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Hardenbergia - Happy Wanderer

Australian native Hardenbergia ‘Happy Wanderer’ – called ‘Waraburra’ by indigenous Australians.  Used as a vine & ground cover.  Attracts insects & birds.  Can be propagated or grown from seed.

Landcare is holding a community-planting event for Biodiversity Month at Marrickville Golf Course planting trees, shrubs, grasses, sedges & groundcovers.  Tools & gloves provided, plus morning tea.

DATE:   Sunday 22nd September 2013

TIME: 9.30am – 12.30pm

WHERE:  Landcare site next to the Marrickville Golf Club, entry Wharf Road Marrickville.  Plenty of free parking is available.

Contact the Biocordinator at Marrickville Council if you will be attending –


Showing a section of The Greenway from Dulwich Hill.  Community volunteers ‘Friends of the Greenway’ have already done massive amounts of work re-vegetating sections of the corridor.  

September is National Biodiversity Month.  Biodiversity is incredibly important because everything is connected & all that lives contributes to the web of life. If one is removed, it affects something else.  If something foreign is introduced it can severely impact on the flora & fauna.  Think Cane Toad.

In 2011 Marrickville Council completed their Draft Biodiversity Action Plan & mapped the Urban Habitat Mosaic.  See –  The Urban Habitat Mosaic refers to all parks, reserves, other open space, streets, road verges, schools, church grounds & backyards in the LGA, as well as Camperdown Cemetery, Marrickville Community Nursery, Camdenville Park & the Bush Pockets sites at Victoria Road & Bedwin Road.

Mushrooms & toadstools are also important for biodiversity

If you look at the map the first thing you notice is how little there is & how poorly connected the sites are.  The Cooks River & The Greenway are the only major corridors.

We all can add to the Urban Habitat Mosaic by planting out a section of our garden with natives that offer food & habitat to wildlife as well as including suitable native plants to verge gardens.  It wouldn’t take much to make a massive improvement on the Mosaic if most of us actually planted something to add to it, though I recognize that this will take some time.  Pittwater Council is asking people to convert the fence line of their back garden into wildlife supporting habitat, including logs from dead trees for lizards & the like.

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities offer the following easily doable suggestions on their webpage –

  1. Create a natural habitat in your backyard.
  2. Get rid of weeds.
  3. Be a responsible pet owner.
  4. Reduce, reuse & recycle.
  5. Start your own compost bin.
  6. Only put water down the drains.
  7. Be an informed seafood eater. Don’t eat threatened fish species.
  8. Understand what you can & can’t take with you when you travel.
  9. When you’re sailing, don’t get too close to whales & dolphins.

More information can be found here –

Looks much better than the usual litter & weed-filled area around street tres, but is a harmful plant because it is so invasive in our area.

The largest piece of bushland habitat we have close by is Wolli Creek. This area is under siege from Privet, Lantana & Asparagus Fern, so we could help this area enormously (& the volunteers who spend hours trying to remove these invaders), if we removed these plants from inside & around our property.

I’ve seen Asparagus Fern planted around street trees in Marrickville LGA. Those that planted the Asparagus Fern had the noble intention to bring beauty to the streetscape. It’s just unfortunate that it is the wrong choice of plant.  This is only my opinion, as Marrickville Council does not include Asparagus Fern on their list of weeds as far as I can see.  It is however a Declared Weed in NSW under the Noxious Weeds Act 1993 & regarded as a Weed of National Significance in Australia.  Personally, I think Asparagus Fern should be included.  You can read Marrickville Council’s list of noxious weeds here –

Lovely White-Faced Herons are becoming a visible bird along the Cooks River. They were not as common only a few short years ago.

To finish, there is some amazing news from New Zealand who is about to break world environmental paradigms by declaring the Whanganui River in the North Island a legal identity. This means the Whanganui River will have the same legal rights as a person.   See –

Just yesterday, someone said to me that the Cooks River will not receive the protection it needs until the Council & the community sees it on the same level of importance as a Bank.  The analogy was; we expect our money & valuables held in Banks to be protected so we hire guards to keep it safe for us. If the Cooks River were seen as important as our valuables, we would be insisting on the presence of Rangers to protect both the river & the parks along the river.  This certainly made me think.

Declaring the Whanganui River a legal identity with rights the same as people reminds me of Bolivia’s breathtakingly wonderful ‘Law of the Rights of Mother Earth’ declared in 2010.  It shows that the minds of people are changing, that they are recognizing the importance of biodiversity & the environment as well as our role in protecting it.   Some would say that we have a moral responsibility to do so.

I think this is a Black-winged Stilt. It was foraging at the boat harbour at Tempe. I have only seen these birds twice.

Tempe Reserve is a hot spot for biodiversity creation

Today is Threatened Species Day & September is also National Biodiversity Month.  These events are meant to raise awareness in the community about our environmental issues.  The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities says the following about Australia’s biodiversity –

“Australia is home to more than one million species, many of which are found nowhere else in the world. About 85% of flowering plants, 84% of mammals, more than 45% of birds & 89% of inshore, freshwater fish are endemic – that is they are only found in Australia. Changes to the landscape & native habitat as a result of human activity have put many of these unique species at risk. Over the last 200 years many plants & animals have become extinct.”

The NSW Office of Environment & Heritage says, “In NSW more than 1000 native species, populations & ecological communities are threatened with extinction.”  In Marrickville LGA we have remnants of Sydney Turpentine & Ironbark Forest, Swamp Oak Floodplain Forest, Sydney Sandstone & Sandstone Heath. The Marrickville Draft Biodiversity Action Plan identifies these as a priority for action to keep.  Once the habitat goes, so do the animals, birds, reptiles, frogs & insects that inhabit it.  In some areas species are hanging on by a thin thread.

In Marrickville LGA we have the Green & Gold Frog, the Grey-headed Flying Fox, the East-coast Freetail Bat, the Eastern Bentwing Bat & the Long-nosed Bandicoot on the vulnerable or endangered list.  With funding for the GreenWay being cut out in this week’s NSW Budget, the Bandicoot colonies will be at greater risk.

Flying Foxes across Australia have become ‘Public Enemy Number 1’ because they are impacting humans more than ever in search of ever-dwindling food sources & habitat.  Recently there have been incidents of poisoning local Fig trees, a major source of food for flying foxes.  For bats, the future is not looking good.

Also mentioned in the Marrickville Draft Biodiversity Strategy as threatened species for this area are the Red-crowned Toadlet, the Barking Owl, the Masked Owl, the Powerful Owl, the Sooty Owl, the Pied Oystercatcher, the Terek Sandpiper, the Swift Parrot, the Regent Honeyeater & the East-coast Freetail Bat.  That’s a long list for an area of only 14 square kilometres.

Looking at the map of ‘Threatened species, population & ecological communities around Marrickville LGA over the last decade’ in the Marrickville Draft Biodiversity Strategy, about 98% of sightings follow the GreenWay or near the GreenWay, the Cooks River & off to Wolli Creek.

Council has the responsibility to plant street trees, parks & other areas with urban wildlife in mind. It is wonderful to see that they have prepared such in-depth reports about biodiversity in Marrickville LGA. Their action list gives me great hope in that there will be a future for urban wildlife & that areas of habitat will continue to be cared for & built upon, especially for those classified as vulnerable or worse.

The Environment Protection & Biodiversity Conservation List of Threatened Fauna has a list of 444 species that makes for bleak reading –

Here is an Inner West Courier article about the GreenWay funding – & another where WIRES are asking people to net their fruit trees correctly so as not to injure flying foxes & birds –

There are a number of events happening across the locality for National Biodiversity Month such as the Two Valley Trail Reconciliation Walk (see – ) & the Birds & Bush event (see – ).

This is a close-up of one of a row of perfect Bottle Brush (Callistemon) trees just inside the perimeter of Ferncourt Public School in Marrickville South. Native trees in this condition are great for biodiversity because they offer lots of food for a range of animals, birds, butterflies, native bees & other insects. If only the thousands of Bottle Brush trees across Marrickville LGA were in such good condition.

One of the great trees at St Mary MacKillop Reserve beside the Cooks River

The Canterbury Aboriginal Advisory Group, the Cooks River Valley Association & Canterbury Council have organized the Two Valley Trail Reconciliation Walk on Sunday 18th September 2011.

The walk will recognize & celebrate the role that Aboriginal people, past & present, have played in caring for the country of the Cooks River Valley & the Wolli Valley.

The walk is broken into 2 sections of Wolli Creek & 4 sections along the Cooks River allowing people to join any of the sections & leave when they like or participate in the whole walk. This is a great idea as it makes it much easier for people with health or time restrictions to be able to participate.


  • 1st section meets at 10am at Girrahween Park. To get to the meeting place you need to either enter the car park above the park from St James Avenue or Joy Avenue Earlwood & walk down the steps or walk in from Fauna Street Earlwood.
  • 2nd section meets at 11am at Turrella Reserve. The closest street is Finlays Avenue Earlwood.


  • 1st section meets at 10.15am at Lees Park.  The nearest street is Brighton Avenue Croydon Park.
  • 2nd section meets at 10.30am at Mary MacKillop Park. The nearest cross streets are Fore Street & Canterbury Road Canterbury.
  • 3rd section meets at 10.45am at Ewen Park.  The nearest cross streets are Smith Avenue & Tennent Parade Hurlstone Park.
  • 4th section meets at 11.15am at Steele Park.  The nearest cross streets are Illawarra Road & Wharf Road Marrickville.


  • At approximately 11.30am participants from both walks will meet at Gough Whitlam Reserve Bayview Avenue Earlwood for a free barbeque.  There will be Indigenous & environmental themed activities for children & families.
  • At 12.30pm there will be an Acknowledgement of Country as part of a short official program.

The barbeque & Acknowledgement of Country program is open to everyone, & you do not need to participate on the walks to attend.  However, bookings are essential for catering purposes.

Numbers are limited on both walks & bookings are essential.  Registration forms are available online on the Cooks River Valley Association website –  Inquiries phone 0414 910 816 or email 

Ibis feeding at the Cooks River Marrickville South




Terrific idea Marrickville Council



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