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Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

Sign hung up in Ewen Park with plastic bottles from the Cooks River underneath.

The sign says, "Our final toss."

The sign says, “Our final toss.”

The marvellous ‘Cooks River Tossers’ have been busy this afternoon making a statement on both sides of the pedestrian bridge that crosses the Cooks River at Lang Road to Ewen Park at Hurlstone Park.

We were out cycling when we came across a pile of plastic bottles underneath a painted sheet sign strung up on a fence in Ewen Park that said, “These bottles NOW 10c.  Thank you Boomerang Alliance.”

This is a very strong message to the community that they can help stop the Cooks River, other waterways, our beaches & our oceans from being polluted with plastic drink bottles tossed in the river or from stormwater drains.

Six days ago the NSW state government announced that it will go ahead with implementing a Container Deposit Scheme for a 10 cent refund on each empty drink container.  See – http://ab.co/1Xqvxto

The NSW state Environment Minister Mark Speakman said, “We know that 160 million containers end up in litter in NSW. We are determined to drive that down.”   That amount of drink containers polluting the environment makes me shudder.

The Container Deposit Scheme will commence in July 2017.  It can’t come too soon for the environment, which is suffering dreadfully by this kind of pollution.

Riding back towards Marrickville later in the day, we saw that the ‘Cooks River Tossers’ had done more work on the Lang Road side of the bridge.  A large number of plastic bottles taken from the river were piled up with a small sign beside many of them saying, “I’m worth 10c.”  A very clever & a very powerful statement.  I love these people.

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river.  Small signs say, "I 'm worth 10c."

Plastic bottles retrieved from the Cooks River today strewn along the path on the Lang Road side of the river. Small signs say, “I ‘m worth 10c.”

 

 

Street art in Marrickville

Street art in Marrickville

Marrickville Council has fliers all over the place inviting interested members of the community to attend a workshop that asks the very important question – “How can we make our local environment the best it could be?”

They say, “bring your ideas & all ideas are the right ideas.”   Council will provide a free vegetarian lunch.

And, “This event is a must for people who love to breathe clean air, grow food, plant trees, see clean streets, get to know people, connect with community, watch birds and help nature grow & thrive in Marrickville now & into the future.  Importantly, this event is for people that are ready to do something & to do it with others.”

For me it is easy.

  • Marrickville Council could follow City of Sydney’s example & double the urban forest within a decade, though City of Sydney Council are planning to achieve this by 2020 & the results are already noticeable.
  • Again follow the City of Sydney’s example & reclaim as many street corners as possible, allowing that space to be greened up & also serve as informal & attractive meeting places.  This kind of intervention slows down traffic, as well as adding beauty to the streetscape.
  • More de-paving & more verge gardens. This program is already having a positive impact throughout the municipality.
  • More green walls, even if it is a simple vine that grows up a side wall cooling the area & preventing graffiti tagging.
  • More native trees to fill in the ‘urban biodiversity mosaic, Council’s map of areas of biodiversity across the municipality, instead of mainly planting for wildlife only along biodiversity corridors such as the Greenway & the Cooks River.  Unfortunately, areas that support wildlife are sparse, except for along the Cooks River & the railway lines.
  • No loss of our park space for any reason. We have the least green space of any municipality in Australia, so keeping it must be a top priority.
  • Fresh water available for birds with every bubbler & in parks.  It happens in neighbouring municipalities, why not ours?
  • Complete The Greenway, though I did read recently that the NSW government is going to financially contribute with the councils to make it happen.  See – http://bit.ly/1rHJMxC
  • Insist that new high-rise developments move back from the street to prevent a canyon effect & to allow tall street trees to be planted. It is better for those living in these units to look out onto green & importantly, better for their health as those street trees will help capture particulate matter, protect air quality & lessen the development of respiratory illness & fatal heart attacks.  This is vitally important in my opinion.  I’ve written about this public health issue on a number of occasions. See – http://bit.ly/1qfKvVz    Also, more footpath area outside these developments leaves more room for landscaping & seating if there is a café or restaurant included on the ground level.  Plus, it provides more room for pedestrians.  Targeting new development to produce better looking streets is a no-brainer in my opinion.  Otherwise we will be stuck for the next 50-years with the mistakes of today.

WHEN:     Sunday 22nd May 2016.

WHERE:    Tom Foster Community Centre at 11-13 Darley Street Newtown. 

TIME:    12.30 – 4.30pm

RSVP:    By Tuesday 17th May 2016.
To RSVP & for more information see – http://bit.ly/1QxT1F8

Sunset on the Cooks River....sunset on Marrickville Council despite massive community opposition.

Sunset on the Cooks River….sunset on Marrickville Council despite massive community opposition.

Well it is official.  Today the NSW Premier Mike Baird sacked all local councils that are to be merged, renamed them & “administrators brought in to run them until elections in September 2017” though merging councils will have elections next March. See –  http://bit.ly/23IivHa

Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt councils will be renamed Inner West Council. Auburn and Holroyd will be renamed Cumberland Council. Hurstville and Kogarah will be renamed Georges River Council and Manly, Pittwater and Warringah will be called Northern Beaches Council….”

More later when I know more.

Rainbow Lorikeet

Rainbow Lorikeet

Sometimes life brings nice surprises.  I received one of these last Wednesday night when Marrickville Council presented me with the ‘Heritage Promotions Special Achievement Award’ at the Marrickville Medal Presentation held at Marrickville Town Hall.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend, but Richard Blair, long-term member of the Marrickville Heritage Society Committee, kindly accepted the award for me.  I thank him for this.

I also thank Marrickville Council.  Although I have written much that is positive about the work council does, I have also been critical, so it was a genuine surprise for this blog to be recognised in such a positive way. I feel honoured.

Marrickville Council said the following at the presentation –

“We will now begin tonight’s impressive official presentations with the Special Achievement Award.

The Heritage Promotions Committee know that often without recompense, or reward, many individuals make a significant contribution to the Marrickville Community, for the satisfaction provided by the work itself and a sincere desire to give back to their community.

Once again this year, this award is an opportunity to recognise such an individual, and collectively show our appreciation.

This year’s Special Achievement Award is presented to a highly deserving candidate.

In 2009, she started our Save Our Trees blog and spearheaded a campaign to preserve many of the trees found in our urban landscape.

A true community service, her writings also advised the community of park upgrades, developments in parks, tree plantings, installation of verge and rain gardens, environmental and educational events, initiatives from Council which improve the environment and support biodiversity and the promotion of Council’s environmental policies and urban forest policies.

Her blog is a true local resource and is used by school teachers and the greater community. It raises awareness of the natural resources in our own backyard and allows us to connect with each other on the issues of their preservation.

Maintaining the blog since 2009 is a true commitment to both the unique environment found in the Marrickville local government area, the local community and greater cause of learning to live and preserve the environment which sustains us.

We now honour her contribution and commitment.  Mayor Sam Iskandar will now present the Special Achievement Award to Jacqueline Yetzotis.”

I congratulate all the other award winners of the night.

I thank those who nominated me.  To have my peers in the community nominate me felt like I had won regardless of the outcome. Thank you to Marrickville Council for this award & for your kind words.  Importantly, thank you to all those who support the blog by reading my posts & sending information for me to follow up.

 

Four new trees visible in this photo.

Four new trees visible in this photo.

I got a pleasant surprise when I drove down Unwins Bridge Road last weekend.  Marrickville Council has been very busy planting 20 ornamental pear trees all along the west side of the road all the way to Tillman Park.   It looks like there will be three more trees to be planted, as it appears there are three areas prepared for them.

If any road needed street trees this section of Unwins Bridge Road was it.  I am hoping that the other side also gets trees.

Street trees will help purify the air in this high traffic road, which will be much better for the health of the residents, the school children from the primary & high school & the many pedestrians.  The trees will also add beauty, green & shade to the streetscape.

A big thank you to Marrickville Council from me.

All the new trees look like this one.

All the new trees look like this one.

Golden robinia almost dead on Alice Street Newtown.

Golden robinia almost dead on Alice Street Newtown.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove two trees in Newtown.

Tree number 1:  a Golden Robina (Robinia pseudoacacia) outside 123 Alice Street Newtown.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant level of canopy dieback & deadwood and is in an advance state of decline.
  • The tree presents an unacceptable risk to the public and property.”

This tree was obviously dying.

There is no mention of any replacement tree in the text, but the heading says ‘removal & replacement.’   This tree did not have a  ‘Notification of Removal’ sign attached to the tree.

Tree number 2:  A Broad Leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca quinquenervia) outside 14 Alice Street Newtown.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant level of canopy dieback & deadwood & is in an advance state of decline.
  • The tree presents an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

This tree caused us some debate.  Considering that the tree is in flower & has around four dead branches, I would advocate pruning these off, while my husband said he would remove the tree & start afresh, as it will always look poor.  To me pruning would result in this tree looking like all the other Melaleuca trees that have been pruned for powerlines, maybe even better.   Also, it takes a long time to grow a tree of this size, so I would not be removing trees unless there is no other option.

This tree did not have a  ‘Notification of Removal’ sign attached to the tree either.   Council says they will replace with a Green Ash (Franxinus pennsylvanica) before September this year.

The Green ash is a fast growing deciduous tree native to eastern & central America.   They can grow to between 12-25 metres in height with a canopy of around half the height.  Female trees produce a large number of winged seeds in summer & the leaves turn a golden yellow in autumn.

The deadline for submissions for both trees is Friday 6th May 2016.

Melaleuca for removal in Alice Street Newtown.

Melaleuca for removal in Alice Street Newtown.

Showing some of the canopy die back. It is easy to see 3 branches that could be pruned.

Showing two-thirds of the canopy.. It is easy to see 3 branches that could be pruned. The fourth branch is connected to the side facing branch  on the right in the photo above.

Tree removal in Durham Street Stanmore

Brittle gum tree to be removed in Durham Street Stanmore – it does lean towards the house.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove two trees in Stanmore.

Tree number 1:  a Brittle gum (Eucalyptus mannifera) outside 21 Durham Street Stanmore.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Internal decay at base on tension side of lean, causing the tree to be structurally unsound.
  • Identified by 2012 Street Tree Audit for removal.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace this tree with a Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma) by September this year.  This tree did not have a ‘Notification of Removal’ sign attached.

Tree number 2:  a Small-leafed Peppermint (Eucalyptus nicholii) outside 48.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant level of canopy dieback & deadwood & is in an advance state of decline.
  • The tree presents an unacceptable risk to the public & property.”

Council says they will replace this tree with a Brush Box (Lophostemon confertus) by September this year.  This tree did not have a ‘Notification of Removal’ sign attached either.

The deadline for submissions for both trees is Friday 6th May 2016.

Tree to be removed outside Percival Road Stanmore

Tree to be removed outside Percival Road Stanmore – the dieback is easy to see.

 

Tree in Morton Street Lewisham, adjacent to Gould Street.

Tree in Morton Street Lewisham, adjacent to Gould Street. Towards the lower left you can just see a vandalised tree.

Marrickville Council has given notice of their intention to remove a Narrow-leafed Red Ironbark (Eucalyptus crebra) adjacent 49 Gould Avenue Lewisham.  The tree is actually on Morton Street.  It had no Notification of Removal sign attached.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant level of canopy dieback & deadwood & is in an advance state of decline.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

I feel very sad about this tree because half the canopy is alive & filled with flowers.  As a result, it is also filled with feeding singing birds.  It will be a big loss for local biodiversity.

Council says they will replace this tree with a Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) before September this year.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 6th May 2016.

Half the canopy is filled with flowers.

Half the canopy is filled with flowers.

Within a few metres of the tree to be removed is a vandalised tree. I hope the new replacement tree does not meet the same fate.

Within a few metres between the tree to be removed & Gould Street is a vandalised tree – presumably a Jacaranda. I hope the new replacement tree does not meet the same fate.  I also hope this tree is replaced.

Dying Evergreen oak tree in Hoskins Park Dulwich Hill. Unfortunately it stands above the playground.

Dying Evergreen oak tree in Hoskins Park Dulwich Hill. Unfortunately it stands above the playground.

Showing some of the branches where you can clearly see this tree struggling to recover.

Showing some of the branches where you can clearly see this tree struggling to recover.

The lovely big trunk.

The lovely big trunk.

Marrickville Council gave notice of their intention to remove an Evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) in Hoskins Park.

They give the following reasons for removal –

  • “Tree has significant level of canopy dieback & deadwood & is in an advance state of decline.
  • The tree poses an unacceptable level of risk to the public & property.”

This is a devastating loss in my opinion.  The tree is one of the very special trees in Hoskins Park & likely would have been planted when the park was formed in 1938.  It has a beautiful shape & once had a large canopy.

Council says this tree will be “replaced with trees and understory from the Sydney turpentine-ironbark forest community as part of a combined Green Way planting initiative by 30 June.”  Unfortunately there was not a ‘Notification of Removal’ sign on the tree.

Council does not say how many replacement trees they will be planting.  They keep missing out on opportunities to declare the good work they are doing, which I do not understand.

The replacement turpentine-ironbark forest community & understorey is a good choice. This is an ‘endangered ecological community’ in the area & will support the great work re-vegetation done by the Friends of the Greenway.  Just standing beside the greenway one can hear the number & variety of birds that live in this small corridor.  It sounds great, as it should sound when there is habitat, food & water available.  More trees & understorey will only widen the area of habitat & improve  the lovely amenity of Hoskins Park.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 6th May 2016.

Last Friday I was notified by a resident that Marrickville Council had chopped down a number of street trees on Victoria Road Dulwich Hill nearest street for location reference is Nelson Street.

Sadly the trees on Victoria Street Dully are being removed without warning or consult!!   Healthy & young trees. Gone!  A lady I know that lives there, stopped them from removing the one at the front of her house by then they had removed about three or more. She was so upset!!!  She had called council & the guy wasn’t very helpful – tree team leader or something? So awful!! Apparently according to the resident, they were following a report from 2012. But that was the old trees. They were removed & replaced.
On Friday they removed the young trees that were planted as replacement!!!”

So I went to have a look today & found four stumps.  I am presuming these trees were 5-metres or less in height.  Marrickville Council chooses not to inform the community when they remove trees 5-metres or under, which I think is something that often causes anxiety, anger & distrust toward Council, as the above communication clearly shows.  Also, it gives Council carte blanch for tree removal, as the Marrickville Street Tree Inventory Report found that the average height for our street trees across the whole of Marrickville municipality is just 5.2-metres.  What’s 0.2-metres when choosing whether to inform the community or not?

What is left after the tree removal is a long stretch of nothing, but grass & the concrete footpath.  At least two families are upset about the removal of the trees here.  I hope Council plans to replace the trees this tree planning season.

What is left after 4 street trees were removed by Marrickville Council last week.

Victoria Street Dulwich Hill after 4 street trees were removed by Marrickville Council last week.  I suspect the Callistemon in the distance was the one saved by the resident.

Image taken from 'Your Say Marrickville' with thanks.

Image taken from ‘Your Say Marrickville’ with thanks.

 

 

Marrickville Council is planning something that I think is exciting for Sydenham – the Sydenham Station Creative Hub.

Instead of the usual fare of modern high-rise, which we could have expected so close to the railway station, Council is planning to create an entertainment precinct.  This will include live music venues, small bars, restaurants, cafes, as well as industry they describe as “traditional & creative.”  This means retaining employment in Sydenham, which I think is a very good thing.

The area is on the Marrickville side of Sydenham Railway Station.  The streets are full of old buildings & backs onto the heritage Sydenham Pit & Drainage Pumping Station, a huge sandstone stormwater dam at Shirlow & Garden Streets & visible from the passing train.  I’ve cycled around this area & it is interesting.  To be cleaned & greened while retaining the character is a very good thing in my opinion.

Council’s ‘Your Say Marrickville’ page says that, “the Sydenham Station area is already a major contributor to manufacturing in Marrickville and has very low vacancy rates.”  They also note that the proposed Victoria Road Precinct (high-rise housing & mixed business) & the Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor Strategy (more high-rise housing) will bring a population growth that will be able to travel to the Sydenham Station Creative Hub for entertainment.  Currently trains run every 4-minutes.  It will be safe for people to go home by public transport.

The first step is to rezone the area from General Industrial to Light Industrial. Then Council will green the streets, plant street trees, make the streets pedestrian-friendly & create traffic calming measures.

In many cities older so-called ugly areas have been revamped while retaining their character to create exciting, attractive areas full of creative activity & entertainment.  For this to be happening in Sydenham is exciting for me.  Like many others, I do fear the loss of character in Marrickville, as more high-rise is built.

Marrickville Council has opened community consultation about the Sydenham Station Creative Hub until 17th May 2016.  There is a short survey, plus the opportunity to ask questions.

The plan will then go the the 7th June 2016 Council Meeting, where the Councillors will decide whether to proceed to Gateway with the zoning changes.   You can read more & do the survey here –  http://bit.ly/26gnYJj

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