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The “urban renewal” of Leichhardt. Photo taken July 2017.

Inner West Council is holding a public meeting on the Sydenham to Bankstown Urban Renewal Corridor Draft Strategy.  If this development goes ahead as planned it will be the end of Dulwich Hill, Marrickville & Sydenham as we know it.  Council has expressed serious concern about the lack of infrastructure to cope with the massive increase in population.  If Council is against it, you know it is bad.

“The revised draft Strategy has increased the number of new dwellings in the inner west by 2,500 to 8,500. Total dwellings have increased by 50% (Marrickville Station Precinct) and 500% (Sydenham Station Precinct).” – Inner West Council press release.  See

As far as I understand, this does not include the 750 new dwellings I was told has just been approved for the Victoria Road Precinct in Marrickville & the 2,400 new dwellings planned for Carrington Road in Marrickville South.

WHEN:          Thursday 10th August 2017

TIME:              6:30pm

WHERE:        Marrickville Town Hall

The deadline for submissions is Sunday 3rd September 2017.

Wattles are flowering now.

The Department of Planning & Environment are holding community information sessions regarding the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor.  All sessions are free to attend.

“Come along to our information session where the project team will be available to discuss the plans with you and answer questions. You can drop in anytime during the three hour time slot.”

  • Dulwich Hill –30pm – 7.30pm on Wednesday 16th August 2017 at Salvation Army, 54 Dulwich Street Dulwich Hill.
  • Marrickville – 10am- 1pm Saturday on 19th August 2017 at Marrickville Town Hall, Marrickville Road.
  • Hurlstone Park –30pm – 7.30pm on Tuesday 22nd August 2017 at Canterbury Hurlstone Park RSL Club, 20-26 Canterbury Road Hurlstone Park.

There are also sessions at Campsie, Lakemba & Bankstown.  To book see –

The 2017 National Tree Day site in Steel Park is being prepared with mulch. It is a large area, approximately 50-metres long.  It will join up with last year’s planting site.  

National Tree Day is happening on Sunday 30th July 2017.  Inner West Council (Marrickville) is inviting the community to help add to the environmental work done in Steel Park at last year’s National Tree Day site.

A large area of lawn was removed & the area planted with native plants & trees.   Council wants to create connected areas of habitat along the river for wildlife to live & forage for food & this is a very good thing.


WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:        Steel Park Illawarra Road Marrickville beside the shared pathway along the Cooks River east of the children’s playground.

TIME:             10am – noon.

BRING:          Refillable water bottle & a hat.   Council will provide gloves, tools, watering cans/buckets, drinking water & refreshments.


Council will also be giving away free trees to increase the urban forest canopy.  The trees will be advanced sized stock (25 litre bags/300mm pots), so you will need to have the means to get the tree home & have room for it to grow in your garden.

Conditions to be eligible for a free tree are –

  • One tree per household. You will need to provide proof of address (Council rates notice or Drivers Licence).
  • Residents must obtain the necessary approvals for selecting the trees and the planting locations within the property boundary. We suggest you investigate where best to plant the tree to minimise any risks to property or people.
  • Inner West Council makes its best endeavours to provide a healthy tree with average growth height information, but makes no warranties concerning the tree.” – from Inner West Council’s website – link below.

The tree species available are all natives & all provide food for wildlife –

  • Lilly Pilly Acmena smithii ‘Red Tip Form’
  • Coast Banksia Banksia integrifolia
  • Bella Donna Brachychiton populneus x acerifolius
  • ‘Dawson River Weeper’ Callistemon viminalis
  • NSW Christmas Bush Ceratopetalum gummiferum
  • Riberry Syzygium luehmannii

Council staff will be available to talk you about tree choice & how to care for it, but you can download information about the trees & their growth expectations here –

WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:  The free trees can be collected from the southern carpark of the Debbie and Abbey Borgia Centre, entrance off Illawarra Road Marrickville.

TIME:             10am – noon.

BRING:          The trees are “advanced size,” so you will need a suitable vehicle to take your tree home.

There is also a planting event happening at Wilkins Green in Wilkins High School in Marrickville. 

“For National Tree Day, our goal is to plant out the ridgeline, which borders the western side of the Green, with native species, further increasing biodiversity for the whole of the Marrickville area and creating a wildlife corridor, or sanctuary, for native Australian fauna, who will find food and shelter within the Green.  Our long term goal is to create a native Bush Land which is self-sustaining, home to wildlife and a showcase to the wider community of what is possible in the urban landscape.”  How great is that!

WHEN:          Sunday 30th July 2017.

WHERE:        Wilkins Green, in Wilkins High School, corner of Livingstone & Sydneham Roads Marrickville.  Parking is available inside the school through the gate on Sydneham Road or street parking is available.

TIME:             10:00am – 2:00pm

BRING:          They ask that you wear closed toes shoes & bring gloves if you have them.  They also request that you can bring a plate of food to share afterward, as there will be a barbeque.  Refreshments will be supplied.

Many of us have got used to Sydney Park being a National Tree Day site, but it will not be this year.  Instead the main Planet Ark National Tree Day site will be with the City of Parramatta at Third Settlement Reserve in Winston Hills.  Costa the Gnome & Dirtgirl will be there, as well as all the other activities we have seen at Sydney Park over the last few years.  Over 10,000 trees, shrubs & groundcovers will be planted along the creek line in Third Settlement Reserve, which is pretty impressive.

If you are not in the Inner West on National Tree Day or you are interested in traveling to another site, there are plenty of places holding planting events.  They can be found here –

A section of last years National Tree Day planting. Photo taken two days ago.  

What was a garden island in lawn is now part of a whole re-vegetated area for wildlife.  The shorter plants were planted last National Tree Day.  Photo taken two days ago.

The beautiful Cooks River

This is a free talk by Professor Ian Tyrrell, a local resident, academic & environmentalist who is writing a book on the history of the Cooks River since white settlement.  This event is organised by The Cooks River Valley Association.  

WHEN:          Tuesday 20th June 2017

WHERE:        School hall, Marrickville West Public School, corner Livingstone Road & Beauchamp Street Marrickville.

TIME:             7pm

A section of Landing Lights Wetland.

The internationally significant Landing Lights wetland is currently threatened by development, even though it is Crown Land.  I wrote about the threat to the this very important wetland here –

Bayside Council says, “To celebrate the completion of the Federal Government grant for Landing Lights Bayside Council will be hosting a community planting day.  This is a great opportunity to be part of the improvement of the biodiversity of the wetlands, by helping put some plants along the boardwalk “to create more native habitat & protect the salt marsh community.”

WHEN:          Friday 2nd June 2017

TIME:             10am – noon.
WHERE:        Landing Lights Wetland – enter from West Botany Street opposite Spring Street Banksia.
Wear appropriate clothing & shoes & bring drinking water.   Phone 9562 1703 for more information.

And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

And the flying foxes put on a wonderful show

The Wolli Creek Preservation Society is holding their annual ‘Bat Watch’ Picnic again.  It is a great evening outing to have a picnic, then watch the Grey-headed flying foxes head out in search of food.  Personally I think it is a beautiful sight.

DATE:            Friday 10th March 2017

TIME:             6.30pm – 8.30pm.  There will be ‘batty crafts’ for the kids from 6.30pm.

ADDRESS:   Turrella Reserve, Earlwood.

BRING:          You, your family & friends, food & drink, something to sit on & insect repellent because the mosquitoes can be bad.

A large birdbath in Bankstown City Council Sylvan Grove Native Garden.  I think it is wonderful for local councils to provide water for birds.

A large birdbath in Bankstown City Council owned Sylvan Grove Native Garden. I think it is wonderful for local councils to provide water for birds.

The Australian Bird Feeding and Watering Study is happening once again.  I missed week one, but there are three more weeks to participate in this citizen science event.

The researchers at Deakin University & Griffith University want to know “what species are attracted to these resources and why people like to provide them.  Most importantly we need to understand the ecological and behavioural effects of bird feeding as almost all information from other countries regarding bird feeding simply does not apply here.  We acknowledge that feeding of wild birds is an important activity for large numbers of people and that the practice may be a significant way for many to connect with nature.”

The ultimate aim of the research is to “develop purpose guidelines for people who feed birds to do so with minimum risk to birds.” 

You don’t need to commit to the whole period, though you can if interested.  You are asked to observe the water/food source for 20-minutes a day & report your observations on the Citizen Science website.

Dates –

  • Monday 6th – Sunday 12th February 2017
  • Monday 13th – Sunday 19th February 2017
  • Monday 20th – Sunday 26th February 2017

To participate you need to sign up here –

Showing the tree that was saved, the new garden area and the new viewing area.  Photo January 2016

Showing the tree that was saved, the new garden area and the new viewing area. Photo January 2016.  

Sydney Water & contractor Total Earth Care are holding a Community Open Day to celebrate the newly upgraded Alexandra Canal beside Tempe Reserve.

I last wrote about this work in January 2016 & was impressed with the extent of restoration work that had been done.  I am sure it looks quite different from my last visit.  See –

WHEN:          Saturday 5 November 2016.

TIME:             10 – 12 noon.

WHERE:        Next to the Alexandra Canal at Tempe Recreation Reserve.

Parking available in the park at the end of Holbeach Avenue Tempe.


Striated heron - Cooks River. Such shy little birds that sneak out of the mangroves when they think no-one ois looking. Expert catchers of fish too.

Striated heron – Cooks River. Such shy little birds that sneak out of the mangroves when they think no-one is looking. Expert catchers of fish too.

Back for the third year, Birdlife Australia’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count is looking for people to participate & help this important citizen science research.

In 2015 over 42,000 Australians counted over 1,000,000 birds.

“The Top 10 most common bird species in Australia remained unchanged from last year, with the Rainbow Lorikeet once again taking out the number one spot. There were minor changes in the order of some of the top 10 birds – Common Myna, Galah and Silver Gull were bumped down a place or two, with House Sparrow, Red Wattlebird and the Welcome Swallow moving up the list.

Other notable changes occurred in some of the state’s Top 3 birds, with the Budgerigar failing to make the Top 3 for the NT and being replaced by the Rainbow Lorikeet.

The Australian White Ibis lost its place in QLD to the Plumed Whistling Duck.

In the ACT the Galah and Crimson Rosella were replaced with the Magpie-lark and the Pied Currawong.

And in WA the Silver Gull had its spot in the Top 3 taken by the Galah.

The Top 3 bird species remained the same in VIC, TAS, NSW & SA.”

It’s easy to be involved.  All it takes is 20-minutes.  Record the birds you see in your backyard or in your favourite outdoor space.  You can do one count or as many counts as you like, but they all need to be done during the one week.

First you need to register as a counter.

There is an app that you can download, which allows you to submit your count.  This is available at the above link.  If you participated last year, your already downloaded app will have an update.

You can also choose to provide information about your count directly to the website, but you still need to register as a counter.

Birdlife Australia have also prepared lesson plans for teachers.  These are available here –

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is happening during the week of 17-23rd October 2016.

Little Wattlebird

Little Wattlebird

Photo Taken 15th May 2016.  Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

Photo Taken 15th May 2016. Not only bottles and other litter, but look at the oil.

How fantastic!  A two-day ‘Litter Congress’ all about the massive problem of littering in Australia presented by Keep NSW Beautiful.

Over 30 experts from across the country will appear at the conference “focusing on the best & newest litter reduction techniques, campaigns, & methodologies.”  YES!

Topics include –

  • Roadside litter
  • Engagement & awareness techniques
  • LIttering behaviour studies
  • Litter audit methodologies
  • Community education
  • Eradicating litter at beaches & in waterways
  • Plastic bags, plastic bottles, & other problem items
  • The upcoming NSW Container Deposit Scheme
  • Litter reduction in schools”

“People are much less likely to litter in clean areas & littered places keep attracting more litter.”

WHEN:          Wednesday 31 August – Thursday 1 September 2016.

WHERE:        WatervieW in Bicentennial Park, Sydney Olympic Park.

Litter at Steel Park Marrickville.

Litter at Steel Park Marrickville.

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