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Google map of Marrickville Golf Course. Mahoney Reserve is at the bottom right of the map. 

A view of Marrickville Golf Course from across the Cooks River

This is important community consultation & something we should all participate in even if we are not a golfer.  As our area gets more developed, places like this & the Golf Club’s activities are going to become even more important for the community.

The Inner West Council is developing a new Plan of Management & landscape Master Plans for the Marrickville Golf Course & the Dibble Avenue Waterhole, which will decide the future use & facilities over the next 10-years.  It must be easier for Council to do things over a ten-year period, but for me, I worry about this length of time because our community & area is changing so rapidly.

Marrickville Golf Course covers 20-hectares, most of which is owned by the Inner West Council.  The Marrickville Golf Club leases the land from Council.  A condition of the lease is that they provide public access to the open spaces of the golf course.

There are many in the community that avail themselves of walking or cycling through the golf course because it is one of the best natural areas in the locality, especially as it runs alongside the Cooks River.   Apart from the main road in & the path to the bridge over the river, there is no concrete & this makes it a great place to walk.

This won’t last for too long though because as part of their ‘Cooks River Parklands Plan of Management & Master Plan’ that was ratified in 2016, Council wants to install a new pedestrian crossing on Illawarra Road from Steel Park to a new 3-metre wide concrete shared pathway along the river’s edge in Mahoiney Reserve after they have completed naturalization work on the river bank. The first stage will stop at the golf course, but Council would like to connect this path to the bridge over the Cooks River in Marrickville Golf Course.  This is despite the 3-metre shared pathway just across on the other side of the river.

The Dibble Avenue Waterhole is heritage listed & is also a Priority Biodiversity Site.  It is an important refuge for wildlife & aquatic plants.

Marrickville Golf Club uses water from the Dibble Avenue Waterhole to irrigate the golf course & has done so since the 1940s.

Council says that the development of the plans provides opportunities to introduce best practice sustainable land & environmental management for both sites.”

“The process will look at –

  • ways to improve safe public access to the golf course.
  • ways to increase everyone’s enjoyment of the spaces.
  • alternative water sources for the golf course.
  • acceptable limits on water extraction[from Dibble Avenue Waterhole] into the future.”

Council is holding onsite opportunities for the community to learn more & give Council feedback at two locations.

  1. Marrickville Golf Club Carpark on Saturday 2ndJune 2018 from 1pm-3pm.
  2. Mahoney Reserve beside the Amenities Block on Saturday, 16thJune 2018 from 1pm-3pm.

If you don’t want to attend either of these sessions, you can still participate by completing a survey on Your Say Inner West by Monday 25thJune 2018.  See – https://bit.ly/2LtnPNQ

Lastly, there is no mention in the survey of Council’s plans to halve the Marrickville Golf Course from 18 holes to 9 holes to make room for more sporting fields.  See –  https://bit.ly/2GRxf28    

Dibble Avenue Waterhole – a biodiversity hotspot & returned to being one of Marrickville’s really beautiful historic places. There is a microbat box on the pier on the left.

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Two new trees visible just inside Marrickville Golf Course on Beauchamp Street.

Two new trees visible just inside Marrickville Golf Course on Beauchamp Street. Plus lots of logs placed on the ground.

A tree trunk was left standing.  Visible are three smaller hollows. On the other side is a much larger hollow.  Great housing for wildlife.

A tree trunk was left standing. Visible are three smaller hollows. On the other side is a much larger hollow. Great housing for wildlife.

A new tree facing Beauchamp Street.  On the left you can see the tree trunk with the larger hollow visible.

A new tree facing Beauchamp Street. On the left you can see the tree trunk with the larger hollow visible. The tree/shrub should provide protection for the trunk when it grows larger.

Today, Sunday 31st May 2015, Marrickville Council held a community-planting event just inside the perimeter of Marrickville Golf Course facing Beauchamp Street. Unfortunately I could not attend.

Two areas were planted.  The area first planted out as part of Council’s National Tree Day in 2012 was extended.  Further down the hill a larger area had a number of trees removed & the area mulched in preparation for this event.

I was pleased to see that six new trees were planted.  Council said they were providing 1,200 plants for the day.  Most plants are in the ground, but for whatever reason, there are pots waiting to be planted.  This will be a nice job for someone from Council on Monday. Hopefully the weather will be good for them.

Council left the trunk standing of a tree they removed.   This is great because the tree has a decayed area big enough for birds or microbats to take up residence. It appears three smaller hollows have been created making very nice apartment living for wildlife.

Of interest to me were the small piles of sandstone bits that had been collected from the immediate area. There are quite a few of these & I presume they are to provide habitat & refuge for small lizards, beetles & other insects. There are enough of these piles to provide connectivity across the newly planted area. This is something we could all do in our own gardens.

There are also logs scattered around from the trees that were removed. These, plus piles of twigs & small branches will also provide habitat for smaller creatures. There was at least one trunk cut flush to the ground & left to decay on its own.

Rotting logs are an essential part of the natural ecosystem & can be found all over forests where trees are left where they fall.  Fallen logs not only help prevent soil erosion, they also replenish nitrogen to the soil as they decay.  As the wood decays, fungi & lichens will sprout helping the wood to decay further & providing food for foraging animals & insects.  The logs also help retain moisture & coolness in the ground making it suitable habitat for a range of creatures.

I have read that there is more life in a dead tree than a living tree, which shows just how important it is to place as many logs & branches as possible in the environment. This includes our own gardens.

Anyone who has ever lifted up a piece of dead wood or a rock & seen the life scatter from the exposure to light knows this to be true. Marrickville Council has been placing logs from tree removals in some of our parks over the last year or so & this is pleasing to see. Doing this provides far more benefit to the environment than mulching the trees.

Hopefully the community will grow to viewing these logs & piles of twigs & branches as integral & vital to a healthy ecosystem & not something untidy.  I will get really excited if Council ever starts placing dead trees in the Cooks River, especially if they have branches on them that allow the waterbirds to sit & do what they do naturally.

Beauchamp Street is fortunate in that it faces Marrickville Golf Course. Now that this area has been planted it already looks much improved. Given time for the plants & trees to grow, this aspect for the residents will be very beautiful indeed.

I almost forgot to say that a park bench has been placed under a tree & overlooks a downhill section of the golf course.  Council has not added a concrete slab, which is excellent. I doubt too many will mind their feet resting on soft mulch. The placing of this bench is great & it was a surprise to see.

Well done Marrickville Council & those community members who helped put all the plants in the ground today. I think it looks great & cannot wait to see how much it has improved in a few months time. There were plenty of birds checking out your work while we were there.

The 2012 National Tree Day site that also was planted today.

The 2012 National Tree Day site that also was planted today.  All the dark brown spots indicate a new plants.

The red dots indicate a pile of sandstone bits.  Notice too the pile of twigs & small branches.  They look like little villages to me.

The red dots indicate a pile of sandstone bits. Notice too the pile of twigs & small branches. They look like little villages to me.

Two new trees marked with red dots.

Two new trees marked with red dots.

Looking up the hill at the whole of the lower planting site.  All the dark brown areas show where something has been planted.

Looking up the hill at the whole of the lower planting site. All the dark brown areas show where something has been planted.

New trees for Marrickville Golf Course

New trees for Marrickville Golf Course

Marrickville Council donated 4 trees to Marrickville Golf Club recently. They are 1 x Swamp Mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta) & 3 x Forest red gums (Eucalypts tereticornis).

The Swamp Mahogany grows to 20-30 metres, a straight trunk with a dense canopy & produces white to cream flowers in in the cooler months. Native to native to eastern Australia, the Swamp mahogany likes to grow in swampy areas & can live for at least 200-years. Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden has some Swamp Mahogany trees that were planted in 1813. The flowers provide food for birds, koalas (we have none locally) & bats, especially the Grey-headed Flying Fox (we have a few).

Forest red gum is another tree native to eastern Australia. It grows to 20-50 metres & flowers from June to November. The flowers are good for honey production. It is fast growing & often used for erosion control.

All trees are planted at the Mahoney Reserve end of the golf course.  It will be wonderful to see these trees grow to a grand height. Marrickville Golf Course has space for many more large trees in my opinion.

Half a dozen new trees all growing well.

Half a dozen new trees all growing well.

Looking over the 'bowl' of the rain garden to Bruce Street

Looking over the ‘bowl’ of the rain garden to Bruce Street

The path through the rain garden & up the hill in Marrickville Golf Course

The path through the rain garden & up the hill in Marrickville Golf Course

Recently we went to visit the Bruce Street Rain Garden in the Marrickville Golf Course. I last wrote about this garden in February 2014- See – http://bit.ly/NnGOd9

Sign in the rain garden

Sign in the rain garden

We have had a lot of rain, which has benefited the new plants & trees. The changes are substantial. It looks wonderful. I also read a post from Marrickville Council on Facebook saying that the rain garden works perfectly.

We also had a look at the planting site at Wave Rock This was Council’s National Tree Day site in July 2013. See – http://bit.ly/1u8v1Nz. It has filled out with plants & is looking terrific. You can easily see the changes from the previous photos.

Lots of logs from tree removals have been placed in the garden offering areas of habitat & protection for small creatures. There appears to have been no vandalism in either site, so it is great to see the community respecting these places. The work done by Marrickville Council & the volunteer Mudcrabs is wonderful.   The Wave Rock site is between 80-100 metres long & on a steep slope, so it can’t be easy work to maintain & manage this garden. If you get a chance, it is worth a wander to have a look. Both these sites are close to each other & easily accessed from Bruce Street Marrickville.

Wave Rock garden with the Cooks River behind.  This is a special spot on the Golf Course.

Wave Rock garden with the Cooks River behind. This is a special spot on the Golf Course.

Plants & logs offering habitat & beauty.

Plants & logs offering habitat & beauty.

Looking east.

Looking east.

Another section

Another section

All photos have been taken from above due to the weather & the puddles on the path below.

All photos have been taken from above due to the weather & the puddles on the path below.

 

Looking from the top of the site

Looking from the top of the site

This morning we went to participate with planting the new rain garden in the Marrickville Golf Course, but were too late.  45 people had come earlier & planted a whopping 1,200 plants.  That’s a fantastic turnout.

Instead we got to wander around this marvelous site.  The rain garden is much larger than I anticipated.  It has two sections.  The first where stormwater comes down into the golf course at the junction of Bruce & Princess Street Marrickville.  Approximately 65% of the Riverside Catchment is impervious surfaces, so a significant amount of stormwater enters the Cooks River from this neighbourhood.

The water first enters a swale, then, moves into a large bowl that has been planted out with grasses with jute netting to stabilize the ground.  From there the water is absorbed into the ground that has a three tiers – sand, then glass sand & at the bottom, rock aggregate.  This slows down the water & cleans it of impurities.  After this process, it is picked up by the stormwater system & taken down to enter into the Cooks River.

Behind the major rain garden is another curved swale.  This swale is to collect overflow of stormwater in a 1 in 100-year flood event.  Between the two sites is a concrete path allowing the community to walk through the area & there is also a very nice wooden bridge.

Council has also planted approximately ten Eucalyptus trees & some Leptospermum.  It is wonderful to see trees added to the golf course.

The rain garden & swale looks fantastic & once the plants have grown it will look even better.  This site will be a good place for schools to visit to learn about stormwater management & the environment.  It will also provide habitat for a range of local wildlife.

Marrickville Council has done a terrific job with the Bruce Street Rain Garden. This rain garden will continue to provide benefit to the environment for many decades to come.  I was very impressed.

The bridge with the rain garden on the right & the swale on the left

The bridge with the rain garden on the right & the swale on the left

New trees have been planted in this area

New trees have been planted in this area

Showing how the rain garden was put together

Showing how the rain garden was put together

 

 

This is the Hill Street Raingarden located on Illawarra Road Marrickville.  It too collects stormwater & filters water before it gets to the Cooks River.

This is the Hill Street Rain Garden located on Illawarra Road Marrickville. It too collects stormwater & filters water before it gets to the Cooks River.

Marrickville Council with the co-operation of Marrickville Golf Club has built a new rain garden in the Marrickville Golf Course. 

Rain gardens capture & soak up stormwater runoff.  The Bruce Street Rain Garden will help filter & clean stormwater before it enters the Cooks River.   It will also provide habitat for wildlife adding to the urban biodiversity mosaic.

Council is inviting the community to come & help plant the new rain garden, which is located near the bottom of Bruce Street Marrickville.  Council will provide participants with food, drinks, equipment & gloves.

DATE:  Sunday 23rd February 2014.

TIME:  9am – 12 noon.

BRING hat, sunscreen, sunglasses & sturdy, closed-toe shoes.

RSVP ESSENTIAL:  Phone 9335 2104 or email: jean.brennan@Marrickville.nsw.gov.au

Map to help find the rain garden.  Street parking is available.

Map to help find the rain garden. Street parking is available.

Marrickville Council is holding a tree-planting event as a National Tree Day activity at Marrickville Golf Course on Sunday 9th September 2012.

From Council’s website – “This year’s site is on Marrickville Golf Course, close to a remnant sandstone outcrop that would have supported sandstone heath vegetation prior to the land being cleared.  It is on the fringe of the golf course & so there is an opportunity to revegetate the area without disturbing the functions of the golf course.  We are aiming to use the existing habitat features to increase biodiversity & improve habitat connectivity throughout the Cooks River area.  There is a chance to join your local Landcare group to work on the golf course after National Tree Day too – you can sign up on the day!

All plants are native to the Sydney region. Many are supplied by the Marrickville Community Nursery & will therefore help maintain a healthy native seed bank for the future.

Council will provide gloves, trowels & other equipment for planting as well as sunscreen & drinking water.”

WHEN:  Sunday 9th September 2012

TIME:   2pm – 4.30pm

WHERE: Marrickville Golf Course.   The revegetation planting will take place between the 4th hole & the 5th tee, across the road from 84-92 Beauchamp Street Marrickville.

MEET:   Corner of Beauchamp Street & Bruce Street Marrickville.

BRING:  Council asks that volunteers wear appropriate clothing – a hat, covered shoes, long-sleeved shirt & long pants.

For more information see – http://bit.ly/NInC5s

A view of Marrickville Golf Course from across the Cooks River

You can get a nature hit at Tempe Wetland. There are no concrete paths, & there are hills, curves, flat areas, 3 ponds & a lot of birds. This is a special place.

Research about to be published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that people suffering clinical depression feel better & have improved memory after a walk in a park.

A study led by Dr Marc Berman from Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute with other researchers from the University of Michigan & Stanford University in the US found that a nature environment as opposed to an urban environment is better at positively affecting people’s mood & cognitive performance.   It is thought that people’s brains can relax in a nature setting.

In 2008 published research, “Dr. Berman showed that adults who were not diagnosed with any illness received a mental boost after an hour-long walk in a woodland park – improving their performance on memory & attention tests by 20 percent – compared to an hour-long stroll in a noisy urban environment.”  So it seems that we all benefit from a walk in the park whether we are depressed or not.  http://bit.ly/LBHBnJ

(Note: All the links below are to short videos.  YouTube automatically sets the videos to play at lowest quality. All my videos are HD so if you want to watch without a pixilated image, change the settings by clicking on the wheel at the bottom of the video).

The key words above is ‘woodland park.’  I think we have only one park that could be classified as woodland & that is Tempe Wetland. Though the trees are mostly Casuarinas the wetland is a special place & well worth a regular visit. You can also easily do a 50-minute walk around the three lakes & get in some hills too.  Once in, you could be anywhere & the bird watching is great.  http://bit.ly/NVuMnU

The newest research shows that a nature environment not only elevates mood, but also improves our ability to think & concentrate.  The research found that walking along streets also improved mood, but walking in the park resulted in a 16% increase in cognitive abilities, particularly short-term memory in those with clinical depression.

This is important for residents of Marrickville LGA, which has the smallest amount of public green space in Australia & according to the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index published by Deakin University, we are also the unhappiest community in Australia. 

We have to travel longer to reach a park, so many may take a walk along the streets instead. This research shows that actually going to the park & strolling for 50-minutes will have more benefit making it worth while to travel to one of our green spaces.

It is thought that walking in a park away from the sight & sound of traffic & other external distractions allows the brain to relax.  Many of our parks don’t allow this, as Council places an emphasis on clear sightlines, so you can often see the traffic from one side of the park to the other.  Good examples are Enmore Park in Enmore & Wicks Park in Marrickville http://bit.ly/LxNGlm as both parks are on busy roads.

Steel Park Marrickville

I had a think about which parks in Marrickville LGA would be large enough for a good 50-minute walk & which have enough trees, landscaping & ‘nature’ to fit with what the research described as necessary.  I am not including features like playgrounds or off leash dog areas, just the practicality for a walk among nature.

We are very fortunate to have the Cooks River in our municipality as it has many sections of great beauty despite the presence of plastic bottles. There is also the increasing bird life to grab your interest.  It’s almost guaranteed that seeing a bunch of waterbirds will boost your spirits.

You can also walk or ride to Brighton or Olympic Park in Homebush via the shared pathways, which are on the whole, safe & excellent.  Hundreds of people do this on the weekends & it is quite a friendly buzz down there as almost everyone smiles at you as you pass.

Of the larger parks, Steel Park http://bit.ly/NhfDPz on the Cooks River is good as your attention is drawn to the river rather than any traffic.  It also has lots of tall trees & landscaping & I think the park area looks pretty special all year round because of the Poplar trees & the wetland area.

Henson Park in Marrickville http://bit.ly/MHS2lc & Arlington Recreation Ground in Dulwich Hill http://bit.ly/O9DRHV are good, even though there are not many trees, because you enter into a enclosed space & can get a good walk in both places.  It’s the same with Jack Shanahan Park in Dulwich Hill as long as you don’t mind passing trains, though it doesn’t really have a nature feel as the trees are mostly around the perimeter.

Petersham Park http://bit.ly/NxSiVF is a wonderful park for a walk because of the sheer size of it, its beauty & the many really large trees, plus garden beds. Johnson Park in Dulwich Hill http://bit.ly/NL0L6A is also wonderful & also has many great trees.  O’Dea Reserve in Camperdown http://bit.ly/O9E125 is very popular & has great landscaping.  Parts of Camperdown Park http://bit.ly/NVuuxt are also quiet with great trees. It offers a large area to walk.

Tillman Park in Tempe http://bit.ly/Nhavel  is lovely & the trains are interesting rather than annoying for me at least.  Although Kendrick Park at Tempe http://bit.ly/MvYTEH is next to the Princess Highway, it is also on the river & has a number of areas. Walking along the path at Kendrick Park & following it under the railway bridge & along the river to Tempe Railway Station car park & back again is a nice walk.

Tempe Reserve is huge & great for walking & riding bikes, but it is often very windy & cold & you can clearly hear the hum of traffic from the Princes Highway & Airport Drive.  Because the Cooks River & the Alexandra Canal are on the three sides of Tempe Reserve, there is enough interest to help distract from the hum of traffic.  Personally, I think Tempe Reserve could do with hundreds more trees to block the sound & sight of traffic & offer protection from the relentless & often ferocious wind & there is certainly room for them.

I also think we are fortunate to have Marrickville Golf Course.  It is perfect to get away from it all. You walk on the ground, instead of a concrete path, which is actually very good for you.  Once in the grounds you mostly can’t see or hear traffic.  The golf course is full of trees, many of them large, everything is green & the river is beside you.  You can do a long walk here.  18-holes of golf takes around 3.5 hours to complete.

Of the smaller parks, I think the following have enough beauty to satisfy the nature component & you could walk through & around these parks for 50-minutes.

Beautiful Hoskins Park in Dulwich Hill http://bit.ly/NKWXlz is great & even though it is sandwiched between two roads, traffic is very light & there are many large trees to defect sound.  Brighton Street Reserve http://bit.ly/NxQlZk & Weekley Park in Stamore http://bit.ly/Q5aRFw are also good, though smaller in size.  Maundrell Park in Stanmore http://bit.ly/OFDFhO is medium sized & has quiet streets on both sides.  The beauty of the trees & landscaping in this park allows the mind to ignore busy Stanmore Road. http://bit.ly/MHQZlj

The cemetery in St Stephen’s Anglican Church is a well-known peaceful hideaway from all the noise & traffic of Newtown (althought it is not a park – sorry) & if you really want quiet, try Warren Park at Marrickville South. http://bit.ly/NVsPrw

A path in Marrickville Golf Course. What makes this place especially lovely is the trees & the lack of concrete, all located beside the Cooks River

The little green shapes are a flock of Red Rumped parrots eating the grass seeds on the playing fields of Tempe Reserve. There were at least 80 birds eating here just yesterday, though they were impossible to photograph as a group. If this area is covered with synthetic turf these & other birds will lose this important food source.

Following on from Part 1 http://bit.ly/K54Jvr 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 6th June 2012. 

Council also wants to do “synthetic conversions of sports field open space to increase usability,” & for Tempe Reserve, introduce synthetic surfaces on the vast area of playing fields.  I do not want synthetic surfaces used anywhere in the LGA, least of all in Tempe Reserve.

Playing fields are not just used by sporting people.  A range of birds such as Magpies, Red Rumped parrots, Magpie Larks, White-Faced Herons, Masked lapwings & Australian Ibis use the playing fields as a food source by either eating the grass-seed or by digging for worms & other small insects. To cover such a large expanse in plastic will not only kill off all living things, including microbes, but will also remove an important food source for a population of birds already stressed by lack of habitat.

If Marrickville Councillors approve the plans to convert 9-holes of the current 18-hole Marrickville Golf Course into playing fields they will also likely cover that area with synthetic turf further removing another major food source & habitat area for wildlife.  See – http://bit.ly/K54Jvr

Synthetic turf will create further problems when it rains allowing all the rubbish, including plastic bottles, to wash into the Cooks River.  I’ve stood in Tempe Reserve & watched litter wash over the grass & into the Cooks River. It will be much easier with synthetic turf.

Covering sporting fields with synthetic turf will allow Marrickville Council to get much more money from hiring out the fields because they can lease the fields year round, but it will be done at great cost to the environment & the rest of the community. It should not happen & I am appalled that it has even been suggested.

The following information comes from an excellent article on synthetic turf (1MB) from – http://www.lawndoctor.com.au/images/userfiles/file/synthetic%20grass.doc

Briefly, the problems with synthetic turf are –

  • It is made from petroleum products ie. recycled car tyres & frequently contains heavy metals such as lead, aluminium, chromium, copper & sulphur.
  • Making the turf produces carbon, while ordinary grass removes carbon from the atmosphere.
  • It smells like old tyres.
  • It is laid on road base so gets very hot. On a hot day artificial turf can be up to 50% hotter then natural turf, so it contributes to the urban heat island effect.  Granulated rubber is brushed into the synthetic grass after it is laid.  Playing on this sort of heat can’t be good for players.
  • It causes turf-burn sports injury.
  • It needs to be washed with a cleaning liquid to maintain shine & to disinfect from substances such as blood, spit, urine, vomit, food, beverages & animal excreta weekly during use.  This water then goes into the surrounding environment.
  • It has a life span of 10-years & then goes to landfill.
  • Any air-born weeds that take hold need to be sprayed with weed killers & the chemical stays on the artificial turf.

I think these are more than enough reasons why installing synthetic turf is not a good idea.  There is plenty more studies to show that communities have stopped using the product because of the problems associated with it.

Council says Tempe Reserve has “poor drainage & dangerous surfaces by sports users & careful consideration needs to taken to ensure that this large area of multi use open space is maximised.”  The $300,000 Mackey Park upgrade used sand under the field as part of the drainage system.  More work on the fields was done on at least 2 occasions shortly after completion.  The grass species they used is fragile & deteriorates very quickly. The ground is uneven with holes in the sand making even a walker be aware of where they are stepping.

A soccer Dad & friend said that the field was too soft & more suitable to a professional pitch that endures less games, as opposed to a community park with more frequent games as the pitch can’t recover from frequent damage.

One thing that alarmed me about the upgrade of Mackey Park is when I noticed the lack of wildlife.  Prior to the upgrade this park had hundreds of birds on the fields mornings & afternoons when there were no games, including White-Faced Herons. Now it is almost devoid of wildlife as really, very little can live in dry sand.   I would not like this to happen for other sporting fields.

Marrickville Council’s Biodiversity Plan strives to increase habitat & biodiversity, yet their planned upgrades of huge areas by covering them with synthetic turf will remove even greater areas of food source for wildlife. This does not fit with Council’s aim to increase biodiversity.

More trees around the perimeter of the sporting fields of Tempe Reserve are needed. Trees will not impact on the ability to play sports, but will offer much needed shade for spectators & provide a buffer for the wind that often makes this park a miserable place to be.  Trees will also provide food & habitat for wildlife.

You can download the Recreation Needs Research Strategy & leave comments online here – http://yoursaymarrickville.com.au/your-say-marrickville?module=guest_book#tool

Council offers a summary of the Recreation Needs Research Strategy, but this doesn’t discuss the finer points.  I will write more about the other issues of interest in Part 3.

This is a Google map of Tempe Reserve. The park is surrounded on 3 sides by the Cooks River.      I’ve left the housing in to give an idea of how large this park is.   The pink space is the playing fields & where Marrickville Council are suggesting should be covered in synthetic turf. It is opaque so you can see the marks of the actual fields. The turquoise areas are all the hard surfaces – roads, concrete footpaths, bitumen roads & car parks & the buildings (Jets Sporting Club & the Robyn Webster Sports Centre, plus 2 toilet blocks).   Although the map is old, the trees are essentially the same.   The remaining spaces are lawn grass, except for landscaping (mainly long grasses with some small shrubs), the saltwater wetland & a large triangle of long grasses next to the wetland. If the sporting fields are covered with synthetic turf I believe that more than half the park will be hard surfaces.

Google map of Marrickville Golf Course & Mahoney Reserve. Compare this map with the map below of Kogarah Golf Course & it is easy to see that Kogarah Golf Course has a far greater number of trees.  There are many opportunities for Marrickville Council to improve biodiversity at Marrickville Golf Course without reducing it to a 9-hole course.

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

Most popular comments at the time of reading is the call for more off-leash areas for dog walking with many people very concerned by Council’s proposal to reduce the 18-hole Marrickville Golf Course to 9-holes. Marrickville Council say they want to do this to make more playing fields next to Mahoney Reserve & use the freed up land to create a biodiversity corridor along the Cooks River.

I do not believe that reducing the golf course to 9 holes is the right thing to do & I do not play golf. Golf courses are hotspots for biodiversity traditionally being a large space of green usually with much landscaping & lots of large trees. Council should be planting many more trees & shrubs along the fairways, the escarpment & along the river as this will increase habitat & biodiversity.

One of the comments said the Marrickville Golf Club had a membership of 600 & they will have many more guests using the club as well.  This is not a small usage in my opinion.  Plenty of people other than golfers use the golf course.  There are the many people who walk through the golf course as well as along the river with or without dogs.  The Club has always willingly shared the space with the community.

The golf course is one of the best places for bird watching in the whole LGA & has a huge variety of birds.  The Marrickville Mudcrabs also has a remnant bush site here that they look after.   The club acts as a club where you can eat & get a drink. They have seasons of Sunday Jazz open to everyone & all sorts of functions are held here.

Marrickville has a great golf course that offers a great deal & is an asset to the community.  It should be improved, not reduced in size & certainly not for playing fields as these will actually significantly decrease the biodiversity potential of the site.  It doesn’t make sense to do this.

Sporting clubs are a wonderful vital asset, however there are many in the community who don’t like that they only have limited use of parks because of use by sporting clubs.  I would hate to see yet another facility reduced in size.

The aim to improve biodiversity at the golf course can easily be achieved by clever design ideas that do not require the reduction of the golf course to 9-holes. You can look at Kogarah Golf Course to easily see the difference in the amount of tree & shrub planting & landscaping.

Marrickville Council also wants to review the requirement for 2 croquet clubs in the LGA. Once again Council is looking at removing facilities.  Council should be letting people know about the facilities & encouraging them to use them.  Who knew there would be such an upswing in what appeared to be the dying sport of lawn bowls.

You can download the Recreation Needs Research Strategy & leave comments online here – http://yoursaymarrickville.com.au/your-say-marrickville?module=guest_book#tool

Council offers a summary of the Recreation Needs Research Strategy , but this doesn’t discuss the finer points such as decreasing the golf course to 9-holes & other quite major things.  I will write more about the other issues of interest over another couple of posts.

Google map of Kogarah Golf Course showing an abundance of trees.

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