Native ground covers & grasses will be planted underneath these Casuarina trees beside the golf course & new trees will be planted in the gaps. Rocks, logs & nesting boxes will be placed in this area to increase viable habitat for wildlife.  All very good.

Native ground covers & grasses will be planted underneath these Casuarina trees beside the golf course & new trees will be planted in the gaps. Rocks, logs & nesting boxes will be placed in this area to increase habitat for wildlife. All very good.

Council plan to remove the steel form the riverbank & naturalise with mangroves, sedges & saltmarsh

Council plan to remove the steel from the riverbank & naturalise with mangroves, sedges & saltmarsh, which is fantastic.  However, they also plan to install a 3-metre wide concrete shared pathway, which I personally wish they would not do as I like the naturalness & peace of this area.

Another view of the riverbank, which will be naturalised and a concrete path installed.    I think the path will have a big impact on the trees here & there are some special Fig trees.

Another view of the riverbank, which will be naturalised and a concrete path installed. I think the path will have a big impact on the trees here.  There are some special Fig trees in this location.

Marrickville Council, now amalgamated & known as the Inner West Council, has opened community consultation for their ‘Cooks River Parklands Plan of Management & Master Plan.’  The plans cover 2.5 kms of the Cooks River foreshore.

Of interest is that the whole of HJ Mahoney Reserve is designated as a ‘fauna link.’

Council plans to do some seriously good & beneficial things concerning the environment –

  • Build a swale with plants, rocks & logs along the Wharf Street side of the park between the club house & the edge of the golf course. Pedestrian bridges will be built to allow people to cross the swale. This is excellent because Wharf Street has suffered severe flooding in the last few years.
  • Plant shade trees in the parking area.
  • Create a rain garden in the parking area.
  • Construct an ephemeral wetland around the trees in the section beside Illawarra Road & Wharf Street. There will be seating, picnic & barbeque facilities in this area.
  • A rock-lined overflow vegetated swale will be created in the park beside Illawarra Road. The three mature Poplar trees in this location will be retained. The 5 mature Poplar trees on the western side will be removed & replaced with natives.  I am horrified about this tree removal & have written about the plan to chop down 27 Poplars trees here – http://bit.ly/1Wlfe1x
  • Beside the art wall, Council plans to create two multiuse courts & install concrete bench seating that can be used by skaters. I love that there will be an area for kids to skate.
  • The steel river edge will be removed & a new riverbank created & planted with either mangrove or sedges & saltmarsh. “The river edge naturalisation shall include alternate types of edge treatment; one that allows views to the river with low growing saltmarsh & wetland species & another that encourages mangrove species to colonise the intertidal zone.”
  • New local native trees will be planted along the river edge.
  • Dog owners will be happy as there will be a trial for off-leash dogs.
  • Native ground covers & grasses will be planted underneath the double row of trees (mostly Casuarinas) beside the golf course. New trees will be planted in the gaps. Rocks, logs & nesting boxes will be placed in this area to increase viable habitat for wildlife.
  • Council wants to install a new pedestrian crossing on Illawarra Road from Steel Park to a new 3-metre wide concrete shared pathway along the river’s edge after they have completed naturalization work on the river bank. The first stage will stop at the golf course, but Council would like to connect this path to the bridge over the Cooks River in Marrickville Golf Course after working out how to ensure users are not hit by stray golf balls.

I cannot see how the mangroves or the trees both in the park & in the golf course will not be negatively affected if a 3-metre wide concrete path is laid.  Tree roots will need to be cut, the trees will be affected by the concrete & the compaction, plus the mangroves will need to be pruned back & so will many of the trees.  I imagine that some of the trees will need to be removed.  There are some significant trees in this area.

The river side of this park is one of the few peaceful places along Marrickville’s section of the river.  Cyclists can use the road through the golf course in safety that already connects with the bridge over the Cooks River.  There is already a shared pathway just across the river.  Why not fix the riverbank, make it more beautiful & suitable for wildlife & allow this part of the park to remain peaceful?  

  • Council also plans to lay a 2-metre wide concrete footpath beside the park on Wharf Street. More concrete!   I don’t understand why more concrete needs to be poured when most people enter the Mahoney Park crossing the road from Steel Park through an opening in the fence.  All around the world de-paving is happening, yet our Council wants to lay concrete when it is not really necessary & in the most natural environment we have.  There is a footpath on the opposite side of Wharf Street for those who do not want to walk on grass.  All pedestrians would need to do is cross the road.  Of interest to me is that I have visited many suburbs across Sydney that do not even have concrete footpaths, except in shopping or transport areas.

I think the plans for Mahoney Reserve are great overall, except for the laying of concrete along the river’s edge.   Where will people be able to lay a picnic blanket if there are all kinds of plants along the river’s edge & then a wide shared concrete pathway?  I think it would be much more useful for the community to have a quiet space where one can sit & peacefully, have a picnic, read & watch the river.

I didn’t need to look hard on the internet to find a study on the need for peaceful areas.  This one called, ‘Quiet Areas and the Need for Quietness in Amsterdam’ was published by the National Library of Medicine in 2012.

In brief the researchers looked at the need for quietness at outdoor spaces in the urban environment.

“Visiting a quiet place & going outside to walk or bike can have a compensating effect on the need for quietness. This suggests that creating quiet places & enhancing possibilities for quiet recreation in urban environments can have a positive effect on the quality of life in the city.”

“In a Dutch survey on the need for space, quietness & silence in recreational areas 80% of the respondents report that these aspects are (very) important.”   See – http://1.usa.gov/1RsCG54

Being able to find peaceful green spaces is a fundamental & precious part of a suburb’s liveability.  Peaceful & quiet places should be available.  I’ve said before that I think Council is turning the river foreshore into an entertainment area.  It’s true that we can cross the river & go into other municipalities to access peaceful areas, but I don’t think we should have to do this.

Community consultation is open until Wednesday 8th June 2016.  You can access the link at ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & download the Plan here – http://bit.ly/1DRISiO

A 3-metre concrete path will totally change this area.

A 3-metre wide concrete path will totally change this area in the golf course.  Both trees & mangroves will need to be significantly pruned.

The dirt path beside the river in the Marrickville Golf Course is lovely & a rarity in the area.  A 3-metre path will change this entirely.

The dirt path beside the river in the Marrickville Golf Course is lovely & a rarity in the area. Walking along here you can imagine yourself in the country.  A 3-metre wide concrete path will change this entirely.

This is one of a number of significant trees that would be affected by the planned 3-metre path.

This is one of a number of significant trees that would be affected by the planned 3-metre wide concrete path.

A 3-metre path here will cut off the river with a line of concrete.  The trees will need significant pruning.

A 3-metre wide path here will cut off the river with a line of concrete. 

 

This tree hollow in Putney Park looks like it is straight out of a fairy tale. It is terrific that the tree has been allowed to stay.

This tree hollow in Putney Park looks like it is straight out of a fairy tale.  It is terrific that the tree has been allowed to stay.

We went to an interesting workshop yesterday called, ‘Hollows as Homes’ organised by Marrickville Council before it became Inner West Council.  The workshop was presented by Dr Adrian Davis, who did his PhD on tree hollows.

Tree hollows are in severe decline.  It can take a tree anywhere from 50 to 150 years to develop a hollow suitable for wildlife to use as a home.  It can take up to 200 years for a hollow to form suitable enough for a large bird such as a powerful owl.

Trees are being chopped down before they create hollows & the lack of tree hollows has been classed as a “Key Threatening Process to biodiversity in New South Wales.”

We have no ‘primary excavators’ in Australia.  A woodpecker is a great example of a primary excavator.  They can quickly create quite large holes in trees while searching for food.

In Australia, decay is needed to create a natural hollow in a tree.  Decay comes after the sapwood has been breached.  This happens only after a tree has been damaged by lightning, wind, bushfire or mechanical damage.  Fungus enters & slowly over decades creates the hollow, which then becomes a suitable home for a range of wildlife, including birds, microbats, bees, lizards, spiders, possums, frogs, snakes & gliders.    Six to eight species may be competing for a single tree hollow.  Tree Hollows also provide drinking water for wildlife, which in itself is important.

As we know, public trees that develop decay are chopped down.

Over 300 native invertebrate species in Australia are dependent on tree hollows to breed.   No hollow for a home – no breeding.  A shortage of tree hollows leads to a decline in species numbers & in some cases, resulting in an endangered species.   It is easy to see how vital tree hollows are to the native wildlife of Australia.  A shortage of hollows also results in a predominance of specific species that are string enough to gain ownership of the hollow.  Locally, these are sulphur-crested cockatoos & rainbow lorikeets.

I did learn something interesting about cockatoos.  They may sleep as far away as the Blue Mountains, but fly to Sydney every day.   I did not know they could fly so far.  Makes me think about the cockatoos who live their life in a cage.

Dr Davis said that in the Central Coast region, 54 species use tree hollows & 13 of these are endangered.    

The ‘Hollows as Homes’ program is the first of its kind in Australia & has the intention of collecting data for many decades.

“Nest boxes and cut-in hollows are often used in areas lacking natural tree hollows, however we don’t know a lot about how animals use this substitute habitat in place of natural hollows. Many animals have specific attributes that they like in a hollow, consequently some animals may not use artificial hollows. For this reason it is important to know if nest boxes and cut-in hollows are attracting the desired animals, or, if they are being used at all. The Hollows as Homes project aims to conduct the first landscape scale assessment of tree/nest box/cut-in hollow distribution, type and wildlife use.”

The program is looking for people who are willing to watch a tree hollow for 10-minutes once a fortnight & then log their observations on the website.  This is a perfect opportunity for schools that have nesting boxes to become involved.

The website has clear instructions about how to get involved & what information to provide.  They are not asking for much.  It would be especially easy for those who have a tree hollow or nesting box in their garden.  Sit & have a cup of tea while watching the box for 10-minutes & help in the creation of data that will be immensely helpful for generations.

If you don’t have a tree hollow in your garden, then you can choose one or more trees locally that do & observe those trees.  The researchers do not care where the tree is, though they do not know how many trees with hollows or nesting boxes there are in private gardens, so this information will be very useful.

If you missed the training at Marrickville, the website shows upcoming workshops & all are free to attend.  For more information see – http://bit.ly/1U6x70v

I was surprised to find a nesting box close to a seat that I sit on at least weekly.    This might be my choice for the program.

I was surprised to find a nesting box close to a seat that I sit on at least weekly.   This might be my choice to observe for the program.

I think many people will love the idea of becoming part of a tree when they die.

I think many people will love the idea of becoming part of a tree when they die.

I love memorial trees.  To me they represent life, beauty & a celebration of the life of the person who has passed.  I know that memorial trees are very healing for people who have lost someone they love.

I am excited to see that finally we can choose to have our cremated remains become part of a new living tree, but only in Victoria at the moment.  Let’s hope this concept spreads Australia-wide.

The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust in Melbourne is introducing ‘The Living Legacy’ program at all of its nineteen Melbourne cemeteries.  The program will allow people to have their cremated ashes turned into fertilizer.  See – http://bit.ly/1Tq1Oin

“The product will be incorporated into the root ball of existing trees so the person who has passed literally becomes part of the tree.   How lovely is that.

Not only will one tree be planted to commemorate the death of a person – “a further 200 will be donated to create urban forests in cities in Australia & overseas.”

The trees will be planted by ‘Greenfleet,’ an Australian non-profit environmental organization.  Greenfleet also have a carbon offset program where you can donate to have your carbon footprint offset with new trees planted in reforestation projects around Australia.  See – http://bit.ly/15RsP9A

Melbourne man Warren Roberts came up with the idea of ‘The Living Legacy’ program after the death of his best friend.  “He said he was not able to properly grieve her death for years until he spent time out in gardens, parks and forests, which was when he came up with the idea.” 

Because cremated ashes are toxic to plants Mr Roberts spoke to a number of experts.  He met & formed a professional relationship with scientist Dr Mary Cole who, over a period of two years, developed a method to transform cremated remains into fertilizer & the concept became a reality.

Not only will this program help grieving people.  It will also help reforest Australia, provide habitat for wildlife & help mitigate climate change.  Another bonus is that Australia’s cemeteries are running out of space.

Costa Georgiadis, host of ABC’s TVs ‘Gardening Australia’ is the ambassador for ‘The Living Legacy’ program.  He says, “If we can connect with the longevity of trees, then the baton that we hand to the next generation is spiritually significant.”   I like that.

Almost ready for my beauty sleep.

Almost time for my beauty sleep.

Today I learnt that trees go to sleep.  Collaborative research by scientists from Austria, Finland & Hungary used infrared laser scanners to study whether there were any changes in trees from day to night.

“Our results show that the whole tree droops during night which can be seen as position change in leaves and branches ….. The changes are not too large, only up to 10 cm for trees with a height of about 5 meters, but they were systematic and well within the accuracy of our instruments.”

The researchers want to do more work to look at trees water use throughout the 24-hour cycle.

More here – http://bit.ly/1TncrkP

Poplar trees in Steel Park. 10 trees outside the playground area will be removed.

Poplar trees in Steel Park. 10 trees outside the playground area will be removed.

Poplar trees in Steel Park to be removed.

Poplar trees in Steel Park to be removed.

I have been reading the extensive document – ‘Cooks River Parklands Plan of Management & Master Plan’ released for community consultation by Marrickville Council (now amalgamated with Leichhardt & Ashfield Councils & given the ultra boring name of Inner West Council).

While I will go through this document in more detail, I thought it is important to make a single post about Council’s intention to remove most of the Poplar trees along Marrickville’s section of the Cooks River.

This amounts to the removal of 27* trees & Council are doing this in a time of climate change when every tree is important, especially tall, mature broad-leafed trees with significant canopies. 

* My count could be incorrect.  I counted 12 Poplars along the Cooks River Foreshore, 10 trees in Steel Park outside the playground area & 5 others in Mahoney Reserve.  I did not include 23 trees in the Steel Park playground area, nor the 8 trees along the shared pathway at Mackey Park or the 4 trees on the Illawarra Road side of Mahoney Reserve.

All Poplars will be removed in Mahoney Park, except for the four trees adjacent to Illawarra Road.  Three are mature, one is small.  The same is planned for Steel Park, except for the existing all “structurally sound” Poplar trees located in the children’s playground.  It will be interesting to see how many of these trees will be deemed unsound & removed.

Poplar trees to be removed in Mahoney Reserve. The trees behind are mature Fig trees, which gives you an idea of the height of these trees. Poplars are deciduous, so they have lost most of their leaves.

5 Poplar trees to be removed in Mahoney Reserve. The trees behind are mature Fig trees, which gives you an idea of the height of these trees.

Council’s report says that the Poplar trees beside the river “are damaging water quality and adjacent plant communities.”   Such a grand statement, yet no information for the citizen who might care to know more.

Poplars are well-known as great trees for riparian areas because they stabilize the soil.  It could be that being deciduous trees, they drop a large amount of leaves, which this pdf document says is bad for waterways.  See – http://bit.ly/1TkdzHf

This pdf document, ‘Using Poplar Trees to Meet Stringent Water Quality Permits’ http://bit.ly/200LOUu for waste water says Poplar trees have the –

  • “Potential to utilize both recycled water & biosolids,
  • have high water & nutrient utilization compared to other crops &
  • tall dense structure can provide a visual screen for site aesthetics & habitat value.”  I am glad they mentioned habitat because these trees are full of feeding birds.

I’d suggest the massive & regular use of Glyphosate sprayed all over the municipality & importantly right at the river’s edge in all parks & along the Marrickville Golf Course would have a higher negative impact on water quality than these Poplar trees.  Give me trees over pesticides any day.

You can also see my post, “The Cooks River is crying’ http://bit.ly/1TUMwy8  showing some photos of the appalling floating army of filth in the river last weekend to see what the real water quality is like.  Will the removal of a few Poplar trees along a small section of the river actually make a positive impact on the water quality of the Cooks River when this is happening?  Seriously? 

Photo Taken 15th May 2016. Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

Photo taken 15th May 2016. Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

The report says Council will, “Progressively remove the Poplar Trees between Mackey Park and Warren Park.”

At Mackey Park the report says, “Implement recommendations for existing trees as per the Marrickville Open Space Tree Inventory 2015.”   However, there is no mention of the Poplar trees in Mackey Park.

The Poplar trees along the shared pathway at Mackey Park.

The Poplar trees along the shared pathway at Mackey Park with the river on the right.

I was told by a Council Tree Manager at the opening of the Mackey Park on 9th December 2010 of a plan to remove these trees.  This link provides a history regarding the loss of Poplar trees along Marrickville’s section of the river – http://bit.ly/1Yr6YLb

In February 2014 a post was made by someone on Facebook about the rumour of the removal the Poplars at Mackey Park.  I contributed what I had previously been told by Council.  The discussion clearly expressed community opposition to the removal of these trees.

As a result, Marrickville Council posted the following on Facebook –

“I’m very happy to let you know that Council has no plans to remove these trees at Mackey Park.  Please know that the ONLY reason council would consider removing a tree is if it poses a risk to life or property, leaf drop or messy characteristics are never a consideration for removal.  We LIKE trees – honest! Our aim is to increase the canopy.”  

I repeat – “…. leaf drop or messy characteristics are never a consideration for removal.”

It is my understanding that it is illegal in NSW to remove trees because of leaf & other litter, but it seems this is not the case for local councils.  I would suggest that if the Poplars are affecting water quality, then so would the Poplars in Mackey Park.  It seems contradictory to remove some, but not all of the trees.

The report also says that in Mackey Park they plan to, “Trim lower branches from foreshore vegetation to maximise views from the share path and new seating.”

The two new seats are being used daily & looking through a section of trees to the river does not lessen the experience.  There are many people who actually like trees as part of the view.  Not everything needs to be like watching television.  I sat on both seats & they both have a clear view to the river.

Plus, Council plans to install picnic tables next to the river, so there will be uninterrupted views of the river from these seats.

Marrickville municipality has had enough pruning of public trees in my opinion. Trees pruned to look like poles with foliage on top are not very attractive trees, except for palm trees & they are supposed to look like that.  All around the world trees are being hacked at, vandalised or removed for views.

These trees will continue to grow & their pruned trunk will get more pole-like as they grow taller.  The shade they produce will also be less.

Council also plan to prune the Mackey Park Fig trees that they wanted to remove in 2009 because it was believed they would shade a corner of the playing fields.  Fortunately, these trees were saved in 2009 after strong opposition from the community.  See – http://bit.ly/1WwqUhJ

The outcome was that one branch was pruned from one of the Fig trees.  It doesn’t sound much of a deal, but the removal of just one branch amounted to removal of approximately one-quarter of the canopy.  This tree only had 6 branches & a major branch of the canopy was removed. 

Only in Marrickville is a spot of shade not allowed on the corner of a playing field.  Cross the river & you will see parts of many playing fields affected by shade.  Sunset is on the river side so actually the shade of these trees moves towards the river & therefore should not cause a problem for the field, except for early morning games.

If Council really wants to know how the community feel about the Poplar trees, I would suggest that they employ a couple of market researchers to simply ask all the passers-by at Mackey Park & along the Cooks River Foreshore how they feel about the Poplar trees.  I firmly believe that they will hear again & again how much the community loves these trees.  Of course they will get a few people who don’t like the trees, but I believe the feedback will be overwhelmingly positive towards these trees.

Why?

  • They are unusual in that they are big tall trees with big fat trunks. This is a local rarity, except for some Fig trees.
  • They not only look great & produce lovely dappled shade, the leaves also sound wonderful in the breeze.   This sound is an almost instant stress reducer.
  • The trees mark the seasons in an extravagant way. They lose their leaves & we crunch them under foot or under bicycle wheels.  In spring the lime green leaves appear & the catkins flower.
  • Their dappled shade is incredibly lovely in the parks & they cool the shared path & Steel Park playground in summer. When you enter Steel Park on a hot summer’s day, the positive impact of these trees is palpable.
  • When they shed their seeds the ground looks like it is snowing in summer & it is lovely to see. And no, they are not spreading new trees all over the area or even in local bushland at Wolli Creek.   In contrast, the Casuarina trees are spreading like wildfire.  Even though these are beneficial native trees, managing their suckering spread by pruning the lower branches as stated in the Plan does not seem like the best management in my opinion.

I am all for native trees. In fact, I prefer natives, but I oppose removal of the few remaining Poplar trees along the Cooks River.  There is plenty of room for more tree planting & these should be native trees.  One last thing, the Poplars are full of birds & they provide a lot of food for them.

It saddens me that Council plans to use a large chunk of the allocated $15 million to remove mature trees.  Everything possible should be done to retain healthy mature trees because they are vital in the management of climate change. 

I will be writing more about the Plan for the Cooks River Parklands.  There are some excellent initiatives & I feel sad that I have concentrated on the negative aspects in this post.

In the meantime, community consultation closes on Wednesday 8th June 2016.  You can access the link at ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & download the Plan here – http://bit.ly/1DRISiO

Poplar trees along the Cooks River Foreshore. Poplars are deciduous, so they have lost most of their leaves. This is a glorious place to walk in summer. Lots of birds, cool dappled shade and much beauty. It is unthinkable to lose them.

Poplar trees along the Cooks River Foreshore. Poplars are deciduous, so they have lost most of their leaves. This is a glorious place to walk, especially in summer. Lots of birds, cool dappled shade and much beauty. It is unthinkable to lose them.

Two more Poplars to be removed along the Cooks River Foreshore.

Two more Poplars along the Cooks River Foreshorten be removed.

These trees will look grand.

These trees will look grand.

It was excellent to see four more new trees in the newly created garden beside the new bridge across the Cooks River at Marrickville Golf Course.    Thank you Marrickville Council.

This whole area is looking great.  I wrote about the new landscaping here –  http://bit.ly/21knwob

Not only bottles & other litter, but look at the oil.

Not only bottles & other litter, but look at the oil.

 A floating army of filth.

A floating army of filth.

Look at my photos of the Cooks River taken yesterday afternoon.  It is shameful, disgusting & terribly sad.

I’ve been noticing the muck getting worse over the last month or so, not only drink bottles & litter, but oil slicks.  Yesterday, an army of drink bottles floated down the Cooks River.  The pollution trap at Boat Harbour was already jam packed, so much of this filth kept on going toward Botany Bay.

Large sections of the river were coated with oil.  It was hard to watch little swamp hens swimming through this.

I did not see one pelican, heron or cormorant.  The bird sanctuary at Boat Harbour was empty.  Not even a seagull.

Every local council has a vehicle that drives through the streets collecting rubbish as it goes.  Why cannot there be the same for the river?

I googled ‘river cleaning boats’ & there is a heap of links.  ‘Trash collection skimmer boats’ are commonplace & used all over the world.  In the United States, this kind of intervention has been used since the 1980s.

Surely there is one that would be suitable for our river.  The cost of purchace & running the boat could be divided between all the local councils responsible for the river.  It would be worth it.

While I think the pollution trap at Boat Harbour is great, it is always full to bursting whenever I see it.  Some of the floating litter waits in this area until the tide comes to take it all back up the river.  The rest keeps on going to Botany Bay & finally the Pacific Ocean.  At the moment, the boom acts like a bandaid because the amount of floating garbage is way beyond its capacity.

As for the oil – this needs to be investigated as soon as possible.

Something needs to be done to fix this.  It is not okay for all the good work that has been done by local councils & various community groups to be allowed to disintegrate due to looking the other way.  The Cooks River is a jewel in the inner west.  If Sydney Harbour can be cleaned, so can the Cooks River.

This was everywhere....slowly floating down the river towards Botany Bay.

This was everywhere….slowly floating down the river towards Botany Bay.  Even full garbage bags containing who knows what.

Beauty and the beast.

Beauty and the pollution beast.  I took so many photos of different sections of the river.  It was hard to choose.

 

Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

The sign says, "Our final toss."

The sign says, “Our final toss.”

The marvellous ‘Cooks River Tossers’ have been busy this afternoon making a statement on both sides of the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Cooks River at Lang Road to Ewen Park at Hurlstone Park.

We were out cycling when we came across a pile of plastic bottles underneath a painted sheet sign strung up on a fence in Ewen Park that said, “These bottles NOW 10c.  Thank you Boomerang Alliance.”

This is a very strong message to the community that they can help stop the Cooks River, other waterways, our beaches & our oceans from being polluted with plastic drink bottles tossed in the river or from stormwater drains.

Six days ago the NSW state government announced that it will go ahead with implementing a Container Deposit Scheme for a 10 cent refund on each empty drink container.  See – http://ab.co/1Xqvxto

The NSW state Environment Minister Mark Speakman said, “We know that 160 million containers end up in litter in NSW. We are determined to drive that down.”   That amount of drink containers polluting the environment makes me shudder.

The Container Deposit Scheme will commence in July 2017.  It can’t come too soon for the environment, which is suffering dreadfully by this kind of pollution.

Riding back towards Marrickville later in the day, we saw that the ‘Cooks River Tossers’ had done more work on the Lang Road side of the bridge.  A large number of plastic bottles taken from the river were piled up with a small sign beside many of them saying, “I’m worth 10c.”  A very clever & a very powerful statement.  I love these people.

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river.  Small signs say, "I 'm worth 10c."

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river. Small signs say, “I ‘m worth 10c.”

 

 

Street art in Marrickville

Street art in Marrickville

Marrickville Council has fliers all over the place inviting interested members of the community to attend a workshop that asks the very important question – “How can we make our local environment the best it could be?”

They say, “bring your ideas & all ideas are the right ideas.”   Council will provide a free vegetarian lunch.

And, “This event is a must for people who love to breathe clean air, grow food, plant trees, see clean streets, get to know people, connect with community, watch birds and help nature grow & thrive in Marrickville now & into the future.  Importantly, this event is for people that are ready to do something & to do it with others.”

For me it is easy.

  • Marrickville Council could follow City of Sydney’s example & double the urban forest within a decade, though City of Sydney Council are planning to achieve this by 2020 & the results are already noticeable.
  • Again follow the City of Sydney’s example & reclaim as many street corners as possible, allowing that space to be greened up & also serve as informal & attractive meeting places.  This kind of intervention slows down traffic, as well as adding beauty to the streetscape.
  • More de-paving & more verge gardens. This program is already having a positive impact throughout the municipality.
  • More green walls, even if it is a simple vine that grows up a side wall cooling the area & preventing graffiti tagging.
  • More native trees to fill in the ‘urban biodiversity mosaic, Council’s map of areas of biodiversity across the municipality, instead of mainly planting for wildlife only along biodiversity corridors such as the Greenway & the Cooks River.  Unfortunately, areas that support wildlife are sparse, except for along the Cooks River & the railway lines.
  • No loss of our park space for any reason. We have the least green space of any municipality in Australia, so keeping it must be a top priority.
  • Fresh water available for birds with every bubbler & in parks.  It happens in neighbouring municipalities, why not ours?
  • Complete The Greenway, though I did read recently that the NSW government is going to financially contribute with the councils to make it happen.  See – http://bit.ly/1rHJMxC
  • Insist that new high-rise developments move back from the street to prevent a canyon effect & to allow tall street trees to be planted. It is better for those living in these units to look out onto green & importantly, better for their health as those street trees will help capture particulate matter, protect air quality & lessen the development of respiratory illness & fatal heart attacks.  This is vitally important in my opinion.  I’ve written about this public health issue on a number of occasions. See – http://bit.ly/1qfKvVz    Also, more footpath area outside these developments leaves more room for landscaping & seating if there is a café or restaurant included on the ground level.  Plus, it provides more room for pedestrians.  Targeting new development to produce better looking streets is a no-brainer in my opinion.  Otherwise we will be stuck for the next 50-years with the mistakes of today.

WHEN:     Sunday 22nd May 2016.

WHERE:    Tom Foster Community Centre at 11-13 Darley Street Newtown. 

TIME:    12.30 – 4.30pm

RSVP:    By Tuesday 17th May 2016.
To RSVP & for more information see – http://bit.ly/1QxT1F8

Sunset on the Cooks River....sunset on Marrickville Council despite massive community opposition.

Sunset on the Cooks River….sunset on Marrickville Council despite massive community opposition.

Well it is official.  Today the NSW Premier Mike Baird sacked all local councils that are to be merged, renamed them & “administrators brought in to run them until elections in September 2017” though merging councils will have elections next March. See –  http://bit.ly/23IivHa

Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt councils will be renamed Inner West Council. Auburn and Holroyd will be renamed Cumberland Council. Hurstville and Kogarah will be renamed Georges River Council and Manly, Pittwater and Warringah will be called Northern Beaches Council….”

More later when I know more.

click here to follow Saving Our Trees on Twitter

Archives

Categories

© Copyright

Using and copying text and photographs is not permitted without my permission.

Blog Stats

  • 443,593 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 131 other followers

%d bloggers like this: