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This morning I went to a very moving, yet joyous memorial tree-planting event at Enmore TAFE Park in Simmons Street Enmore.
This is the first memorial tree planted for perhaps decades. I have seen some memorial trees in Camperdown Park that were planted in the 1950s & another in Alison Playground Dulwich Hill.
Until this event, modern day Marrickville Council did not do memorial trees. Clr Phillips brought the issue as a Notice of Motion to the Council Meeting of 6th November 2012. Happily the vote to allow this particular memorial tree to be planted & for a policy about memorial trees, to be prepared by Council, was voted unanimously by all Councillors.
This memorial tree was planted for local man Tom Buchanan 1953 – 2005. He & his family grew up in Simmons Street, opposite the Enmore TAFE Park & before, when the land was a bakery. Tom’s sisters Kim & Jayne, Jayne’s daughter Jody & Jody’s daughter Emma attended the planting today. Kim had travelled from rural South Australia to be here today. I thank the family for allowing me to attend.
Marrickville Council gave the family a choice of tree species & they chose a Blueberry ash.
Three Marrickville Council workers prepared the ground for the tree. The tree was planted & each family member was allowed to finish the planting. New mulch surrounded the tree. The tree itself was a beautiful specimen standing over 2-metres tall. It has been planted in an empty space with lots of room to grow to its full potential & will be a benefit to the park, to the community & to urban wildlife.
Jayne spoke beautifully about the meaning of the memorial tree for their family, as well as future generations of their family. She also spoke of her brother & how much he would have liked this. One of Marrickville Council’s Tree Managers also spoke about the importance of this tree. It was nice to see him there, representing Council.
The Council workers had made an effort with small things that make quite a difference. The spade was shining new & they had tied a bow around it. We all noticed & this pleased the family greatly.
It was not like a funeral. There was more joy that this was happening, than sadness, though the family said there would be tears once they got home. I mention this because some may feel that these kinds of events would be maudlin, but in reality they are events that bring peace & happiness. The family said other members of the family will visit the tree over the years & ensure their children & grandchildren see where it is.
I thank the Marrickville Councillors for voting to allow this to happen. I also thank Marrickville Council & the Council staff for the trouble they took to make this a meaningful event. The tree was beautiful, the effort to make the spade pretty was perfect, the speeches & the smiling staff was lovely. This was a great event & it made the family very happy. For me it felt great to be part of something that has so much meaning & brings happiness to people.
I hope that when the report does come back to the Council Meeting that the recommendation is to allow memorial trees to be planted across Marrickville LGA & that this is supported by the Marrickville Councillors.
Trees bring people happiness & help with grief, especially as they are symbolic of ongoing life. It would be wonderful if our Council could be a facilitator of healing in the community.
I love it when a Local Council in Australia does something so proactive as invite the residents to become an integral part of increasing the urban forest on a regular basis, not just for a one-off annual event.
The City of Stirling in Western Australia is calling for residents to become –
- A ‘Street Tree Captain’ and/or
- A Community Street Tree Planting Volunteer.
The volunteer Street Tree Captains are responsible for organizing street tree-planting events, while working with the Community Tree Officer & participating residents. Street tree Captains are required to attend Adopt a Street-Tree Program volunteer training sessions.
“An important part of this role is liaising and communicating with residents in your street. This involves seeking their support of the Adopt a Street-Tree Program (specifically agreeing to plant a street tree on the verge), explaining to them what the Program is about, promoting the benefits of street trees, collecting resident signatures on a Community Street Tree Planting Registration Form, as well as providing key information about your street’s tree planting event.”
The Community Street Tree Planting Volunteer assists at community street tree planting events around the City of Stirling municipality, usually on a Saturday morning. They also receive training in the Adopt a Street-Tree Program. See - http://bit.ly/VEI38M
Marrickville Council currently pays $1,000 for each tree planted in the ground. Ten trees equal $10,000. I think this is an extraordinary amount of money & believe that Council could benefit from utilizing the help of the community to plant street trees. The community would benefit by getting more trees for the dollar in the ground. Hopefully we would see a significant increase in the urban forest as planting would not cost so much.
An Adopt a Street-Tree Program can result in the new street trees surviving past Council’s 12-week watering commitment.
The tree watering guidelines I have seen in the US recommend that new trees are given 38-litres (10-gallons) of water per week for every 2.5 cm (1 inch) of trunk diameter for two to three years to ensure their survival. Therefore, a 5 cm (2 inch) diameter tree would require approximately 75.7-litres (20-gallons) of water per week. New trees lose roots when they are being planted & are less able to take up water than established trees. Water also helps new trees to grow.
If the cost of water is an issue, then perhaps there should be a Council Rebate for participating residents & businesses. A great street tree is worth a significant amount of money & is classified as an asset of the Council. A great street tree outside a business is attractive to customers & a great street tree outside a house increases the value of the property. The pay-off is worth it in my mind.
As soon as you enter into Riverside Crescent from Wardell Road you can see the new verge gardens. This kind of depaving is marvelous & makes an immediately positive impact on the streetscape. Almost one side of a corner property has had concrete removed & four large verge gardens installed. All allow easy access to the footpath from the street.
Native grasses have been planted around the edges, with native plants that look to be small shrubs & groundcovers planted in the middle of the garden beds. I will be interested to see how this looks in 12-months time when everything has grown.
One of the plants still had the label attached. It was a Plebalium squamulosum, also known as Scaly Phebalium or Forest Phebalium. This is a native plant endemic to Eastern Australia & spring flowering. What is nice about this plant is that it is taller than groundcover so it will have a visual impact. Much better than looking at just woodchip. You can read about this plant here – http://bit.ly/Xx04bP
Three new Weeping Lilly Pilly trees (Waterhousea floribunda) have been planted to complement another Weeping Lilly Pilly that was already there. There are no powerlines on this side of the street so these trees should be able to grow into their wonderful round canopy. These trees reach a good height so will also provide much needed shade as well as significantly green up the streetscape. Their dense foliage will also provide habitat & their flowers & fruit will provide food for wildlife. I certainly wouldn’t mind having this tree outside my property if there were no powerlines.
I thought the verge gardens looked great. They had a larger variety of plants than I have seen in a Council verge project. I hope that this is continued further up & down Riverside Crescent. They have large footpaths here that could benefit from depaving.
Well done Marrickville Council. Let’s hope verge gardens spread like a virus around Marrickville LGA.
Good things are happening along the verge on Meeks Road Marrickville. This area is a part of a group of bushpockets; this one & three others along Victoria Road. Unfortunately the verge was accidently cleared by Council in June 2012. Council worked quickly to remedy the situation & also arranged community planting events to revegetate this strip.
From memory eight Lilly Pillies & two Firewheel trees have been planted, plus a number of Acacia. There are also native grasses & ground cover. The wooden bollards look really good & clearly mark this area as something special. The traffic island at the top of the street also looks good.
I look forward to watching the trees & plants grow. It would be great if there were more of these bushpockets created around Marrickville LGA as they not only look great & improve the streetscape, but they also create areas of biodiversity to support wildlife.
This was the Council Meeting. Absent: Clr Hanna. The Councillors & Wards are as follows – LABOR: Iskandar/Central, Haylen/North, Tsardoulias/West, Woods/South. GREENS: Phillips/Central, Ellsmore/North, Brooks/West, Leary/South. LIBERALS: Gardener/North, Tyler/West INDEPENDENT: Macri/Central, Hanna/South. The following is how I understood the meeting & all mistakes are mine.
Notice of Motion Memorial tree – Clr Phillips:Request for a tree to be planted, (no plaque & the cost borne by the family) in Enmore TAFE Park in memory of a recently deceased individual who was raised in the area & a report be prepared providing options to formulate a policy to accommodate any future requests for memorial plaques or structures within the Marrickville LGA.
I spoke for the motion: I was contacted by the family after they did not receive a response from Council. Their only son & brother died in his mid thirties & the family would like to have a nice tree planted in Enmore TAFE Park because he grew up in Simmons Street & went to this park pretty much every day of his life. They do not want a plaque. They just want to have a beautiful living tree planted as a way to express love & pay tribute to their son & brother. I do not think this is too much to ask. Marrickville Council would be in control. Council will choose the tree & plant it. The family will pay all costs. I realize there may be some fear that Marrickville LGA might become like a cemetery, but if there were no plaques, nothing to say the tree concerns a dead person, how would this be so? People & the environment will benefit by more trees planted & Council will also benefit by not having to pay for this. I firmly believe that Marrickville Council should be following the lead of other nearby Councils by having an option for the community to pay for a memorial tree or park bench. Sydney Council, Leichhardt Council, Canterbury Council & Burwood Council – all allow memorial trees & benches. It’s in your business paper. Almost every week I sit on a memorial bench with a small brass plaque that Canterbury Council has placed overlooking the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetlands. It doesn’t make me feel sad. Yet if I walk from Mackey Park to Steel Park, there is nowhere to sit. This is hard for older people or people who are not well. No park bench means they don’t even attempt the walk. If Council can’t afford park benches, then please allow the community to pay for them. Council still keeps control so there should be no problem. However, tonight I am asking that you allow the Bishop family to honour their son & brother by letting them to pay for a lovely tree to be planted in Enmore TAFE Park. It would make a grieving family very happy & it is the right thing to do.
Clr Phillips: I was informed that MC doesn’t have a policy & that I should take a Notice of Motion. It would mean a lot to the family. For the second part – MC to prepare a policy so staff can have guidance so these don’t have to come to a Council Meeting. I think MC should have a policy.
No debate. Vote – unanimous on both this tree & a policy to be created. Here ends the report for this week.
I received some really exciting news about the Cooks River from Mudcrabs. Sydney Water recently spent over $3-million removing more than 6,000 tonnes of silt from the Cooks River & now intends to naturalise over 1km of the riverbank at three sites. They have called for tenders & work is planned to start in early 2013.
The three areas of riverbank to be targeted are at Whitten Reserve in Belfield, Flockhart Park to Beamish Street Campsie & the area in front of & adjoining Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland at Canterbury. All planning diagrams for the three sites show the planting of many new trees. This is a bonanza for the health of the Cooks River, the wildlife & the community.
From Sydney Water’s website - “Riverbank naturalisation can take different forms, but generally involves the removal of some, or all of the steep concrete channel bank & creating a more gently sloping bank. This is stabilised with native plants, trees & rocks. Naturalisation creates a softer landscape feel & can greatly improve the riverbank habitat for native birds & other animals. Wetlands can also be established as part of the naturalisation process. Wetlands have a significant role in improving the river’s ecology & health by treating stormwater runoff from streets & industrial areas, before it enters the river.”
Last year the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland won the Highly Commended award at the NSW Stormwater Infrastructure Association Annual Awards for Excellence. Sydney Water deserved to win. The wetland cost $900,000 & was money well spent. Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland is a fantastic achievement & is very beautiful. Lucky are the people whose properties back on to or face the wetland. I’d love to be waking up to the sound of the birds in the morning.
From being a lawn with a couple of trees, it is now an important habitat area filled with waterbirds & other life, including turtles. On top of this, the wetland cleans the stormwater coming down the Cup & Saucer Creek channel before it enters the Cooks River. The community will benefit from the new works too, as we have already benefited from the environment of the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland.
The habitat around Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland from the pedestrian bridge at the Sugar Factory to Mary McKillop Park will be extended & the lawn removed. This is a good length in an area filled with waterbirds. There will be new viewing platforms, new seating (great because there isn’t much), saltmarsh plants & gravel paths, plus many new trees. The area from Burwood Road to Beamish Street will also have new trees, saltmarsh plants, a viewing platform & a gravel footpath. Similar additions are planned for the area at Whiddens Reserve.
Slowly this beautiful river will be repaired from the terrible damage inflicted upon it over the last century. The restoration works by Sydney Water will be a better legacy to bestow on future generations & I am quite excited about it.
You can download the plans here – http://bit.ly/RriIM7
For more information see Sydney Water’s website – http://bit.ly/SmzOgl
Marrickville Council recently wrote on FaceBook, “Thanks to the 38 volunteers who planted 650 local natives at Marrickville Golf Course on Sunday for National Tree Day!” The event was held on Sunday 9th September 2012.
I was sorry that I missed this, so last weekend we went to Marrickville Golf Course to have a look. The area planted was within the golf course on the corner of Beauchamp & Bruce Streets Marrickville.
I recently came across a wonderful new project by Marrickville Council at the top of Kintore Street Dulwich Hill where it meets Hercules Street. Sometime ago, the road was blocked & the space reclaimed to make a pocket park.
Google Street View taken around 2000-2002 in the photo below shows it to be a drab hot grassed space with a path, a couple of trees & a couple of park benches. It wasn’t at all attractive.
With this recent work Council has planted 2 new trees in the centre area & placed 2 park benches next to trees. This will eventually provide shaded seating, which is always a good thing. Another park bench has been placed beside a mature tree at the side nearest the school.
The grassed section remains, though it is new turf. A number of garden beds surrounded by attractive sandstone barriers have been created. These mimic the sandstone barriers in historic parks across the municipality. The plants are grasses & other plants like Coastal Rosemary. These too will look good once they have grown. A couple of other trees have been planted in the garden beds.
Photos do much more justice than my words. Suffice to say that this is a big improvement to the local area & once grown should look terrific.
I’m quite fond of Kendrick Park. It fronts the Cooks River & a small cliff backs on to it giving it a protected feeling. The bike path runs along the back, there is a good playground & the picnic kiosks are scattered, not in a line. There are barbeques, a boat ramp with a separate area attached to sit & look over the river & a good section of the riverbank has been replaced with a new erosion-proof sandstone wall.
Kendrick Park has a couple of big Fig trees with another 2 Figs on the cliff, plus quite a few other tall Eucalypts species & many Casuarinas. Council planted about 13 good-sized Angophoras last year that are growing well & none of the new trees have been vandalized. There is also a small swale. I have written about these previously here - http://bit.ly/utoc2n
Recently Marrickville Council did some more work on Kendrick Park. The bicycle path make-over was completed last year & as a new cyclist & can say that it is great to ride on because it has grip on the surface making it safer. It is also wide enough for multiple riders.
A vast area beside the old sandstone steps from Griffiths Street that was always empty & mostly filled with a few weeds & a carpet of Casuarina leaves has been planted with many native grasses. Once these have grown they will fill in the area quite nicely, add greenery & give sanctuary for small creatures to live & hide. Many more native grasses have been planted on either side of the pedestrian pathway leading from this area to the lawn area of the park. Again, this will be far more attractive for people & more useful for wildlife than a bed of fallen Casuarina leaves.
The cliff has been cleared of weeds & a large dead tree removed. Long sausage-shaped rolls of coir have been placed sideways along the cliff to prevent soil erosion & to slow rainwater down. These rolls look attractive & will slowly return to the soil, adding nutrient as they do. There are many of these used in Sydney Park & it is nice to see them used here.
I love that 5 new Gum tree species have been planted surrounding the playground. These will in time provide natural shade for the children & are far nicer than a shade-cloth structure. All the new trees are great for wildlife offering both habitat as well as food sources when in flower. The more flying-fox feeding trees we can have in parks the better, as there is no-one in parks at night to be annoyed by their presence.
The benches & tables in the picnic kiosks are currently being repainted (same with those in Tempe Reserve) so this makes everything feel fresh & clean.
The latest jewel in Kendrick Park is the ‘Kendrick Park Aboriginal Interpretation Project’ set in amongst the Casuarinas & facing the Cooks River in a quiet spot in Kendrick Park. Marrickville Council describes it as a ‘circular seating platform.’ A large & ancient midden nearby provides the connection between the Indigenous Australians & the Cooks River for thousands of years. You can read about shell middens here - http://bit.ly/bpYmKW
Personally, I find it exciting that there are middens along the Cooks River. I’ve found one in another section of the river & was quite shocked when I realized what it was that I was looking at, as I had only ever read about them before.
With the Kendrick Park Aboriginal Interpretation Project, Marrickville Council has created something which is sensitive in design & quite beautiful. I certainly hope people respect it & not defile it with graffiti tags or similar.
It was opened on 19th March 2012. Marrickville Council’s media release says, “The seating platform includes a circular design that encourages people to come & meet, representing the theme of “Gathering”. The design includes images of sand goannas, shellfish, baskets & fish traps to highlight how Aboriginal people used their knowledge, skills & resources to hunt & gather food on the Cooks River & surrounding lands.
The Aboriginal words Barani (yesterday), Guwagu (today) & Barrabugu (tomorrow) are also part of the design. These words are a reminder of a strong Aboriginal presence & connection to Cadigal Wangal land, as well as the importance of the river to Aboriginal people in the past, today & the future.
This feature is the first of a series of three other interpretations planned for Cooks River parks in the area.” Nice. I hope the other two are as attractive & useful as this one is.
Marrickville Council have done some great work in Kendrick Park. It looks much improved to what it was like 3-years ago. As a highly visible gate-way park to our LGA, it sends a nice message about the liveability of our area for those passing on the Princes Highway. It’s great that this park has lots of big trees & the lawn isn’t the major feature. With the new trees & planting, it will only get better.
Recently we went to have a look at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park & saw that Marrickville Council has almost completed the work advertised in their Concept Plan. See – http://bit.ly/KkeCSn
Three new trees have been planted in the treed area nearest Church Street & the whole area has been re-mulched. Impressive was the row of 11 new trees planted adjacent to the historic sandstone cemetery wall of the St Stephens Church Cemetery & the footpath.
I stopped writing here to read my October 2011 post on the Concept Plan to find the name of these trees & suddenly lost my enthusiasm. According to the Concept Plan, 17 Eucalyptus maculata trees were to be planted, not 11.
I really do like to write about the good things Marrickville Council is doing for the environment, but keep coming across things that could be much better, I disagree with or as in this case, shortchange the community.
In my previous post I wrote – “Euclyptus maculata can grow to 50-metres, though the fact sheet says, “Spotted gums are tall trees on favourable sites, usually attaining 35–45 m in height & 1–1.3 m diameter at breast height over bark. Exceptional specimens may reach 70 m in height & 3m diameter at breast height. On drier & poorer sites they may be 20–35 m in height or even smaller on exposed coastal headlands.”
So these are big impressive trees & shortchanging us of 6 trees will make a significant difference. What was noticeable at Camperdown Memorial Rest Park was that the new trees had been planted in exact distances from each other. This makes me feel sure that Council will not be squeezing in 6 trees at a later date to make up the promised number. If they did, uneven spacing would result whereas the Concept Plan shows a canopy that evenly meets from one tree to the next.
Such a shame.