Summer Hill Public School on National School Trees Day

Summer Hill Public School on National School Trees Day

Mythras, Meg & Ed listening to the talks.

Mythras, Meg & Ed listening to the talks.

Please forgive my enthusiasm.  I know many of you have attended school assemblies to watch your children, but for me this was a first since I was in primary school & boy, did I enjoy myself.

Last Friday I was at Summer Hill Public School to give a talk for National Schools Tree Day about trees, wildlife & nesting boxes with Inner West WIRES.   Five hundred children between the ages of eight to ten, gathered in the Hall with a good number of parents.  I was very impressed by the behaviour of the children & the respect they gave to their peers, their teachers & us, the visitors.

The sign on the lectern.   The school went to so much trouble to make us feel welcome.  It was appreciated.

The sign on the lectern. The school went to so much trouble to make us feel welcome.  It was appreciated.

I watched a fabulous dance given by a large group of children about being green.  Children took roles of responsibility introducing teachers & the next segment.  They also took responsibility for crowd control bringing this very large group to absolute quiet.  At times you could hear a pin drop.

I was impressed at the peaceful ways the teachers & other students managed to bring the group to order.  This is a well-behaved bunch of children & their parents & teachers have much to be proud of them.

Numerous awards were given for all sorts of accomplishments, including teamwork, co-operation & maintaining cleanliness in the playground.  These children were well aware that what gets dropped in the area would likely end up in the Cooks River.  The school has comprehensive environmental programs & are divided into four wards with two of them being flying foxes & cockatoos.

After I gave my talk about trees, nesting hollows, nesting boxes & tree vandalism, Meg from Inner West WIRES wowed the children with her slideshow & talk.    She entertained the children, made them laugh, gasp & also reflect on the damage human beings cause to the environment & to wildlife & she did all this without lecturing.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself & judging by the reaction from the children, they did too.

Ed, also from Inner West WIRES, brought along Mythras, his Red-tailed Cockatoo.  Myrthras sat with Ed & Meg at the front of the hall during the program.  Mythras was quiet until he heard one of the children speak the name ‘Cockatoo’ in an Aboriginal language & then he let out one of their distinctive calls.  It astounded a few of the adults around me.   It was a very nice coincidence.

After Meg did her presentation, a whole year of students gathered around Ed & Mythras.  We asked them to gather into groups of ten, which they did without a fuss.  Then Ed & Meg took Mytras around to each group who got to pet him.

This was something quite special, as very few of us get this opportunity.  It was only my second time having a Red-tail cockatoo standing on my shoulders.    Mythras did not have any negative reaction to the noise of children ending assembly.  This bird likes attention & apparently can take as much as he is given.

I thank Summer Hill Public School  for their warm welcome, for taking nesting boxes & for giving us this opportunity to talk to their students.  This school has lots of trees & a good range of species in their grounds.  They also have numerous garden beds filled with native plants & shrubs.  I saw a number of birds, including some Lorikeets eating in one of the playgrounds.

After last Friday’s experience I feel much hope for the future.   These children are aware of the value of trees, the importance of habitat for wildlife & how people need to take care of the environment for the benefit of all.

I have a few more school talks to give & look forward to these.  It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to talk to young people about the value of trees & wildlife & makes what I am trying to do with SoT really worthwhile.

Mythras - for no other reason than he is gorgeous.

Mythras – for no other reason than he is gorgeous.

A great crowd of adults & kids  planting 6,000 plants & trees in Sydney Park for National Tree Day.

A great crowd of adults & kids planting 6,000 plants & trees in Sydney Park for National Tree Day.

Costa Georgiadis teaching a young girl how to plant.

Costa Georgiadis teaching a young girl how to plant.

Once again the City of Sydney, Planet Ark & Toyota put on a terrific event for National Tree Day in Sydney Park.   The sun was shining & even the air smelt great with the wattle trees in bloom.

A new site, more in the middle of the park, was chosen to plant a whopping 6,000 plants & trees to create an Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub.  What a lovely area this will be once everything has grown & very important for wildlife.

The Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub is a nationally & state-listed Endangered Ecological Scrub & Heath Vegetation Community.   Over 97% of the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub has been lost in Sydney. 385 hectares of North Head is the largest remaining area of endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub left in Sydney.

Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub grows in nutrient poor soils, so City of Sydney council had prepared a sandstone soil to accommodate these plants in conditions that suit them. Planting was not easy, but no-one seemed to care.

At least 1,000 people registered to plant, but as always, more people came for the atmosphere & the exhibits. It’s a very family-friendly event with activities for kids – planting, face painting, nature crafts, kid’s yoga & this year, even a python with a handler who educated us all about snakes. People in green tree suits were walking around as in previous years & the synthetic turf lounge suite also made a return. Those in the suits need a medal – it must be so hot in there.

The lovely Costa Georgiadis (from Gardening Australia on ABC1) was showing children how to plant & planting with them.  I imagine this will be life-changing for some of them – something they will remember when they are adults.  Costa centers attention on the child & quietly instructs how to plant. It was nice to watch.

A handler educates about snakes.  I think this was a black headed python.

A handler educates about snakes. I think this was a black headed python.

The Yaama Boys (look them up on facebook) performed a number of traditional Indigenous dances much to my delight. They were very good & the dances were exciting. I liked also that they explained what the dances were about & their meaning, as this allowed a deeper understanding of what was happening.

Bush tucker tours were held every 30-minutes where people got to see & taste bush tucker growing in the park.   There was information about the upcoming City Farm, which sounds really exciting. I will write about this initiative in another post.

Hundreds of parsley plants were given away in ice-cream cones, which is a great way not to create garbage. There were also hundreds of Australian native tree seedlings, native shrubs & plants for anyone to take home to plant in their garden.

Each plant had really good information & photos about its growing needs, what height it would reach at maturity, what it looked like & everything else in-between.  Staff were available to assist & provide information about any plant people were interested in. All this helped people chose plants & trees that were suitable for their place, so hopefully they all get put in the ground & we see more trees & more green in the landscape.

For the first time that I am aware of, Porta-loos were provided & I was surprised at how clean they were. This made me think about litter, so I looked around & even though it was towards the end of the event & all the sausages & veggie burgers had been eaten, I did not see one bit of litter anywhere. Maybe tree-lovers are considerate to the environment.

National Tree Day is 20-years-old this year & is making quite an impact Australia-wide.  I love this event at Sydney Park.  It is always consistently good & the Council goes to a lot of trouble to cater for all needs, as well as passively educate on the value of trees & the environment.

If you didn’t go this year, put it in your diary for next year because you not only get to do some good for wildlife, but you will also enjoy yourself.

The wonderful Yaama Boys.

The wonderful Yaama Boys.

Hundreds of trees & shrubs  giveaways.  Thanks City of Sydney Council.

Hundreds of trees & shrubs giveaways. Thanks City of Sydney Council.

Planting had been happening for over two hours & still people were enthusiastically planting.

Planting had been happening for over two hours & still people were enthusiastically planting.

Last year's event was a success with lots of people seeing for themselves the trees targeted for removal.  Many of the trees are veteran trees & iconic to Sydney.

Last year’s event was a success with lots of people seeing for themselves the trees targeted for removal. Many of the trees are veteran trees & iconic to Sydney & the wildlife depend on them.

One other wonderful thing you can do for tomorrow’s National Tree Day is a free Tree Walk to try & raise consciousness of the 400 trees that are to be removed for the South East Light Rail.  Many of these trees are iconic to Sydney & were large when I was just a kid.  It would be dreadful to lose them when slight changes to the route will allow the trees to be retained, as well as having the Light Rail.

The poster says – “Because the future should be leafy, but our urban trees and wildlife face many threats.  On Sunday July 26th, all are welcome to join this free community walk beside Randwick’s iconic, heritage trees between Centennial Park – 10am corner Alison Road and Anzac Parade and High Cross Park.

If walking is not for you, meet us at High Cross Park 11am to enjoy free face painting, animals, art and to add your leafy ideas to our Wishing Tree. Wear your best tree colours.”

For more information – www.keepingrandwickstrees.com

 

one of the tags hung from trees in Sydney Park on National Tree Day 2014

one of the tags hung from trees in Sydney Park on National Tree Day 2014

This Sunday 26th July is National Tree Day. There are two events happening locally.

Marrickville Council is holding an event in Tempe Recreation Reserve from 10am to 1pm. Volunteers will be planting local native trees, shrubs, grasses, ferns & groundcovers.

From Council’s website – “The revegetated area of the reserve will connect into existing native vegetation providing food and shelter for birds, microbats, insects and reptiles.”

Refreshments, snacks, gloves & trowels will be provided.  Signs will direct you to the planting site. Parking is available at the old Jet’s Sports Club car park, which is close to the event site.

WHERE: Tempe Recreation Reserve

TIME: 10am to 1pm.

The City of Sydney is once again planting in Sydney Park. The community can participate in the planting of 6,000 native seedlings to plant an endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub forest.   There will be educational activities, as well as a sausage/veggie sizzle.

WHERE: Sydney Park via Barwon Park Road near Campbell Road

TIME:  10am – 1pm.

From the City of Sydney’s website – The City is committed to increasing our urban canopy up to 50% by 2030. We have planted over 9,500 trees since 2005 and there are around 42,000 trees in our streets and parks across the local area.  Trees make our streets more beautiful, improve air quality and provide habitat for native birds and other wildlife. Increasing the canopy cover will improve the livability of our city by cooling and filtering the air and shading our houses and streets in summer.”

National Tree Day provides an opportunity for the community to get involved in greening an area & improving biodiversity for wildlife & for the future.  The events are fun.  Wear appropriate clothing & covered shoes.

Concern for the welfare of wildlife is automatic in the design of this bubbler.  If you wnat bird life to survive well in the parks some fresh water supply is a must.  I think it is great to see such a compassionate approach to park infrastructure.  I wish all parks in Marrickville LGA had fresh water available for the birds.

Concern for the welfare of wildlife is automatic in the design of this bubbler in Bicentennial Park Glebe. If you want bird life to survive well in the parks some fresh water supply is a must. I think it is great to see such a compassionate approach to park infrastructure. I wish all parks in Marrickville LGA had fresh water available for the birds.  This photo shows just how easy it can be.  

 

 

This is a very beautiful street tree, so Council's work to keep it is much appreciated.

This is a very beautiful street tree, so Council’s work to keep it is much appreciated.

There is a spectacular street tree on the corner of Riverside Crescent & Chadwick Avenue Marrickville.  I was really pleased to see the work done around the tree.

Marrickville Council has installed traffic calming measures on Riverside Crescent that included removing the kerb next to this tree, probably because the tree had started to push out the kerb.  They have installed a steel kerb, which they bolted into the concrete kerb on either side.  This intervention allows this big tree to remain to continue benefiting the locality.

In the past, trees that pushed out kerbs were sometimes removed, but Marrickville Council has moved on to doing an intervention that does not require the loss of the tree.  They first did this in Ivanhoe Street Marrickville & have improved on their technique.

Planting has not been done as yet, but I am sure that more green on the streets will only enhance this area.  Well done.

You can see the steel kerb.

You can see the steel kerb.

This is how a street tree is catered for in a new development in Waterloo.

This is how a street tree is catered for in a new development in Waterloo.

This is a new development & a newly planted street tree in Marrickville.  Across the road there are no street trees, even though there is room for three or four.

This is a new development & a newly planted street tree in Marrickville. 

The streets of Waterloo are wonderfully green with lots of tall trees.

The streets of Waterloo are wonderfully green with lots of tall trees.  

Dank Street Waterloo - verge gardens on both sides of the footpath, plus many tall street trees.  It was a very pleasant streetscape. Also, note the three tall Eucalypts that have been left in situ & a roof structure built around them instead of removing them.

Dank Street Waterloo – verge gardens on both sides of the footpath, plus many tall street trees. It was a very pleasant place to walk & people were everywhere.  Note the three tall Eucalypts that have been left in situ & a roof structure built around them instead of removing them….keeping trees whenever possible is one way to retain the urban forest.

A new report called Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center’ has found that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions[cardio-metabolic conditions include diabetes, heart disease or stroke.]

We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.

We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.” See – http://bit.ly/1G9OL9u

It’s easy to see why.  Trees & the view of trees make people feel better. The presence of good-looking trees (not the small spindly things passing for street trees in our municipality or the poor butchered trees) improves peoples’ mental, physical & spiritual health.  Apart from “significantly less” diabetes, heart disease & stroke, depression rates lessen & overall happiness increases.  A good urban forest is vital for a community’s health & should be a priority for every local council.

Marrickville municipality’s urban forest is 16.3%, which is dismal & one of the lowest in Sydney.

Recently Marrickville Council said on Facebook that they are planting “over 400 trees” this season. This is great, but they also planned for the removal of 1,590 street trees since December 2012, plus the other trees removed that were not identified for removal in the Tree Inventory. The bulk of the trees to be removed were mature.  It takes a long time to replace the benefits provided by a mature tree.

At 400 new trees per year, it would take 4-years just to replace the 1,590 street trees removed (or still to be removed) & this does not equate to increasing our urban forest.  It is just breaking even with what is currently considered a poor level of canopy cover.

As for the research finding that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger,” this too is understandable.

One only needs to travel to nearby suburbs like Alexandria, North Newtown, Darlington, Redfern, Waterloo, Darlinghurst or Paddington to see the enormous & positive difference good street trees can make to an area.  Travel over the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the North Shore & the differences are more pronounced, but so are the housing prices.  People pay much more to live in leafy areas.

Trees make an area. They increase livability. They provide beauty, muffle the sound of traffic, remove pollution, provide shade & shelter & bring in the wildlife.

Even the sound of birds makes life nicer. This is something that is taken for granted when one is used to living with the sound of birdsong, but when there are few trees & fewer birds, one notices the lack of birdsong. Unfortunately many have become accustomed to the lack of birdsong & don’t notice the “wildlife poverty.”

Earlier this week I traveled to Baulkham Hills via Pymble. After looking at their urban forest, I am convinced that we have “tree poverty” here in many parts of Marrickville LGA. There is no reason for this other than Council’s decision on what species of tree they plant & where they plant.   To me it is sad. We have many wide roads & many places where trees could be planted, yet the Tree Inventory said there was only 1,544 “vacant planting opportunities.”

The Tree Inventory found that Marrickville municipality had a total of 22,608 street trees in December 2012. That may sound a lot, but remember we have one of the smallest tree canopies in Sydney. Although Council says they are committed to increasing the urban forest, they have not given a percentage target of their planned increase. This is unlike other local councils throughout Sydney & Australia who numerically disclose their intended target.  This means any amount of trees planted will allow Council to say they have achieved their Key Performance Indicator for that year & the community will be none the wiser.

If the ‘vacant planting opportunities’ do get filled, this will mean our urban forest will have a total of only 24,152 trees. This is not nearly enough in my opinion. The idea that our urban forest will only ever be as good as an extra 1,544 trees makes me feel frustrated. It means that the urban forest will likely continue to be as it is currently & our municipality will not get the injection of streetscape beauty needed in many of our streets.

To reiterate some of the most important findings of the Tree Inventory –

  • 2,034 or 9% of our urban are in poor health or dead.
  • 4,068 trees or 18% of our urban forest have poor or very poor structure or have failed. This makes 6,102 trees in total that are sick, have poor structure or are dying or dead.
  • 4,236 trees were identified as causing footpath damage, kerb damage, road damage or damage to private infrastructure.
  • 15,226 trees or 69% are mature.
  • 4,540 trees or 20% are assessed as having a Useful Life Expectancy of 10 years or less.
  • Compared to 8 other Councils Marrickville street trees are smaller in size, so this will be even more noticeable when the identified 20% or 4,540 trees come to the end of their safe useful life expectancy by December 2017 & are removed.
  • 7,997 trees were identified for minor maintenance through to tree removal. 7,011 trees were recommended for major & minor tree maintenance works. This is a total of 15,008 trees of which 88% are Moderate Priority (within 2 years) or Low Priority (within 4 Years).

As the research shows again & again – trees are good for our health & the more trees there are, the better our health on all levels.

Another view of the street trees in Waterloo.  These were not one offs - every street we walked was full of street trees.

Another view of the street trees in Waterloo. These were not one offs – every street we walked was full of big tall street trees.

Tall street trees always look fabulous, even without leaves in winter.

Another Waterloo street.  Tall street trees always look fabulous, even without leaves in winter.

And another Waterloo street looking gorgeous.

And another Waterloo street looking gorgeous.  If this can be done so close to Sydney CBD, it can be achieved in Marrickville municipality.

Part of the central path to the fountain installed in 1889.  The Canary Island palms are the tallest I have seen.

Part of the central path to the fountain installed in 1889. The Canary Island palms are the tallest I have seen.

Some of these veteran Canary Island palms have a bend, which I think is rather nice.

Some of these veteran Canary Island palms have a bend, which I think is rather nice.

Magnificent veteran Fig with incredible aerial roots.    Two thirds of this tree is not in the photo.

Magnificent veteran Fig with incredible aerial roots. Two thirds of this tree is not in the photo.

After decades of driving past & wishing I could stop & go inside Redfern Park, today I finally did & boy, it was well worth it.

A bit of history – prior to 1885 the land that became Redfern Park was deemed “a dangerous ‘pestiferous bog’ known as Boxley’s Lagoon.” In 1885 Redfern Council (now the City of Sydney Council) gazetted the 12-acres to form Redfern Park. It was designed as a “Victorian pleasure ground” & thankfully, retains much of this feel today.

In 2014 Redfern Park was awarded the ‘Green Flag Award’ for recreation & relaxation & recognised as one of the top parks in the world. I was not surprised when I read this, feeling that my absolute pleasure at this park was justified.  More of the park’s interesting history can be found here – http://bit.ly/1fcFLvk

The park is surrounded by truly magnificent Fig trees. Many have incredible aerial roots that hang down to within a 1.2 metres from the ground, while others have a canopy spread of around 20-metres.

There are also Cabbage & Canary Island palms at the impressive sandstone entrance gates & also in lines throughout the park. There is a massive & perfectly shaped London Plane tree showing how regal this species can look when it doesn’t need to be pruned for powerlines. There is also a gorgeous River Red Gum that makes me think of Central Australia. With today’s blue skies it was easy to imagine this. Much to my delight there is also a Bottle tree.

This list of the registered significant trees in Redfern Park came from the City of Sydney website – see http://bit.ly/1mrY8I9 I must say it is wonderful to be able to find out details of the trees planted, their history & significance.

There are a whopping 86 protected significant trees in Redfern Park making it a jewel less than 2-kms from Sydney CBD.

  • 21 Deciduous Fig trees (Ficus superba var. henneana)
  • 4 Moreton Bay Figs (Ficus macrophylla)
  • 8 Port Jackson Figs (Ficus rubiginosa)
  • 3 Norfolk Island Pines (Araucaria heterophylla)
  • 1 Queensland Lacebark (Brachychiton discolour)
  • 1 London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia)
  • 1 River Red Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
  • 1 Maiden’s Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis)
  • 31 Canary Island Date Palms (Phoenix canariensis)
  • Indian Bean (Catalpa speciosa)
  • 10 Washington Palms (Washingtonia robusta)
  • 2 Date Palms (Phoenix dactylifera)
  • 2 Jelly Palms (Butia capitata)

Part of the park includes Redfern Oval – home of the South Sydney Rabbitohs Rugby League Club.   There is succession planting of both Fig trees & Canary Island Palms surrounding this oval. The roof of the stands of the oval is covered in solar panels – another good thing to see.

Showing the historic gates & a gorgeous street beyond.  Look at that canopy & so many verge gardens.  I bet it is a great street to live.

Showing the historic gates & a gorgeous residential street beyond. Look at that canopy & lush verge gardens. I bet it is a great street to live in.

The oval has multiple large gates that when closed form a fence.  However, they were open to allow the public access to the oval. People were all through this park & oval & it was obvious that is a popular place to spend some time. There were dogs both on leads & leash-free. People were picnicking in the centre of the oval while others walked or ran. To me it was great to see this area opened for use of the public.

There was one barbeque facility & people were cooking while we were there.

Inside the park is a gorgeous ornate fountain that was installed in 1889 & refurbished in 1991.  The fountain area is a delightful & peaceful place to sit & watch the water & passersby. The fountain also provides an important water source for the many birds that call this park & local area home. Water in a public park was very pleasing to see. I wish other parks also provided fresh water for birds.

There is also a well-maintained & attractive war memorial that was erected in 1919 to commemorate 137 local men who lost their lives in the First World War 1914-1919.

The children’s playground was simple, but lovely. Rather than all the entertainment coming from the playground, children were running around the park & exploring.

Close-up of the water sculpture called “Lotus Line’ designed by Aboriginal artist & academic Fiona Foley.   It's utterly gorgeous in my opinion.

Close-up of the water sculpture called “Lotus Line’ designed by Fiona Foley. It’s utterly gorgeous in my opinion.

A marvelous feature in this park is a water sculpture called “Lotus Line’ designed by Aboriginal artist & academic Fiona Foley. Multiple lotuses stand tall & around these shoots spouts of water. It is a waterplay park with a difference & still spouting water in winter.  Kids were playing ‘karate chop’ with the waterspouts & able to do this without getting wet. I imagine it is a different scene on hot summer’s days.

Ms Foley also designed large seedpods & other sculptures for the children’s playground. Kids can enter or climb these art works. They were very beautiful to my eye & rather than detract from the surrounding landscape, added another almost secret dimension.  Her artwork in Redfern Park is very nature-orientated, which I think is a good thing as it engages children’s consciousness & hopefully makes them more respectful of the environment.

One other thing that I found impressive & smart on Sydney City Council’s behalf was that all the garden beds were planted with the one plant. I think it is called Philodendron ‘xanadu,’ though I may be wrong.  The wide garden beds around the periphery of the park & under the trees were thick with this lush plant & they served to block out much of the sight of the busy passing traffic.

Mono-planting if done well, as it is in this case, can look terrific. There were no empty garden beds or areas that looked dead or only covered with mulch. The garden beds also served to provide a safe habitat for any ground dwelling wildlife.  Also, most trees in the park were surrounded by a generous ring of mulch, so no chance of injury from a whipper-snipper or lawn mower & also very good for the continuing health of the tree.

Another view of the veteran Canary Island Palms.

Another view of the Canary Island Palms, this time from the south side of the park.

What I found astounding was the lack of litter in this park. There were no cigarette butts, drink cans, bottle tops & other litter, even under the trees & in the gardens.  I saw one bottle & a couple of tissues in our two-hour stay & the park was full of people.   A colony of Australian White Ibis lives in the park & not a sigle one of them has leg injuries from discarded string or the like.

What makes one section of the community treat their park well, while another a short drive away thinks nothing of leaving everything they don’t want behind? I don’t think I will ever understand this.

There was no graffiti, but there was chalk drawings on the pavement done by children.   One of the messages said, “Don’t worry about a thing. Be happy.”

There was no evidence of any kind of vandalism either.   All the newly planted trees were left untouched. No tree trunk was spray-painted. Neither were the historic sandstone entrance gates, bench seats, bins or other structures. The fountain looked new, not 126-years-old.  Respect for the environment is obvious in this park.

Redfern Park is special.  I highly recommend a walk on a sunny day to take in the delightful sights of so many magnificent trees & the other wonderful aspects of this marvelous park. Don’t wait decades like I did before you take a step back into history when parks were elegant places for promenading & people watching. Casual clothing is accepted these days, but probably not in the 1880s.  I would give Redfern Park ten stars for beauty, ambience, amenity, art, sport, community & peace.

An incredibly lovely Victorian fountain that not only looks beautiful & sounds peaceful, but is also a fresh water source for local birds & other wildlife.

An incredibly lovely Victorian fountain that not only looks beautiful & sounds peaceful, but is also a fresh water source for local birds & other wildlife.  Seatung surrounded the fountain.

One of the magnificent trees in Redfern Park.

One of the magnificent trees in Redfern Park.  Everywhere one looks there is beauty.

Phenomenal Red River gum in the background with one of the artworks by Fiona Foley.   This one could be climbed or entered.

Phenomenal Red River gum in the background with one of the artworks by Fiona Foley. This one could be climbed or entered.  

Sublime Fig tree in Redfern Park.  Note the landscaping

Sublime Fig tree in Redfern Park. Note the landscaping that protects the trees, adds beauty & habitat, but also separates the park from the street beyond.

Looking twards the centre of the park from under a massive canopy of a veteran Fig tree.

Looking twards the centre of the park from under a massive canopy of a veteran Fig tree.

The 'Lotus Lines' water scupture was enjoyed by myself, a meditating man, some children & these dogs.

The ‘Lotus Lines’ water scupture was enjoyed by myself, a meditating man, some children wo are just visible inside & these dogs.

 

Look at the size of this rain garden & it is only one of two on this corner.

Look at the size of this rain garden & it is only one of two on this corner.

After completing community consultation that started in July 2014, Marrickville Council has started building a rather impressive rain garden in Scouller Street Marrickville. Actually, they are four rain gardens – two on each corner of Scouller Street at the intersection of Juliett Street with the footpath traveling between them.

The road has been narrowed on both corners allowing more land to be claimed for the rain gardens & for what appears to be landscaping. Only two parking spaces were lost to create so much gain.

This street is part of the Eastern Channel East Subcatchment that carries stormwater all the way to the Cooks River. Quite incredible really as this is the top end of Marrickville; almost Enmore.

The rain gardens will clean & filter the stormwater, as well as improving habitat. Narrowing the road for the rain gardens will also help slow traffic.

Scouller Street is one of those lucky streets that have old brick footpaths. Not only are these attractive in my opinion, I assume that they are also permeable to a degree. Council has retained the flow of the brick footpath between the rain gardens, which is great.

Even now it is easy to see how these rain gardens will increase the beauty & amenity of this corner & have a positive impact for local biodiversity. Work has a way to go yet, so I will write an update once it is finished. Well done Marrickville Council. I think this is going to be fantastic.

Showing one & a bit of another rain garden. The brick path continues through the middle.

Showing one & a bit of another rain garden. The brick path continues through the middle.  

Narrowing the road has allowed for significant sized rain gardens to be built.  This intersection is going to look wonderful as well as serve a very useful purpose.

Narrowing the road has allowed for significant sized rain gardens to be built. This intersection is going to look wonderful as well as serve a very useful purpose.

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