“Just drove past Marrickville Town Hall and all the trees have gone – looks shocking.” – text I received dated 29th November 2014.
I went to have a look the next day & it does look shocking. It made me feel very sad to lose these healthy trees for nothing more than a design whim.
Pines are symbolic trees for fallen soldiers, so were entirely appropriate around the Town Hall & the War Memorial.
Yes, the forecourt looked neglected & ugly, but it wasn’t because of the trees. It looked ugly & neglected because of the chipped pebblecrete on the ground, the half empty garden beds, the neglected & dirty war memorial, the absent very beautiful Winged Victory statue & the empty pebblecrete planter boxes. All this was topped off with the bus stop placed in front of the Town Hall & the Forecourt being used as a car park on a regular basis.
I read a lot about trees & greening urban environments. Globally the push is to add trees & green the environment, not take them down.
In Australia we have the 202020 Vision – a campaign by the Institute of Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney. They have mapped the urban forest in 139 municipalities across Australia & Marrickville is down there at the bottom with only 16.3% tree canopy. This is nothing to be proud of.
According to the report, ‘Benchmarking Australia’s Urban Tree Canopy: An –Tree Assessment, Final Report,’ dated May 2014, Marrickville LGA has –
- 63.4% hard surfaces
- 16.3% tree canopy.
If the truth be stated, a massive number of our street trees have very little canopy & therefore very little impact on the environment in terms of carbon sequestration, pollution uptake, cooling & shade. I constantly pass street trees so small that I wonder if they should have been included in the Tree Inventory. But of course they were.
So with only 16.3% tree canopy, Marrickville Council is now removing healthy trees to upgrade an important site in Marrickville. I don’t understand it.
I believe that upgrade will result in a hot & harsh Forecourt, especially in summer. One Magnolia, a deciduous ornamental tree, will be planted to the left of the Forecourt. It may yet be beautiful when the upgrade is completed. We shall see.
I shall miss those trees & I bet the hundreds of birds who slept in them every night for the past few decades will too. Progress.