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Flags surrounded the park, there was a large crowd & the Red Devils tested the turf

There was a red carpet on the grounds of Mackey Park this afternoon for the official reopening of the $3.1 million refurbishment.  $2.2 million was a grant from the federal government & Marrickville Council made up the remainder of the money.

The money has been well spent as much has been achieved that will benefit the community for years to come. The park looks wonderful.

Anthony Albanese Member for Grayndler (centre) surrounded by (L-R) Deputy Mayor Iskandar, President of Red Devils Soccer Club, Clr Olive, Mayor Byrne, Clr O'Sullivan, Clr Tsardoulias & the Red Devils

The contaminants have been removed from the soil & the fields have been redesigned.  A drainage system has been put underneath the fields that will collect water & take it to a filtering system next to the newly constructed wetlands. There the water will be naturally cleaned & then directed underground to water storage tanks situated next to the playground. The recycled water will be used to irrigate the grass fields.  Excess water will feed the new wetlands & cleaned. Any overflow will travel to the canal beside the park before entering the Cooks River.

(L-R) Clr O'Sullivan, Deputy Mayor Iskandar, Marrickville Council General Manager Ken Gainger, Anothony Albanese MP, Marrickville Mayor Byrne & Clr Olive

Mackey Park used to get quite boggy in some areas so the below ground drainage system will prevent this ensuring the grass has greater longevity & need less maintenance.

I have never seen the fields look so level. The cricket pitch is a strip of thick Astroturf, which should make it quite durable. There are pop-up water sprinklers that can be turned on for the areas that need watering.

Solar panels on Council’s depot building at Sydenham will offset the power Mackey Park will use.

The children’s playground is totally new & judging by watching the children today, it is already a success.  This playground will be much used by the families who come to watch their children play sports as well as the local community.

The club house/amenities building has also undergone a refurbishment. There are new shade structures & a new fence between the playing fields & the playground.  The 3-people-wide pedestrian path flows in front of the playground & alongside Richardsons Crescent before exiting opposite Tempe Railway Station.

Mackey Park Fig trees

A number of people mentioned the Mackey Park Figs saying that they were pleased to see these lovely trees still standing.  I once again thank both the community & the Greens & Labor Councillors for saving these trees.

I did notice that the embankment of Mackey Park that borders Richardsons Crescent looks less populated by trees. I can’t actually say that any trees have been removed. Perhaps the undergrowth has been cleaned out. What this work did reveal was another young Hills Fig in this area that I have not noticed before, bringing the total to 2 Figs on the embankment & 4 for the whole park.  I’d like Council to consider planting another couple of Fig trees along the embankment because there certainly is room to allow them to grow naturally. They would help stabilize the bank, provide a decent buffer to traffic, sight & noise & wouldn’t affect either Richardsons Crescent or the playing fields.  They would also add visual beauty as well as provide food & habitat for birds & bats.

Marrickville Council has done a wonderful job on Mackey Park.  There are many great aspects to the refurbishment.  It will serve the community & the sporting clubs well.

The opening was great. The speeches were good. The mood was up. Everyone was happy.  Even the rain held off after threatening to storm all day.

Part of the new wetlands at Mackey Park

 

Around 50 metres of the Cooks River bank at Kendrick Park was thick with plastic bottles trapped in the mangroves. It was both disgusting & heartbreaking

We went down to the Kendrick Park section of the Cooks River tonight after having a look at a tree in View Street that is up for removal.   Marrickville Council has almost completed one section of work rebuilding the banks.

New boat ramp & seating at Kendrick Park

They have also built a concrete boat ramp & a sandstone & concrete seating area next to the ramp.  It looks nice & offers another place to sit & watch the river.

Council appears to be building another swale & have done some work on View Street building a drain to collect storm water that comes down the hill.  Everything Council does to collect stormwater is a great thing.  I could not believe the thousands of plastic bottles that lined about 50 metres of the bank of the Cooks River caught by the mangroves in the high tide.  If

Straight bank Kendrick Park

people won’t stop tossing plastic bottles away as litter they will continue to end up in the stormwater drains only to end up in the Cooks River & out to Botany Bay.  The numbers were truly appalling.  I wondered just how many have sunk & are sitting on the bottom of the river.

I don’t know if Mudcrabs work in this area. If they don’t, perhaps they would if they had more people volunteer to help clean up rubbish like this.  Their contact details are in the blogroll.

I was told 2 people started collecting rubbish along the banks of the Cooks River.  As passersby saw them collecting rubbish they joined in. Eventually, Mudcrabs was born.  Without the work of Mudcrabs, the Cooks River would be in a shocking mess & what I saw tonight would spread the length of the

Work has started on a new swale

Cooks River. Look them up if you are interested. The river certainly needs help.

Although there are the wonderful volunteers of Mudcrabs, I seriously wonder how Marrickville Council could walk away from cleaning up this extensive rubbish.  Recently Council was talking about using money saved from less verge mowing to clean up shopping areas more regularly.  Frankly, I think Council desperately needs to spend money to clean up the Cooks River bank. Relying on the volunteers is not good enough for the same reason why Marrickville Council does not rely on volunteers to clean the streets.

Later, we saw that an unofficial reopening was happening at Mackey Park with all sorts of people using the park & the playground.  The youngest was 2 & the oldest 86.  Remember, the official reopening with speeches, soccer & sausage sizzle is this coming Thursday 9th December 2010 at 4pm.  For details see – https://savingourtrees.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/mackey-park-official-reopening/

 

 

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