Recently while looking at a street tree to be removed in Davis Street Dulwich Hill I came across Waratah Mills Light Rail Station. I think it may be the greenest leafiest railway station in Marrickville LGA. I cannot say for sure because I have not been to all of them, but I will.
I entered from the cul-de-sac of Davis Street, which in itself is a very pretty area. One side of Davis Street has tiered garden areas, hedges & a number of very tall trees. Houses are on the other side & beautiful heritage Hoskins Park is across the road. The entrance to the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station is subtle. I had no idea it was there until I was actually in the street.
There is a large attractive concrete & wood slat bench at the entrance. On & below the bench are two small life-size sculptures of Long-nosed Bandicoots, which live in the habitat along the light rail line (called the Greenway). Long-nosed Bandicoots are critically endangered in the Inner West, so The Greenway is of extreme importance. The sculptures are very beautiful & are a perfect example of using art as an educator. I was impressed. These would be a delightful sight to see on the daily commute to & from work.
Credit goes to the Inner West Environment Group & to Railcorp for creating such a beautiful area in & around the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station.
To enter the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station from Davis Street you walk along a 15-20 metre raised metal bridge. On either side are small areas of really lovely bush. There are lots of trees & even a nesting box is visible offering passive education about the importance of homes for wildlife.
I saw people leave the train & then lean against the railing looking at the bush for a few minutes. This must be a pleasant way to end a working day.
The Greenway volunteers have done an awesome job here. It is obvious how wonderful it would be to have bicycle & foot access along the whole corridor from the Cooks River to Iron Cove. Hopefully, the state government will fund The Greenway soon. This route is needed for safe travel for cyclists/pedestrians & the benefits to the community would be even greater still with this area a green corridor full of wildlife.
The actual light rail station is very attractive & clean. Railcorp has planted many trees & native plants around the station. They have also planted trees & created verge gardens at the entry in Weston Street. It looks terrific now & in a couple of years it will look even better.
The work to green the station & surrounds clearly shows what can be done with our streets & parks. There have been numerous recent studies proving that green environments have a positive impact on the mental & physical health of the community. Anyone who uses this mode of transport will benefit from the green environment & this has to be applauded.
The back walls of the station buildings have images of wildlife, which add beauty, as well as educate on the importance of wildlife. I personally love any public art that encourages people to acknowledge & respect nature & think this approach to public art is underutilized in Marrickville LGA.
There were plenty of bike racks too. I also noticed the attractive bins. They were being used because I did not see one bit of litter. Again this shows that people are respecting the natural environment that surrounds & is a part of this rail station.
Everything about the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station screams respect for the natural environment & the wildlife that lives there. It is a great example of how trees, plants, even a small area of bush can enhance an area & make it a lovely peaceful place to be in. The more our municipality is made greener with trees, verge gardens & traffic islands, the nicer it will look. Personally, I think the days of concrete as a quick solution are over. More of this please.