This is the Victoria Road Marrickville swale just after it was created in December 2009.  Once the plants grew it changed considerably.

This is the Victoria Road Marrickville swale just after it was created in December 2009. Once the plants grew it changed considerably.

This is how the Victoria Road Bushpocket swale looked like late in the day on the 21st March 2013.

This is how the Victoria Road Bushpocket swale looked like late in the day on the 21st March 2013.

On 21st March 2013 I drove down Victoria Road Marrickville & saw earth-moving equipment with Marrickville Council workers digging up the swale on the bushpocket site.  I returned at the end of the day specifically to have a close look.  The swale had been totally removed & what was left in its place was a large hole, a flattened area that looked suspiciously like a footpath & paint markings on the dirt also looking like the outline of a footpath.

As Marrickville Council have recently built what I call ‘a footpath to nowhere’ under the railway bridge & around the curve of Victoria Road to Myrtle Street, I assumed the swale was destroyed for an extension of this footpath.

The ‘footpath to nowhere’ ends in Myrtle Street where street trees start.  To continue the footpath three good-sized street trees planted around 8 to 10-years-ago will probably need to be removed.  That is unless Council make the footpath thinner in this area, but I doubt they will because the rest of it is wide & they tend to like wide paths.

There is a footpath on the opposite side of both Victoria Road & Myrtle Street so pedestrians are okay.  There has never been a footpath on the other side of this section of Victoria Road that I am aware of.  The area is located beside the goods line & coupled with the hill, made an excellent site for a swale & a bushpocket.  There are also 3-4 large mature trees here that screen the railway line.

The swale is a major part of the Victoria Road Bushpocket site.  It was built by Marrickville Council in 2009 as part of a community environmental initiative led by local resident Micheal Easton & supported by other local residents.  The residents met regularly to plant, weed & clean the bushpocket site. Together they transformed it from a relatively empty, verging on an unsightly litter-attracting patch of land to something that was green, functional & quite lovely.

Council even installed a park bench placed under the shade of a tree.  The pathways were loose gravel & it was nice to walk here & have a look to see what was in flower at the time.  In March 2011, the project was handed back to Marrickville Council who said they would continue to manage the bushpocket.

Apparently the swale has been destroyed to accommodate a bicycle path.  As a cyclist, I think a bike paths are very important & much needed.  I question however, with this section of Victoria Road being so wide & already a Council designated on-road cycle route, why Council would need to destroy a swale that was part of local stormwater management & important for biodiversity.  The swale was built in this location to capture & clean stormwater before it entered the Cooks River, less than a kilometer away.

Something else to consider is that the bushpocket was thriving & great for biodiversity & habitat creation.  Now we will have yet more concrete.

If it costs Council $1,000 to plant a sapling, imagine how much the Bushpocket & swale cost to create & manage & how much it cost to remove it.

Will this area be concreted?

Will this area be concreted?  

Showing Myrtle Street, the new footpath & the curve of the road going under the railway line.

Showing Myrtle Street, the new footpath that stops because trees are in the way.  The outside lanes are marked with bicycle symbols.

 

 

 

 

 

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