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Gum tree in the traffic island on the corner of Arthur & Ann Street Marrickville

Tortured Gum tree in the traffic island on the corner of Arthur & Ann Street Marrickville

Bitumen-covered large traffic island - an unattractive heat sink in Arthur Street Marrickville

Covered in bitumen – an unattractive heat sink in Arthur Street Marrickville

 

Now it has been transformed into this!

 

Although the planting hasn't finished you can easily see how attractive this traffic island will become.

Although the planting hasn’t finished you can easily see how attractive this traffic island will become.

A couple of days ago I cycled over to Arthur Street Marrickville to see whether the large traffic island on the corner of Ann Street was indeed being transformed into a garden.  What I saw was very pleasing.

Marrickville Council has done some great work here & I am sure that the local residents are happy about this.  From being a very large traffic island covered with bitumen with a stunning Gum tree somehow managing to survive, it has been transformed into a garden that will soon support wildlife.

Twelve Lilly Pillies have been planted around two sides. I assume these will create a small hedge.  Ground covering Grevillias have been planted in the remaining space.  On the other side of the tree that has been released from bondage, are five Bird’s Nest ferns.  I have never seen Council plant Bird’s Nest ferns on traffic islands before. They look good now & will be stunning when grown. Fingers crossed that they are not pilfered in the night.

Council have also painted the surrounds & added a chain link fence to protect pedestrians from falling into the gutter.

This corner of Arthur & Ann Streets has a number of lovely qualities. The house next to the traffic island has a water feature in the front garden & the sound of falling water is audible from the street.  Across the road are large trees where Ravens, Currawongs & Magpies can always be found.   There is also minimal traffic.

As I stood there looking at the new plants & the other work done by Council I became aware of the dappled shade from the Gum tree, the sound of birdcall & of falling water & thought – this is how streets can offer spaces of green & respite.

It may be that you only stop here for a couple of minutes to take a breather on your way home from work or the shops, but you will certainly benefit if you do so.

As we have so few parks in Marrickville LGA, our streets are defacto green spaces.  Many people walk for recreation & the greener our streets become with verge gardens & better street trees, the more the community will benefit.

I often take a slow walk along David Street Marrickville because doing so makes me feel good.  The houses are nice, many of the front gardens are green & interesting, the street trees are spectacular & the cool dappled shade wonderful to be in.  Plus, I don’t have to battle litter, barbeque smoke & blaring car radios like I do in some of our parks.

I can get the emotional benefit of being in a park if I walk or cycle down the right streets & I know I am not alone from the people I have spoken with who also choose to walk these streets for the same reasons as I do.

What Marrickville Council has done here in Arthur Street is create a space that can nurture people’s need for peaceful green space.  It also increases biodiversity so is good for urban wildlife.  If every area of concrete or bitumen could be greened our municipality would become cooler & nicer.

Research scientists say the payoff is a happier & healthier community so I think more work like this is a priority.  Thank you Marrickville Council.  This is great work.

All the bitumen removed, Grevillias, Lilly Pillies, Bird's Nest Ferns with a lovely Gum tree.  There is still an unplanted area that is to be filled with more Grevillias.

All the bitumen removed, Grevillias, Lilly Pillies, Bird’s Nest Ferns with a lovely Gum tree. There is still an unplanted area that is to be filled with more Grevillias. Pus a new unobtrusive chain link safety fence.  Give it time to grow & this area will look even lovelier.

It was the new Bird's Nest ferns that shocked me. These will collect fallen gum leaves & offer habitat for small lizards.  A big Bird's Nest fern is a lovely plant.

It was the 5 new Bird’s Nest ferns that shocked me. These will collect fallen gum leaves & offer habitat for small lizards. A big Bird’s Nest fern is a lovely plant.

 

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