You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘community gardens’ tag.

The front of the block of land is a space for everyone.  Great seating & people can sit on the edge of the raised garden beds as well.

The front of the block of land is a space for everyone. Great seating & people can sit on the edge of the raised garden beds as well.  In time the three trees will provide some shade.

Last month West Ward Councillor Tsardoulias officially opened the Denison Road Community Garden.  It had been a long process for the community who requested that the space (Denison Road Playground) be changed to a community garden.

In 2010 soil testing found the ground to be contaminated with coal & coal products from fires & dumping of ash products from household fires in the past, plus lead & benzoate pyrine.

In 2013 Marrickville Council remediated the soil.  The total cost of $115,000 includes $85,000 for remediation & landscape, & $30,000 for planning & investigations.” http://bit.ly/185S8iR

I think this is great & sensible use for a smallish block of land.  Even though the vegetable planting will not start until later this year, it already looks better than it did before when it was lawn & two small trees & nothing else.  There was no playground equipment.

There are a number of these kinds of underutilized parks in Marrickville & Tempe.  I think that it would be great to see these opened up for this kind of community use.

I have read newspaper articles where some people say taking over these public spaces prevent the rest of the community from using the space. Marrickville Council has overcome this by creating a small section of seating at the front, which is open for anyone to use.  It is a nice area of seating that has raised garden beds on three sides.

Three trees, a Lemon ‘meyer’, a Macadamia & a dwarf Avocado, have been planted in the raised beds.  These trees will not only provide food, they will also provide shade for this section making it a very nice place to sit & enjoy the ambience.

Community gardeners are doing a great thing in my mind.  They not only create something that is beautiful, they will have the expertise to be able to teach the rest of us how to grow food on our own land should the going get tough as it is expected with the changing climate.   Food security & building urban resilience is very important in these times.   When I heard the group speak at a Council Meeting in 2010, they had ideas that were inclusive of the community.  They did not have a philosophy of keeping people out.

I think Marrickville Council has done a great thing here.   It could have been easy for them to say that the land was too polluted & left it at that.  Instead, they remediated the soil & have created a nice place for all & an area that will become an interesting green place for us to watch through the changing seasons.  This is placemaking & will benefit the community for decades to come.

This 45-second video shows the Denison Road Playground before work had been done to transform it into a community garden – http://bit.ly/1eDomcP

Another view of the front area.

Another view of the front area.

The remediated garden area.  Planting is expected to start by the end of 2013. Clever use of this space should allow the group to grow a significant amount of produce.

The remediated garden area. Planting is expected to start by the end of 2013. Clever use of this space should allow the group to grow a significant amount of produce.

 

There are actually tons of spaces around Marrickville LGA where vegetables could be grown. The space doesn’t even need to be big for it to be productive & add beauty to the streetscape.

I found a wonderful TED video of a talk by Pam Warhurst from Todmorden England.  Ms Warhurst & a group of friends decided to start a social movement, which they called, ‘Incredible Edible’ & do this bypassing bureaucracy, which they felt would hold them back.  The plan was to grow food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community – so they just did it.

The group asked themselves, “can you find a unifying language that cuts across, age, income & culture that will help people themselves find a new way of living, see spaces around them differently, think about the resources around them differently, interact differently? Can we find that language & then can we replicate those actions?  The answer would appear to be yes & the language would appear to be food.”

There was no consulting & no submission writing. They simply organised a community meeting & from this ‘Incredible Edible’ was born. And they “did it all without a flipping strategy document, no permission & not waiting for a cheque to start. None of this demands bureaucracy or takes more money.”

Their motto is  – “If You Eat – You’re In.”  You can’t get more inclusive than this.

The movement went well beyond verge gardening outside your own property.  They approached businesses & local services asking to be able to garden their land that was often planted with useless & often prickly plants. The businesses said yes & so the people moved in, removed existing plants or weeds & planted the area with food.  They made it look good by bringing in artistic people (not just artists) to design the area so that the streetscapes looked better.

“Food is popping up all over the place.  They call it ‘Propaganda Gardening.’  Vegetables are planted in people’s front gardens, in the corner of a car park & in front of the Police Station & in the cemetery.  People are visiting from all over the world to look.”

More people became involved so they involved all the local schools. They set up a Board of Management & allowed children to be decision-makers on the Board.  They set up a market garden training centre.  The local university/TAFE took it further by designing a local horticulture course.  Suddenly, this movement was helping people to get training & jobs.

“People want positive actions they can take. They want more kindness towards each other & the environment.”  She used terms like, “educate & inspire……sharing…..investing in kindness……increasing public spiritedness.”

The people designed the ‘Incredible Edible Route’ to take tourists through the town to all the verge gardens.  They took it a step further & connected the route with all the local food producers & promoted their products.

Locals started buying local & making new local products.  64 local products are now on the ‘Incredible Edible Route’ & 49% of local producers said their profit had increased as a result of this movement.  That’s 49% more business than before, all from gardening the verges & other wasted spaces.

The ‘Incredible Edible’ movement is spreading with more than 30 towns in England doing their own verge gardening & cities like Christchurch in New Zealand coming to learn how they can start this as part of their rebuild post-earthquakes.

I find this incredibly inspiring & think it would be quite easy to do in Marrickville LGA.  People are already verge gardening.  Wilga Avenue in Dulwich Hill has most of the street involved & received a major award for it.  Community gardens are popping up here & there & quite a few people do spontaneous guerilla gardening to try & improve their immediate streetscape.

We can’t wait for Marrickville Council to do it, nor is it in our best interest to let the vandals & thieves make it so we are left living in ugliness; not when propagating is so cheap & easy.  We can all benefit from sharing plants, energy & knowledge & we will certainly benefit from better-looking, greener streetscapes.

I know of one woman in her late 60s who is a guerilla gardener. She has created two beautiful spaces on public land & the whole community benefits.  Visit her & she will offer food freshly picked in front of you or eggs still warm from her hen house.

Spare land should be used for community gardens. I am not the only one frustrated at looking at all the Railcorp land that just sits there to be slashed or mown once a year.  These areas could be transformed into community gardens or orchards.  Nothing ever happens on them anyway.  If in a decade’s time Railcorp does want the land to use for something, then we would just have to move on.  Railcorp would benefit hugely with the positive publicity from allowing the community to use certain spaces & train travelers would have something great to look at instead of the desolation that they see out the window.

Edible landscapes could be in all sorts of places, big or small.  Gardeners could rove between sites or stay with the one that most interests them.  Food should be shared with anyone who wants it.  It’s working at the verge gardens of Chippendale. Sometimes someone comes & takes everything, but on the whole, produce is shared.

Ms Warhurst says, edible landscapes are about “building a different & kinder future.”  I believe this.  I also want this.

You can watch this inspiring talk here – http://www.ted.com/talks/pam_warhurst_how_we_can_eat_our_landscapes.html

This area off Illawarra Road Marrickville is a great example of public land that is wasted. No-one uses it & Council mows the grass when needed. It could easily be transformed into a vegetable garden. Small suitable plants could also be grown at the side of the pathway as well. There are many places like this across the municipality just waiting to be transformed into something lovely & useful.

Showing one of the ‘forests’ of Tempe Reserve. It is very small & has a pedestrian path through the middle impacting on its ability to offer real habitat

Marrickville Council has released its Recreation Needs Research Strategy for public comment.  Only 1.27% of the population participated in the community consultation opportunities. The results are now up on ‘Your Say Marrickville’ & the community is being asked to comment by the 6th June 2012. 

Following on from Part 1 http://bit.ly/K54Jvr & Part 2 http://bit.ly/LB9QO4 I also found the following points in the report interesting.

“Implement a design and place-making pilot program to convert under-used pocket parks into a cohesive network of urban green space.”  This sounds great.  Some of the pocket parks are underused because they are ugly spaces with broken seats.  I know that there are many in the community who would like them fixed up.

“Investigate options for additional sustainability projects – including the redeployment of under-used pocket parks as urban forests or community gardens; the use of permeable pavements in parks and public domain areas and the use of vegetated roofs on park buildings.”  I think all of these suggestions are terrific.  I have always been a fan of green roofs & was sorry that they were not included in the LEP.  I’d also like to see Council negotiate to have empty Railcorp land planted with trees or shrubs to increase the urban forest & add beauty where there is little.

Need for clear distinctions between public and private space.”  I don’t really understand this point & can only think of one potential place where the distinction may not be clear; that is the open space for the potential new library development if it appears to be part of the potential residential development.  The new park was to be on the corner of Marrickville & Livingstone Roads opposite St Bridget’s Church & in front of the library building. This makes it clear that the open space is connected to the library & for everyone’s use.  I would like this issue to be considered if any new plans place the park in another location that would make it look like it is connected to residential units.

“Inclusion of sensory stimuli (including elements that delight the eye, hearing, taste, smell and touch) in public places.”  More attention needs to be paid to landscaping.  While woodchip is good for birds to forage for food, it seems to be the main feature in many locations.

“Upgrade landscaping and shade provisions at the water play park in accordance with issues raised in the community consultation.”  I would like any shadecloth structure to be a temporary measure only & trees planted around the WaterPlay area to provide natural shade for the future.

“Increased social interaction.”  This is a great suggestion.  There really needs to be tables near the entrance to Mackey Park & not in the playground for the older people to be able to get together as they used to. They used to meet here most days. Now they stay at home because there is nowhere to sit & as they told me, they don’t want to sit in the playground.  I wrote about this issue in January 2011.  See - https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/mackey-park/

“Need to orientate buildings to streets, plazas and parks to create ‘eyes on the street.’”  “the widespread adoption, over the past ten years, of crime prevention through environmental design strategies to minimise crime in public places by enhancing the perceived risk of detection and apprehension.”  I think sightlines are over emphasised in our parks. It is very hard to get away from the sounds, smell & visibility of the traffic.  You can see from one side of the park to the other even in our largest parks.  Drive along Victoria Road Marrickville & you can look through Enmore Park right across to Black Street.

Another view of Tempe Reserve. There is so much unused lawn in this section of Tempe Reserve. It would be nice to have many more trees, including Sydney Blue Gums & Fig trees, which are quite appropriate for parks. The Princes Highway is just visible in the background & the noise from traffic travels right into the park.

Noise is also a big issue.  In Tempe Reserve you get unbuffered noise from the airport, the airport highway & from the Princes Highway.  It is unprotected from the wind as well.  Sydenham Green is worse as the heavy traffic is closer.

I think the emphasis on crime & injecting drug users is overdone to the detriment of the community.  Fear of crime should not be used as an excuse to avoid planting a decent quantity of trees and shrubs in parks. If fear of crime is over-emphasised in park design, the community & wildlife end up losing a great deal of beauty & amenity.

I give two very popular parks in two other municipalities as examples where the Councils have created a private green oasis without emphasising sightlines.

Rockdale Park in Rockdale – This is an incredibly beautiful park. So beautiful in fact that Rockdale Council’s website says that it, is the City’s most popular venue for outdoor wedding ceremonies and/or wedding photography.”  Understandable. It was the first place I thought of when discussing a friend’s upcoming wedding of their daughter.

So what makes it beautiful?  It has hundreds of trees of many different species. The majority have been allowed to grow naturally so they have side branches often just above the ground.  There are seriously good landscaped gardens & lots of flowers.  Large garden beds full of flowers are mass-planted twice a year – Petunias & Pansies. There is at least one pond & a man-made stream that curves around the park that I presume can be filled on request. A red Chinese-style bridge crosses the stream while a wooden pagoda stands nearby in front of a lawn area. There is lots of attractive seating placed in areas of dappled shade, full shade & sun.  Importantly, the busy road can’t be seen from most places inside the park & the traffic noise & smell is buffered by the trees & landscaping. This is a park where you can get away from the madding crowd, yet it still feels safe because there are always people using it.

Beauchamp Park in Chatswood – It is lined on one side by Canary Island palm trees & filled with very tall trees throughout the park.  Beauchamp Park makes me wonder why none of our parks have trees of this density or of this height.  This is a park where you can sit with your back against a tree without having to sit in woodchip.  There is tons of seating, some with tables scattered all around the park. There is also public art, a playground, memorial trees & garden beds of flowers & other flowering plants & no grasses, except for lawn. While you can see through the park, there is a strong feeling of privacy.  This is an extremely popular park because it is so people-friendly & beautiful. It is also filled with birdsong.  You can watch a short video here – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QclJsLEw-zQ

This & the last 2 posts on the Marrickville Recreation Needs Research Strategy are what I paid attention to in the report & I will be contributing on Council’s Have Your Say webpage.  While this is just a study with recommendations, without public feedback Marrickville Council can be forgiven for thinking that the community approves of the suggestions included & decide to put them up for decision at a Council Meeting.  If the Councillors vote to approve some of these recommendations then there will be great changes in our environment, some good, some excellent & some I consider disastrous.

This is a Google map of Maluga Passive Reserve in Sefton & a view into the park from Woods Road. As you can see sightlines have not been emphasised at all. This is a fantastic park that is very well used by the community. It offers peace & tranquillity for people & is a haven for wildlife as it offers real biodiversity & habitat. Compare this with any of our parks in Marrickville LGA & the differences are stark.

The Good Weekend 21st August 2010 there was an article called The Enriched List. Michael Mobbs was first up in a list of 14 people on The Enriched List & described as a ‘Sustainability Advocate.’  I really like his work & ideas for living in an urban environment.

When I see verge gardens I always think the people who create them & look after them care very much for their neighbourhood

Michael Mobbs was given a whole page photo leaning against a bale of hay, holding a chicken with rootstock sitting on a sandstone wall behind him. First impression anyone who didn’t know of his work would have is he is a farmer, not an Inner City resident of Sydney standing in his own small terrace garden.

The article goes on to say Michael, an ex-lawyer, has had an interest in sustainable design for more than 20 years & is a consultant on sustainable food, water & energy projects for residential & commercial sectors.

Michael transformed his Inner City house 15 years ago. He uses solar power & collects rainwater from his roof to wash clothes, flush the toilet & water the garden. He keeps bees & also started a community verge garden in 2008 for food production.  His neighbours participate in this.

They have 13 compost bins out on the street that are used by locals as well as other people in nearby suburbs. The compost bins – each turn 3 tonnes of food waste a year into 1 tonne of soil (& he says, remove an estimated tonne of carbon out of the air). The public garden has had huge support from residents & has led to Sydney City Council & other local councils changing their policies to support growing food & composting in the streets.

The residents at Wilga Street Dulwich Hill have a community garden on their verges. Their compost bin collects food waste from Oz Harvest & some of the local restaurants. It hasn’t been going for long, but already there are vegetables growing & passion fruit climbing a power pole.

I am not aware of many public community gardens across Marrickville LGA though I do know one is in the process of being set up in Denison Road Dulwich Hill. Council recently said there is no room for one in Marrickville South.

Marrickville Council spends around $2 million a year mowing the verges across the LGA. Many of the verges are unkempt areas with dumped rubbish, only looking good a fortnight after the mowing.

North Sydney Council stopped mowing the verges last year hoping that the residents would take over & mow their patch outside their house.  It didn’t happen for the most part. Eight or so months later the grass was thigh-high forcing the Council to restart mowing services.  Thing is, North Sydney Council stopped mowing to save money so they could have money to put in other areas to benefit the community.

I was surprised that the residents refused to mow the verge outside their house. Marrickville Council does ours, but often enough, my neighbour will do everyone’s if it starts to look scraggly. Another neighbour of mine used to mow the verges across the road as well, but he was exceptional.

Imagine if we decided the way Michael Mobbs is going is a good thing?  Free land out on the verge, a place to grow flowers, plants & veggies. Compost bins to collect food, waste which will cut down on the weekly bin load & pay us back in free compost for our gardens.

People would meet & talk with each other on the street, friendships may occur, shopping bills are likely to be less because we are growing some of our food, our kids learn about food production & about taking pride in the neighbourhood & social responsibility.

Community gardens are fabulous spaces that benefit the community on many levels

Other benefits such as less Heat Island Effect as green & growing plants reduce the heat dramatically & with less heat, our cooling bills will drop. Less vandalism, probably less graffiti as this generally does not occur in pretty well-kept areas, activities for people to do, people deciding to walk because there are interesting things to see.

Perhaps traffic would be slower as I imagine that verge gardens would have similar effects, like street trees slow drivers down. Or maybe they will all drive at 40kpm because they want to have a look at the gardens…

This is probably not an exhaustive list of the benefits of verge gardens, but is what I was able to think up as I wrote.  If these benefits are so easy to think up, then why aren’t more of us doing it?  People do consider the space outside their house as theirs when it is convenient – my parking space, my street tree to get rid of if I choose for example, yet when it comes to taking care of it, we immediate abdicate to Council.

I’d like to think there would be many of us who would consider transforming the verge outside our house.  If growing veggies is too much of a leap, then perhaps a few plants, especially low growing natives that do not need much care, can be pruned so they do not become a visibility issue for drivers & will serve as restaurants for birds.

We have done it & the amount of people who ask us how can they get Council to do the same for them is astounding.  Everyone loves it & they think it has improved the neighbourhood. Some have said things like, “I always feel good walking past here.” Green spaces have that effect. Lawn or concrete doesn’t.

You can read the article about Michael Mobbs as well as view a 2 minute video here – http://www.smh.com.au/advertisers/enrichedlist/michael-mobbs/

The Enriched List of 14 people can be found at - http://www.smh.com.au/advertisers/enrichedlist/

Michael Mobb’s own website can be found at – http://sustainablehouse.com.au/

1.        Environmental groups plan to protest to stop National Parks in NSW being developed for tourism by private development consortiums TOMORROW 2nd June 2010 outside Parliament House, Macquarie Street Sydney at 12 noon . The web-site of the Colong Foundation goes into the issue of development of National Parks in detail. http://www.colongwilderness.org.au/tourism/Stop_exploitation_of_national_parks.htm

2.        East Sydney residents are protesting against the RTAs plans to drop the creation of a garden at the corner of Bourke & Stanley streets around the Eastern Distributor chimneystack & instead, rezone the land for residential units. http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/east-sydney-locals-fuming-with-rta/

3.        The Sydney Botanical Gardens Trust have been given the go-ahead from the Federal Environment Department to use noise dispersal & water spraying to remove the grey-headed flying foxes, a threatened species, from the Gardens.  Respected conservation groups were against the proposal to remove the bats from the gardens.  For background see  https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/03/24/sydney’s-royal-botanic-gardens-trust-wants-‘threatened-species’-bats-banished/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/sydney-botanic-gardens-bats-will-be-harmed-by-removal-conservationists/

http://sydney-central.whereilive.com.au/news/story/bats-to-get-ear-bashing-at-sydney-botanic-gardens/

http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/journal/syndeys-bats-to-get-the-boot.htm

4.         Vandals destroyed more than 40 mature trees in Patterson Lakes & Moorabbin in May 2010.  The trees were planted to replace other trees vandalized 18 months previously. http://moorabbin-kingston-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-butchered-in-outrageous-attack-at-patterson-lakes-moorabbin/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

5.        I’ve previously posted about the battle by the community who are against a DA for a new Woolworths supermarket at Newport. To date Pittwater Council has received 1,353 submissions from the community, most against the DA.  The community fears that local shopping strips will be lost when the Woolworths giant moves in. There is a similar concern with the proposed Marrickville Metro development. http://manly-daily.whereilive.com.au/news/story/room-for-improvement-woolies/

6.        More than 100 people attended a protest at the ADI site mid May 2010 including State Opposition Environment Spokeswoman Catherine Cusack, Liberal candidate for Londonderry Bart Bassett, Penrith Mayor Kevin Crameri, Councillor Ross Fowler & a representative of Lindsay Federal Labor MP David Bradbury. The community is trying to save 100 hectares of critically endangered Cumberland Plains woodland.  Interestingly, the news headline is – ‘There is still time to put things right.’ http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/there-s-still-time-to-put-things-right-at-adi-site/

Pansies & Marigolds in an island bed on Botany Road - far better than cement

The 1535 hectare site is to be developed by Delfin Lend Lease to create a new suburb – Jordan Springs.  It is one of the few green belts left in Western Sydney & is home to 110 bird species, 10 reptiles, 9 mammals, 8 frog species, 3 of them endangered & many plant species, including 4 rare ones.

I found an article from the Green Left written in 1996 where they say residents have been fighting to protect this land for the past 6 years.  This means the community has been fighting for 20 years to save this green corridor.  This is an interesting article as it provides a background history. http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/12798

The ADI Residents Action Group website also provides a great synopsis of what is going to happen & why the ADI site is important to preserve. http://www.adisite.org/

7.        Environmental protestors & Aboriginal traditional owners of the land continue to fight to prevent logging of the Mumbulla State Forest in South East NSW. http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/breaking-news/anti-logging-activists-lock-on-to-timber-harvesting-machinery/story-e6freuyi-1225867563540?from=public_rss

It is the last remaining habitat for around 50 Koalas. This may not seem many Koalas to require the stopping of logging a forest, but at The Australian Koala Foundation website, https://www.savethekoala.com/ they say, “there are less than 80,000 koalas left in the wild, possibly as few as 43,000.”  This certainly makes 50 Koalas extremely significant.  Personally, I think every Koala is significant, but we are talking about big money to be made here versus the habitat & survival of an animal. This is always a problem because the animals generally lose. That the Koala is listed as vulnerable in NSW is supremely important.

The Nature Conservation Council of NSW is calling for urgent action to stop logging & save the Mumbulla State Forest & have outlined ways in which the community can become involved. http://nccnsw.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3002&Itemid=1

Last Friday 28th May 2010 a coalition of conservationists, including Chipstop & the Nature Conservation Council of NSW have called for the Federal Government to step in & order that the logging be stopped.  Intensive wood-chipping of Mumbulla State Forest has taken place this week.  Interestingly, due to countries buying less of our woodchip at the moment, there is some concern that they won’t even be able to sell the woodchips they have made from the torn down forest. The Tasmanian timber company Gunns recently posted a 98% drop in its ½ yearly profit, partly due to a drop in woodchip sales. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/Environment/2010/05/28/Fed_govt_needs_to_protect_NSW_koalas_467192.html

8.         Landcare is collecting old mobile phones to help their aim of planting 30,000 trees along the Murray River, at the Mallee in WA & in the Daintree Forest in Far North QLD.  90% of each mobile phone is recyclable so giving your old mobile to collection points stops them landing up in landfill where they don’t degrade.  Collection points are Australia-wide & to find a collection point near you – www.mobilemuster.com.au

9.        Great news in that the Federal Government contributed to the purchase of a 14,000 hectare property called Bowra Station located in western QLD.  The property, purchased by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy is home to 200 species of birds. Birdwatchers will be able to go there.  http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/21/2906362.htm

10.        More great news as the NSW Labor government has decided to pay logging industry $97 million  & in turn, they are to stop logging the River Red Gums by the end of June 2010.  A National Park in the Millewa group of forests will be established in July 2010 & will be jointly managed with the Yorta Yorta people. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/05/19/2903840.htm

11.        I found the Environmental Volunteers Newsletter on Marrickville Council’s web-site.  It’s a great newsletter with information about current activities & contact details of all the environmental groups working in the LGA. http://www.marrickville.nsw.gov.au/environment/volunteering.htm

As of last weekend the historic Fig tree at the IKEA development Tempe was still standing. Its shape has changed so I think it has been pruned.

In the May 2010 edition of Marrickville Matters magazine, Mayor Iskandar said, “I urge Marrickville residents to find that piece of land that is not being used & come to us for help to establish their own community garden.” Marrickville Councils Community Sustainability Co-ordinator can be contacted on 9335-2222. May’s magazine has a environmental feel with many articles focusing on the environment across the LGA. Council also says Mackey Park in Marrickville South will be carbon-neutral with all power needs being offset by the use of photovoltaic cells which generate electricity when exposed to sunlight.  This is really good.

12.        Go easy on the mince & bacon rashers if you feed Kookaburras because a Kookaburra was found in a Mosman Park being chased by dogs because he was too fat to fly.  He is currently in rehab at Taronga Zoo Sydney & on a diet, poor birdie. http://bigpondnews.com/articles/OddSpot/2010/06/01/Hefty_Kookaburra_has_grams_to_go_468341.html

Street trees in Eastwood. Most of the residential streets in this & surrounding suburbs have many tall trees.

Dr Jago Dodson from Griffith University’s Urban Research Program is advocating the creation of many more community gardens in cities saying there will be increased pressure on urban areas to produce food in the future.

“In the context of some of the big challenges we’re facing – challenges about the sustainability of rural & regional agriculture, challenges about drought conditions, changing environmental conditions, questions about global warming’s impact on food supplies across the world & also questions about the sustainability of petroleum, which is one of the key inputs into industrial agricultural systems – those big changes are going to start to motivate more creatively how we produce food in society.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/03/22/2852294.htm

Most residential streets in Chatswood have many tall, shady street trees. This is the norm.

Dr Dodson has some innovative ideas that I think are really exciting.  Judging by Marrickville Council’s support for the latest verge gardening project in Wilga Avenue & the community garden in Denison Road Dulwich Hill, I would imagine Council will also support other community gardens in the LGA.  This year they have said they will provide help in-kind such as removing cement to facilitate such projects & that there are a number of suitable places for community gardens in the LGA.  Access to water is the main issue if the gardens are not on the verges out front.

I predict community gardens will be as popular as book clubs in the not too distant future & as is with Book Clubs, only limited places are available so it pays to be involved from the beginning.

The Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health published research from the VU University Medical Centre in Amsterdam showed that living less than 1km (0.62miles) from a green space had a major impact in lowering the incidence of major physical disease & mental ill-health.

Professor Barbara Maher of the Lancaster Environment Centre said, “The study confirmed that green spaces create oases of improved health around them especially for children.” She said, “At least part of this ‘oasis’ effect probably reflects changes in air quality.”

More proof that a good-sized street tree out front does more than beautify, raise property values & reduce your power costs for heating & cooling.  Street trees also remove up to 60% of street level particulate matter such as dust, smoke, ash & the sooty bi-product from car & truck exhausts that we would generally filter through our lungs & which cause asthma & other respiratory illnesses. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8307024.stm

A recent study found tripling the number of street trees could reduce asthma among children by 25 percent.  Researchers from Columbia University in the US found rates of asthma fell by a ¼ when there were around 350 more trees in a square kilometre. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2008/05May/Pages/Asthmarisklowinleafysuburbs.asp

The research found that children are less likely to develop asthma if they live in tree-lined streets, particularly in areas with more street trees.  Here, I think they mean nice big trees with a canopy, not the hacked variety that are so prevalent in Marrickville LGA.

Part of the aims of New York City’s Million Tree Program is to reduce the incidence of respiratory illness as well as improve the overall mental & physical health of its residents.  They also believe in global warming & in 2005, New York tallied its CO2 emissions & found they were approximately 1% of US totals & less than 1/3 of the average US per capita level. 79% CO2 came from buildings. They believe their emissions are so low because there is a heavy reliance on cycling & public transport use. They still to reduce their CO2 emissions by a further 33%. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2007/2007-04-11-03.asp

Rockdale City Council planted street trees along both side of the Princes Hwy Rockdale for approximately 2 km. The awnings posed a problem, so each tree was pruned into a ball & these are maintained regularly. I like what Rockdale Council has done. It looks great & brings green every 3 metres along the shopping strip.

A short, succinct article from Real Estate Agents about the monetary worth of trees on your property, which says, “mature trees & a well-landscaped yard can improve your home’s value by 10-25%.”

Every time I mention this to others I watch the disbelief on their faces, yet this estimate is a number I come across repeatedly in research & articles about the value of trees.

Try looking in the local community papers in the Real Estate section.  If there is a street tree in front of the property, the photographer always includes a branch or leaves from the tree in the photo of the property.  They do this because the sight of trees has a subconscious effect on us.  When we see leafy green, we get a feeling of peace & safety even if we are not directly aware of this. Leafy green means good place to rear children, safety & happiness.  Not to many of us will look at a photo of a property surrounded by cement with no green & compare it favorably with a property that has trees & landscaping, even if the greener property is of lesser value.

http://www.keeferealestate.com/news/concierge.php?itemid=620

The iconic Coral trees in Clifton Gardens were chopped down mid April 2010 by Mosman Council as part of an upgrade of the picnic area. They said the trees had a high-hazard rating.  The residents were very unhappy to lose these & 4 other trees. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/trees-cleared-at-clifton-gardens-no-picnic-for-some-residents/

Professional tree trimmers in Gilroy California killed 2 owlets when they chopped down a palm tree despite being warned twice about the nest. The Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation Center is caring for the third owlet, who survived the fall. Police are investigating. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/05/21/2-baby-owls-killed-when-palm-tree-cut-down/UPI-39621211398657/

Energy Australia reduced a Frenches Forest woman to tears after their tree pruners entered her property & ‘butchered’ her trees.  She said her trees grew straight upwards & were 4 metres away from the power lines & Energy Australia’s intervention was unnecessary.  The first comment by ‘Chips’ is also interesting as he says this has happened to trees on his property numerous times. http://cumberland-courier.whereilive.com.au/news/story/tears-over-butchered-garden/

Good news… Buffalo, Illinois, a town of 500 residents has no more room for street trees. They have been focused on street tree planting since 1986 & have now run out of room.  Mike Dirksen, city arborist in nearby Springfield said, “There are so many benefits from trees.  They shouldn’t just be seen as having an ornamental purpose.” This should be engraved on a gold plaque. Bet the town looks stunning! http://friendsoftrees.org/blog/2010/04/16/illinois-town-has-no-more-room-for-trees/

CELEBRITY NEWS (drum-roll please) Last April, in Sao Paulo, Avatar Producer James Cameron & actor Sigourney Weaver planted a native Brazilian tree pau-brasil which is 99% extinct to kick-off a global Earth Day Network which intends to plant 1 million trees in 15 countries by the end of 2010.  http://www.tonic.com/article/james-cameron-plants-first-one-million-trees/

Chatswood, Ashfield, Pacific Hwy & Alexandria - all are very busy roads & they have large street trees at close spacing.

Can't talk about 'dogging' without a photo of a dog-this one is smiling because his owner loves him enough to put him in a harness while travelling

1.    In Darwen, Lancashire UK, 6,000 trees were chopped down to stop ‘dogging.’  Never heard of dogging?  Neither had I.  Dogging is sex in the bush, or woods if you are English.  This 12 hectare area must have been lovely because people went there in droves.  It was next to an expressway, so perhaps they just could not wait until they got home.  United Utilities who chopped the 6,000 trees down said the trees were dangerous.  Of course they would. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/7497162/Council-cuts-down-6000-trees-to-act-as-deterrent-at-dogging-site.html

2.        In Worcester USA, around 2,400 street trees & 23,624 trees on private property throughout the city died as a result of an ice-storm in December 2008 & the subsequent infestation of the Asian Longhorned Beetle.  According to the article in The Telegram, the community is devastated by the sudden & radical change to the streetscape, which is now bare & has affected property sales.  The city intends to plant 2,400 shade trees by end of 2011 to replace the street trees that were lost. http://www.telegram.com/article/20100311/NEWS/3110682/1116

3.        In March 2010 Indonesia launched the “One Billion Indonesian Trees for the World” program. There is world-wide concern regarding the rapid deforestation happening in Indonesia for palm oil plantations, so this program will help significantly. http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsworld.php?id=484333

4.     The Brunei Times reported that Brunei will plant 60,000 trees in ecologically degraded areas during 2010 to support biodiversity.  http://news.brunei.fm/2010/03/30/60000-trees-to-be-planted-this-year/

5.        An American arborist, Gut Sternberg successfully spearheaded an internet campaign to save an historic Osage Orange tree in Kewanee, Illinois. I find this wonderful because this man used his knowledge of trees to save a tree that the council was going to remove.  I need someone knowledgeable like this in my life. http://www.ncptt.nps.gov/how-the-internet-saved-an-historic-tree-preservation-technology-podcast-episode-15/

6.       Walmart in Henderson Tennessee, America has been ordered to replace 120 of the 170 trees they topped in their parking lot.  Henderson Mayor Scott Foster said the community is “livid” & asked “how did they think they were going to get away with it?”  He would fall over if he saw some of our examples of ‘routine pruning’ by power companies.  It’s a shame because trees are the only council asset which appreciates.

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20100325/HENDERSONVILLE01/100325027/2139/City++Walmart+must+replace+butchered+trees

7.      Detroit, once the mecca for heavy industry & car manufacturing is planning to change a space equivalent to ¼ of its city into farmland & community gardens to bring food supply closer to the city.  They will use the vast areas of empty houses & land to do this.  It is estimated that there is 33,500 empty houses & 91,000 vacant residential lots. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35767727/ns/us_news-life/

8.       Band Pearl Jam donated US$210,000 to Cascade Land Conservancy to plant 33 acres of native trees & plants around the Puget Sound to offset an  estimated 5,474 metric tons of CO2 created by their world tour in 2009.   Fantastic action that is getting respect from around the world.

http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/2010/03/31/1070488/pearl-jam-to-plant-33-acres-of.html

stunningly beautiful- a residential street in Cooks Hill Newcastle-bet everyone wants to live in this street

9.       Bridgeport USA with a population of 138,000 is planting 100,000 shade trees to help cope with summer heat.  They have launched the Adopt a Tree program where the Council will spend $35,000 on planting trees on residents’      properties.

Reminds me of Blacktown City Council who gave away 77,000 trees free to residents last year.  Bridgeport Council also plans to map all trees with 6 inch diameter & above.  Mayor Finch said, “Planting a tree gives you a feeling of empowerment & you’re helping the environment.” http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/thebridgeportnews/news/localnews/53901-programs-goal-is-planting-more-trees-in-the-urban-environment.html

Don’t know what happened below.

properties.  Reminds me of Blacktown City Council who gave away 77,000 trees free to residents last year.  Bridgeport Council also plans to map all trees with 6 inch diameter & above.  Mayor Finch said, “Planting a tree gives you a feeling of empowerment & you’re helping the environment.” http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/thebridgeportnews/news/localnews/53901-programs-goal-is-planting-more-trees-in-the-urban-environment.html

properties.  Reminds me of Blacktown City Council who gave away 77,000 trees free to residents last year.  Bridgeport Council also plans to map all trees with 6 inch diameter & above.  Mayor Finch said, “Planting a tree gives you a feeling of empowerment & you’re helping the environment.” http://www.acorn-online.com/joomla15/thebridgeportnews/news/localnews/53901-programs-goal-is-planting-more-trees-in-the-urban-environment.html

click here to follow Saving Our Trees on Twitter

Archives

Categories

© Copyright

Using and copying text and photographs is not permitted without my permission.

Blog Stats

  • 302,121 hits
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 91 other followers

%d bloggers like this: