The Greenway at leichhardt. This is a natural peaceful place that was being used by quite a few people while we were there. Thsi is a major asset for both people and wildlife.

The Greenway at Leichhardt. This is a natural peaceful place that was being used by quite a few people while we were there.    The Greenway is a major asset for both people and wildlife.

Another view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

Another view of The Greenway filled with Hills Fig trees and an almost continuous canopy. Very special.

The Hawthorn Canal with floating flowers form a Jacaranda tree

The Hawthorn Canal with floating flowers from a Jacaranda tree.  The Greenway is on the left of this photo.

I’ve seen signs pointing to The Greenway at the Cooks River & at Hercules Street Dulwich Hill, but the first is just a sign & the other leads to a locked gate. I’ve seen The Greenway through the fence at Hoskins Park & also beside the Waratah Mills Light Rail Station. I’ve even seen videos of people riding their pushbikes along The Greenway, yet I was unable to find it until recently & it happened quite by accident.

I wanted to check out a bushy area at Grosvenor Crescent Summer Hill where it leads under the railway bridge and becomes Lewisham at Longport Street. It turned out that there is a handy car park, which is much needed, as on street parking is not available at this curve in the road.  The park is called Cadigal Reserve.

The first thing we saw was a sign by Ashfield Council explaining The Greenway Bushcare site. Then off the bitumen path along a dirt path lined with small rocks. This section is a bush pocket maintained by the Year 7 students at Ashfield Boys High School. There was evidence of recent planting. I think it is great that school children get the chance to be active participants in greening the local area & creating habitat for wildlife.

"Yellow dot trees" - there are quite a few Fig trees marked like this. I sincerely hope this does not indicate removal.

“Yellow dot trees” – there are quite a few Hill’s Fig trees marked like this. I sincerely hope this does not indicate removal.

This path takes you down a small hill past quite a row of lovely sandstone pillars that support a large pipe that travels through tunnels under the railway line. There is another bush garden area down there.

The path takes you to the left & this is The Greenway. Yes! Only 20-years to finally make it to this place, so we started walking.

The bitumen path takes you alongside the Hawthorn Canal on the right with houses on the left. After a while you reach Parramatta Road. To cross you need to take the lift up a level & walk across the overpass to the Taverner’s Hill Light Rail Station. The lift takes you back down to the other side of Parramatta Road & from there you continue along The Greenway. This is where the walk turns really green.

Someone went to a great deal of trouble to paint this sign.

Someone went to a great deal of trouble to paint this sign. I thank them.

I counted 113 Hill’s Fig trees along this section between Parramatta Road & Marion Street Leichhardt. Of concern is that a number of these trees have been spray-painted with a yellow dot, which in my experience indicates a tree to be chopped down. I hope I am wrong, but I did read that Leichhardt Council plan some improvement works here, including widening the path, so this will probably result in tree removal. There was also a sign, “Save Our Trees,” which was a bit ominous.

Something that is unique about The Greenway is that the bulk of the walk is under a continuous canopy. This is extremely rare in the Inner West. It is a wonderful experience to walk under a continuous canopy filled with birds flitting around & birdsong.   If all the “yellow dot trees” are removed, much of this continuous canopy will be lost & that is a shame to my mind.  It’s actually a big loss. We found the path wide enough for both cyclists & pedestrians. Perhaps others do not.  It’s nice that The Greenway is natural with nothing more than a bitumen path.

Halfway along this section is a pedestrian tunnel to Lords Road Leichhardt. Instead of this tunnel being a dingy space filled with graffiti that I am used to seeing, it has been transformed into an artwork called, ‘The Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural.’

On one side is a series of 44 panels with images & quotes that tell of the history of the Hawthorn Canal & The Greenway. It is filled with positive messages about the environment.

On the other side is a large mosaic mural, which again is all about the environment. It runs the length of the tunnel. Those who read this blog know that I am very keen on public art having an environmental message, as I believe these have the ability to raise the consciousness of people to consider & respect the environment in a non-confrontational way.

Leichhardt Council’s website says, “The Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural, which commenced in 2005 and was completed in 2011 was a collaboration between community volunteers, Railcorp, Leichhardt Council, and local artists.  …… Volunteers aged from 4 to 75 worked on the project contributing over 5,000 hours of time creatively placing over 475,000 mosaic on its walls. Before it was installed this tunnel was miserable, dark and vandalised. Now it is a glowing example of community art and best practice community safety intervention.See – http://bit.ly/1TkhP6G

Unexpected and lovely green space at the exit of the tunnel at Lords Road Leichhardt.

Unexpected and lovely green space at the exit of the tunnel at Lords Road Leichhardt.

They are not exaggerating. It has lights embedded into the floor that shine light onto the mosaic lighting up fish, octopus & other sea creatures. It’s very beautiful.

On the Lords Road side is small area with a cluster of trees, providing a nice enough an area to spread a picnic blanket & relax for a while, though I doubt anyone does this. It’s just nice to see a cluster of trees & an area of green space.

From the tunnel we continued walking to Marion Street where I decided it was time to head back. We plan to return on another day with our bicycles & ride the full route to Iron Cove.

Ashfield & Leichhardt Council has done well here. There is room for more variety of plants, especially food-producing plants for wildlife.  However, to have such a long green corridor next to water, even if it is only a canal, is a great asset.

Volunteers are working on re-vegetating The Greenway, so it will only improve on beauty & habitat for wildlife as the years pass.  See the Blogroll on the left of this blog if you are interested in becoming a volunteer.

I will certainly use this as a local place for get amongst nature for a ride or a walk. The path was fairly busy with cyclists & pedestrians while we were there. This was good to see, as people mean safety & I did feel safe.

Bring on connecting the rest of The Greenway & have it open for the community to use. It will be fantastic when we can ride of or walk from the Cooks River to Iron Cove. I hope it is sooner rather than later.

You can learn more about The Greenway here – http://www.greenway.org.au/

Cadigal Reserve Bushcare site cared for by Year 7 of Ashfield Boys High School.

Cadigal Reserve Bushcare site cared for by Year 7 of Ashfield Boys High School.

Tunnel that caontains the Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural,

Tunnel that caontains the Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural,

A small part of this fantastic mosaic of the Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural,

A small part of this fantastic mosaic of the Hawthorne Canal Mosaic Mural,

 

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