Both sides of this stormwater canal in Alexandria has been naturalized by Sydney Water making it a wildlife corridor in an area that is mostly industrial & therefore heavily concreted.

Both sides of this stormwater canal in Alexandria has been naturalized by Sydney Water making it a wildlife corridor in an area that is mostly industrial & therefore heavily concreted.

This Google map shows how important the naturalization of the stormwater canal is  for biodiversity .  The area is industrial & therefore mostly concrete.

This Google map shows how important the naturalization of the stormwater canal is for biodiversity.  The area is industrial & therefore mostly concrete.

The Nick Scali store in O’Riordan Street Alexandria has extensive & very attractive landscaping in front of their store.  This in itself is wonderful & I wish more businesses took care to landscape their street frontage.  It was their landscaping that made us stop the car & have a look.  It was then that we discovered the stormwater canal beside the store & had a walk along it.

The storm water canal travels underneath O’Riordan Street on both sides.   Sydney Water has planted both sides of the stormwater canal with native plants & trees, effectively creating a wildlife corridor.  For what they had to work with, it is very good.  They also left an area of lawn making it a perfect place for local employees to have somewhere natural & away from the traffic to spend their lunch break.  I didn’t see any housing, but I am sure the local children know about this place.

Lilly Pilly fruit was available in abundance

Lilly Pilly fruit was available in abundance

Banksia & Acacia trees lined both sides of the canal, as well as an understory of Grevillias & native grasses & other shrubs that I couldn’t identify.  There were also quite a few Lilly Pilly trees bursting with fruit along the pathway.  This was not something I expected to find in this industrial/retail area.   The pathway is probably a bicycle route & a shortcut for pedestrians though I do not know how far the path travels.

The flora along this stormwater canal is a boon for wildlife in the area, especially as there are lots of native food-producing plants & trees.  It showed me that these usually quite ugly areas can be transformed into something beautiful & immensely beneficial for urban wildlife, even where there is not much space. Often the only fresh water the birds have to drink is the water that dribbles down these canals.

I wonder why these areas are not naturalized more often.   Probably because it costs money, but many of these areas beside stormwater canals across Sydney could be naturalized for just the cost of clearing & the plants by holding regular community planting events.  These places are perfect for improving on biodiversity.

Graffiti signage showing the direction of the Alexandra Canal for those who are lost.

Graffiti signage showing the direction of the Alexandra Canal for those who are lost.

I’ve only seen one other naturalized stormwater canal & that one is opposite Marrickville Metro.  The Sydney Water has planted native plants to see if they can control weeds.  I’d say it has been a resounding success.  Even though you can’t see much from the street, it looks great.  There are Gum trees & many plants, mostly native grasses.  These plants will not only offer habitat & perhaps food for urban wildlife, the plants also cool the area down & make it much more pleasant for the local neighbourhood.

There are two substantial areas beside stormwater canals in Marrickville South between Renwick & Cary Streets & a very large area in Mackey Park.  Both have large areas of lawn & seem like wasted space to me.  The one in Mackey Park appears to be owned by Council.  It would be great if this space could be naturalized.  I have never seen anyone walk there.

Well-done Sydney Water. The O’Riordan Street stormwater canal looks great.  I’ll post photos of the canal opposite Marrickville Metro soon.

Grassed area & pedestrain bridge

Grassed area & pedestrain bridge

Pedestrian pathway lined with Lilly Pilly trees

Pedestrian pathway lined with Lilly Pilly trees. It was a hot day so were grateful for the cool shade.

Area beside Nick Scali

Area beside Nick Scali on the right. This screams – we care about the environment.

Showing a small section of the area beside the stormwater canal in Mackey Park. There are 3 White-faced Herons & 3 Ibis here.

Showing a small section of the area beside the stormwater canal in Mackey Park. There are 3 White-faced Herons & 3 Ibis here – all who have come for a drink.

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