I have just come back from a walk around Tempe Reserve. It was good to see that work has started on the Cooks River Valley Garden upgrade. I wrote about the $70,000 upgrade here – http://bit.ly/1zKDjlj
There has been some thinning done. This is not something to be concerned about as many shrubs & trees were dead or nearly dead. The area along the main pathway & outside the toilet block was full of almost dead shrubs. Now that it is cleaned up it looks much better & there is room for new plants.
Many trees have yellow crosses on their trunks indicating that they are for removal. I was pleased to see that the male & female Podocarpus trees were unmarked, so they will be staying. This is good because both these trees offer housing for many birds. Plus they are the tallest trees in this area & they are healthy.
Everything is green after the rain. Even the nearby ‘Ring of Figs’ is doing well after many of the trees lost a lot of leaves last summer. They have sprouted new growth.
It did appear that quite a few trees in the ‘Turpentine forest’ have been chopped down. A number of nearly dead Acacias have also been chopped down in this area, which is beside the ring of Figs.
When I last wrote, the plans for the garden upgrade were not on Council’s website, but they are now & can be viewed at this link – http://bit.ly/1Bplkli
The plans show that 13 large trees will be planted along the section of the garden that faces the picnic kiosks. Two of these will provide shade to a kiosk from the afternoon sun. 8 smaller trees will be planted along the back of the toilet block.
There will be two ‘gathering points.’ One will be an ‘Aboriginal Interpretation Area’ with Story Poles. We have one of these in Steel Park, another between Steel & Mackey Parks & one in Kendrick Park. I like the Story Poles & think these will be a nice addition to this space.
It appears that the grassed area between the kiosks & the Garden will be paved & this will include the tap. I hope some equity happens with the choice of tap. Something similar to the taps in the parks of Newtown that allow dogs & birds to access fresh water would be good. Paving this area will remove the fresh water to which wildlife has access. This concerns me greatly. Council needs to provide a suitable replacement. A shallow pond under the tap would allow fresh water for the birds & other wildlife. It could easy have an overflow, which takes this water to the Garden. I have seen a range of bird species, as well as lizards drink from this area. I have also seen birds come to drink before flying on.
Council will be removing the two bollards at each end of the Cooks River Valley Garden. They will be putting in a sandstone bollard on the pedestrian pathway near the toilet block to prevent cars driving into the kiosks. While I am really happy about this, I doubt the new bollard will be enough. I believe the cars will simply turn left & access the picnic kiosks by driving through the Ring of Figs. I’ve seen this happen many times. In my opinion, bollards need to be placed at the access from the road.
I hope the proposed solution works because cars in the picnic area cause much damage to the local environment & infrastructure, plus they ruin a peaceful park experience for everyone else, including the wildlife.
The plans show that most of the Garden will be replanted. The Cooks River Valley Garden will hopefully become a showpiece of plants & trees that grow along the river. Good planting choice & the Story Poles will have the potential to make it an interesting & lovely place for schools to visit.
There are lots of wildlife that live in this area of Tempe Reserve & the upgrade with new trees, shrubs & plants will help them by offering food, safety & habitat. It will be good for the community because this once glorious place will once again become something that is beautiful & that we can feel proud of. I am looking forward to seeing the planting choices.