Panorama of Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill

Panorama of Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill

New verge gardens at the entrance to Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill

New verge gardens making a nice entrance to Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill

Last weekend Council staff, Mayor Macri, Clr Haylen & Clr Brooks joined the residents of Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill to plant street trees in newly created verge gardens.  As far as I am aware, this is the first of four streets that are being turned into sustainable streets this year by Marrickville Council.  One day I hope there will be 400 sustainable streets & that verge gardens are the norm across Marrickville LGA.

We went down to Lincoln Street last night to have a look.  It’s a great improvement.  Marrickville Council have removed concrete & created 17 new verge gardens on both sides of the street.  There was already one verge garden on the corner, making 18 in total.  Marrickville Council donated some native grasses & there are some new street trees as well.  The community planted these together last weekend.  In time the street will look greener & the residents will have a much nicer environment.

The benefits of verge gardens are too many to dismiss their positive impact on the urban environment.  Verge gardens often allow street trees to be planted & they cool down the area by adding much needed shade. Even with no street tree, a verge garden cools down the area by reducing the urban heat island effect.

Lovely art work advertising the community planting event. It's great to get kids involved in gardening & the environment.

Lovely art work advertising the community planting event. It’s great to get kids involved in gardening & the environment. Photo by Joanne Pouliezos Katsaros with thanks 🙂

They can add significant beauty depending on what you plant in them.   I’ve seen some stunning verge gardens around Marrickville municipality.  They can attract & support wildlife too, again depending on what you plant in them.

Verge gardens also help capture stormwater, which is very important in helping keep the Cooks River clean & helping the wildlife that lives in & around the river. This captured stormwater also helps water street trees that often struggle in a concrete  & bitumen environment.

Verge gardens also contribute greatly to stopping dumping & littering. Graffiti taggers usually don’t tag when an area looks pretty.

Verge gardens most definitely increase property values because of the beauty they bring & their presence sends a clear message that the neighbourhood is cared for.  I have wondered whether they decrease crime because there is often someone out on the street gardening doing passive surveillance.

Our experience is that you get to know your neighbourhood when you have a verge garden as almost everyone likes to stop & have a chat about the garden.  Verge gardens bring communities together & this is always a good thing in this day & age where people often don’t know their neighbours.  If the street is full of verge gardens like Lincoln Street, they help create a close-knit community where people work for the betterment of all.

You can contact Marrickville Council to ask that your street be transformed into a sustainable street.

Council’s ‘Have Your Say’ website has information on sustainable streets as well as a downloadable Guideline & Checklist for starting verge gardens.   This document is very informative & takes you through all the steps to ensure that your verge garden doesn’t cause problems for vehicles or pedestrians.  It is important to follow procedures so that you don’t inadvertently dig through water pipes or telephone cables, as you will be the one liable for the repair costs.  – http://yoursaymarrickville.com.au/sustainablestreets

If you would like to create a verge garden outside your property, but it is fence to kerb concrete, you can now pay Marrickville Council to remove the concrete for you.  They will do all the work necessary to ensure there is no infrastructure underneath, cut out & take the concrete away & fill the new verge garden with compost allowing you to plant immediately.  Their current charge for doing this is $170 per square metre.   To organize this you need to contact the Sustainable Streets Officer at Marrickville Council.

My own experience is that I always feel good coming home because the first thing I notice is our verge gardens.  From being lawn that was constantly used as a dumping ground for the area’s dated household goods, it is now a thriving patch of beauty that has brought many species of native birds to live here.  Seeing it always makes me feel happy.  Then I go inside where housework waits.

Mayor Macri planting a street tree in Lincoln Street with the residents looking on.  The grasses by the kerb were donated by Council.

Mayor Macri planting a street tree with the residents looking on. The grasses by the kerb were donated by Council.  Photo by Joanne Pouliezos Katsaros with thanks 🙂

Some of the new verge gardens

Some of the new verge gardens with a new street tree

Ana another view. De-paving is great.

Ana another view. De-paving is great.

Some of the new verge gardens in  Lincoln Street Dulwich Hill

Another view.

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