affect the Club’s ability to hire the park in the future. Cleaning up after oneself is seen as mandatory for being a member & the Clubs reinforce this message with their players often.
I commend the Canterbury & Western Suburbs Cricket Association for this as they leave the park spotless for the community & for the wildlife that use Mackey Park.
The soccer clubs that use Mackey Park at nights & on weekends do not leave litter behind either. So what is happening with the Clubs that use Tempe Reserve?
It’s a terrible message to give young people that they can simply leave their garbage behind when it has such a negative impact on the environment, especially with the river so close. The players need to respect the park & use one of the numerous garbage bins provided by Council or take their garbage home.
Maybe Marrickville Council should think about intervening. One idea is to oblige clubs to read out a short message about respect to the environment to players before each game & the Captains required to ensure all litter is removed before anyone leaves.
An update about the continued vandalism of trees beside the picnic kiosks at the western side of Tempe Reserve – the last time I wrote about the tree vandalism was 2nd October 2012 – http://bit.ly/R7uM4W
Within the last two weeks the tree that was doing the best has disappeared, leaving only 2 out of the original 7 trees. Council removed, but so far has not replaced the protective tree cage that people took away from around one of the trees.
Even though the trees were small, the birds used them. Many birds also sit on the tree cages.
If I were a gambler I’d be taking bets at how long before the last two trees are destroyed & whether trees will ever be replanted in this location again.
Last July 2012 I wrote about the destruction of the magnificent canopy of the Fig trees along the promenade at Tempe Reserve. See – http://bit.ly/NcYfJd
Since they were radically pruned I’ve watched three of the Fig trees deteriorate dramatically. Now this could be normal. It could be temporary. Regardless, the condition of these trees is of great concern to me. One thing I do know is that trees get sunburn when they lose all their leaves & this can result in further problems & even death.
People have told me that my photos of the Fig trees in the July post did not show the full extent of how much beauty was removed by the pruning of these trees. I hope the photos with this post show clearly that these trees are in serious trouble, especially with the high 30s temperatures we have been having & summer hasn’t even started. I just wish they had been left alone. I am not the only person upset & disappointed with what has happened to the trees along here.
Called ‘WestConnex’ & starting at Parramatta, the M4 will be widened probably removing many of the trees planted for the 2000 Olympics. It then travels up a widened Parramatta Road with an under street level slot for the motorway with Parramatta Road still able to function. A small inset in the video link below shows a boulevard-look with lots of street trees beside high-rise residential development. This will be a huge change for the suburbs along Parramatta Road.
The WestConnex Motorway travels up to Taverners Hill in Petersham & then underground with a 5km tunnel from Taverners Hill to St Peters, “returning local roads to the Inner West community.” No stacks were mentioned, but they come with tunnels as far as I am aware. The tunnel runs under the Princes Highway side of Sydney Park coming to the surface in the grounds of what I think is ‘Dial a Dump’ where coal seam gas mining was to happen & may still happen yet.
The motorway then travels beside the Alexandra Canal & through the container terminal at Tempe. It then travels above/beside the Tempe Wetlands & within spitting distance of the houses below at East Tempe. From there the road travels through all the trees planted beside Tempe Reserve & along the eastern side of Tempe Reserve through the playground & picnic facilities & over the Cooks River to travel through the Kogarah Golf Course, finally meeting with the M5 that will also be widened. The point at Tempe Reserve is the only point along the Cooks River until the river enters Botany Bay.
There appears to be an alternate route shown very briefly at 2.31secs on the video. This follows the Alexandra Canal avoiding the Tempe Wetlands, though it still travels through Tempe Reserve.
The video says that the project is the ‘highest priority’ for the NSW government with the route of the WestConnex still at concept stage. The TV news tonight says it will probably be funded by multiple tolls.
Way back in 2007 there was a US study published in the Medical Journal The Lancet, “linking motorway pollution with permanent and life-limiting damage to children’s lungs. People who live within 500 metres of a motorway grow up with significantly reduced lung capacity, & even children who have never experienced asthma are at risk.” - http://bit.ly/exrUEp
I wrote about a 2010 study done by the US Health Effects Institute who reviewed 700 worldwide health-pollution studies. They found that traffic pollution within a 500-metre radius of a major thoroughfare was likely to exacerbate asthma in children, trigger new asthma cases across all ages, impair lung function in adults & could cause cardiovascular illness & death. See – http://bit.ly/QpiYx6
Last July 2012, the NSW Department of Health said that an 80% increase in lung cancer cases in residents living near the Turrella stack was unlikely to have been caused by air pollution from the tunnel stack because it takes longer for lung cancer to develop. NSW Health said they could not find a reason for the massive cancer spike in Turrella residents saying, “it could be purely chance because rates do go up & down & it’s a smallish area & the (cancer) rates are quite volatile in smallish areas.” Short video here - http://bit.ly/OgXqfP
However, a 2009 article said that researchers from Macquarie University & Queensland University of Technology found that regular users of Sydney’s M5 East tunnel were risking chronic health problems because of high levels of air pollution in the tunnel, which were 1,000 times higher than in the city. - http://bit.ly/UaDbtc
So, if it is risky to your health to repeatedly drive in the tunnel, why isn’t the air pollution that comes out of the tunnel in a concentrated form risking the health of nearby residents?
Scientific research studies like the above make me wonder why governments continue to focus on building roads rather than putting the substantial money needed to build these into better public transport. Many people think more Motorways are not the answer as they fill up & need to be bigger within a very short length of time.
Dreadful is what the Motorway will do to the wetlands, to the park above the wetlands, the considerable tree loss in Tempe & the ruination of Tempe Reserve & the Kogarah Golf Course & to the residents of Tempe & Marrickville. Perhaps St Peters & Petersham residents will be affected too. This Motorway may have a bigger impact than I can think of at this stage.
Marrickville LGA has the smallest amount of public green space in Australia, so if this Motorway goes ahead as planned, we will be losing more public green space in Tempe Reserve. This area of Tempe Reserve in particular is usually jam packed with people who use the great children’s playground, the barbeques & the picnic kiosks as well as the river for fishing. Large groups of children use the basketball courts behind the Robyn Webster Sport Centre as well. Tempe Reserve & the wetlands are a vital area for wildlife habitat in Marrickville LGA. It is not the place for a major motorway if you care about the health & happiness of people & the environment.
Drivers will be ecstatic, so I expect that there will be anger at any community opposition to the Motorway. However, I am pretty sure there will be significant community opposition in this municipality if the past is a realistic guide.
You can watch a video summary of WestConnex showing the proposed route at - http://bit.ly/Vf6UAK
The NSW government is seeking community feedback. You can email them at – email@example.com or write at – Infrastructure NSW – PO Box R220 Royal Exchange NSW 1225
Last April 2012 I wrote about the tree vandalism of the group of seven Eucalypts Marrickville Council planted next to the picnic kiosks & barbeque at the western side of Tempe Reserve. These poor trees had been plucked of leaves & if that wasn’t enough, the protective cage from one was removed & taken around 30-metres away. See – http://bit.ly/IMl2sg
In July 2012 Marrickville Council removed what was left & added more lawn to the vast amount of lawn already here. See – http://bit.ly/P3Djsv
It’s now the end of September & sometime during the last few days vandals removed yet another tree cage & slung it triumphantly on the ground. The tree is still standing, but I doubt it will last long.
Of the original seven trees, three had been vandalized. Now another tree is at risk of being vandalized & another has died. Consider that another two trees down. This leaves only two Eucalypts. These won’t be able to provide the shade & beauty needed in this area of Tempe Reserve, even if they manage to survive.
What was the problem? Were the trees in the way of the cars that should not be driven into this area of the park or is it simply a hatred of trees?
Vandalism costs ratepayers, because planting trees is expensive for Councils. We also lose shade that is essential to any beautiful park. Worse still, this tree vandalism costs the local wildlife food sources & habitat.
5th October 2012 – Marrickville Council have been & taken away the dead tree as well as the tree cage that was removed & slung on the ground. Hopefully they will replace it soon as the poor tree is looking vulnerable without protection & I doubt it will last long left like it is.
Marrickville Council appears to have chosen defeat regarding the recent tree vandalism next to the picnic kiosks on the western side of Tempe Reserve. Where there were once 7 Gum trees growing in cages that were to provide beauty & shade for the people using the barbeque/picnic area, now there are only 4 trees left.
Council have removed the remaining tree cages & covered the growing area with lawn grass. It’s a shame that because of a few people, the rest of the community cannot have trees here.
I understand why Council would do this because for them it must be disheartening to repeatedly have their work destroyed. After a while you would just give up.
From my observations the vandalism seemed to come from one group of people who use this area regularly & who let their children do as they please. Perhaps signs on the tree cages may have prompted the parents to recognize that their children were misbehaving & stop them. Of course, the presence of Rangers would also go a long way to preventing this kind of stuff from happening.
What is great to see is that a bollard has been placed at each entrance to the Cooks River Valley Garden to prevent vehicles driving along the pedestrian footpath. The path is not wide enough for cars, yet people still drove through & have created much damage to this area.
This is a relatively new phenomenon, so it is great to see Marrickville Council take action to stop it. I’d like them to go a step further & block the entrances to the pedestrian pathway on Holbeach Avenue as this will prevent cars from driving into the park via the pedestrian pathways to the barbeque area.
I’ve written about this many times – the occasional paddock bashing, the visual assault of cars in the park, loud music from car radios which impacts everyone, car tyres chewing up the grass & leaving great ruts, damage to infrastructure & of course the danger to wildlife. I’ve seen cars drive straight into a group of grazing Ibis for what seemed like fun.
Most people go to parks to get away from cars & noise. Those that drive their cars into the park don’t care that their presence takes away from the enjoyment of others. Council could so easily help the rest of us by stopping this behaviour. They also will benefit because damage to the park from vehicles will stop.