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Fatima Island jusst holding on.  

One of two new trees planted close to the edge of the rover bank in Kendrick Park. These will provide nice shade & food for wildlife.  Discovery Point Wolli Creek looms over us.  The wide angle lens flattens the height making the buildings seem less imposing than what they are.  Building has not finished yet.  

Last weekend we took a bike ride from Mackey Park to Kendrick Park & on to Tempe Reserve.  For various reasons, it has been a number of months since we last visited  Tempe Reserve.

It was great to see two new trees planted close to the riverbank at Kendrick Park.  These will replace the trees removed back in 2011 that were in this position.  Shade here will improve the amenity of the park, as well as add beauty & habitat/food for wildlife.

Looking across to the ever-increasing development at Discovery Point Wolli Creek is perhaps a look at the future for Marrickville & Dulwich Hill.  I certainly find it strange to recreate under the eyes of so many just across the river.  I think this is something we are all going to have to get used to.

It was also wonderful to see that all the new trees planted near to the Princes Highway at Kendrick Park are growing well & have not been vandalised.  This is unusual these days.

Unfortunately, Fatima Island is holding on by a thread.  There are perhaps three trees left.  Personally I feel sad that this island is likely to be lost.  It is a wonderful refuge for waterbirds & only one of two places along the Cooks River where you can always see them when the tide is low.

Ofo bike tossed in the Cooks River.

OFO bike placed in a tree at Tempe Reserve.  Not good for the bike and definitely not good for the tree.

Once we got to Tempe Reserve we saw three yellow OFO Bikes in the river & another high up in a fig tree.  Seeing these bikes in the river has become more prominent than shopping trolleys.

Council’s planting around the picnic kiosks on the western side have grown well & quite a few Casuarina trees have opportunistically popped up, which is not a bad thing in my opinion.  There is plenty of room for more trees in this park.  The other area of new trees and understorey opposite the kiosks beside the ‘turpentine forest’ is also doing well having filled out considerably.

This pole has had a large section removed from the top and has been bound with steel straps.

Further along the mystery of the split habitat pole was solved.  See – https://bit.ly/2pxSQH2

It was an unintentional split & Council has wrapped many steel bracings around the pole to fix this.  I will be very interested to see if any wildlife does set up home in the hollow attached to this pole.   Perhaps this has already happened.

The bottom of the National Tree Day 2015 site is not doing well.

However the top section has shown some progress.

The 2015 National Tree Day site is showing progress.  The bottom part has not done well, but the area at the top has & the 5 trees planted have all survived & are growing.   You can compare by seeing past photos here – https://bit.ly/2IOf2EK

The WestConnex Authority is drilling at Tempe Reserve for the M5 extension

The WestConnex Authority are onsite & have cordoned off a section of the park & the basketball courts to drill & store their equipment.  This is not the first time I have seen them drilling here.  I think it is felt by the majority of this community that it will be a terrible loss & impact on green space if the motorway runs through or over Tempe Reserve.

I am so happy to see this beautiful fig tree doing so well after its roots were exposed by erosion.  The plantings  by Sydney Water are doing well.

The wonderful work done by Sydney Water to restore the river bank as the Cooks River becomes the Alexandra Canal is looking good.  The sedge plantings on the riverbank wall are growing well, as well as all their other plants around the trees.  Importantly, the beautiful Fig tree whose roots were exposed to the air & the brackish water of the river is looking very good after being helped.

Sedge planting in the new riverbank wall built by Sydney Water.  It was low tide when I took this photo.

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Sydney Water plans for bank restoration at Cup & Saucer Creek

The restoration will give a home for these Cormorants. They are sitting at the point on the diagram above.

I received some really exciting news about the Cooks River from Mudcrabs.  Sydney Water recently spent over $3-million removing more than 6,000 tonnes of silt from the Cooks River & now intends to naturalise over 1km of the riverbank at three sites.  They have called for tenders & work is planned to start in early 2013.

The three areas of riverbank to be targeted are at Whitten Reserve in Belfield, Flockhart Park to Beamish Street Campsie & the area in front of & adjoining Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland at Canterbury.  All planning diagrams for the three sites show the planting of many new trees.  This is a bonanza for the health of the Cooks River, the wildlife & the community.

From Sydney Water’s website –Riverbank naturalisation can take different forms, but generally involves the removal of some, or all of the steep concrete channel bank & creating a more gently sloping bank. This is stabilised with native plants, trees & rocks. Naturalisation creates a softer landscape feel & can greatly improve the riverbank habitat for native birds & other animals.  Wetlands can also be established as part of the naturalisation process. Wetlands have a significant role in improving the river’s ecology & health by treating stormwater runoff from streets & industrial areas, before it enters the river.”

Last year the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland won the Highly Commended award at the NSW Stormwater Infrastructure Association Annual Awards for Excellence. Sydney Water deserved to win.  The wetland cost $900,000 & was money well spent.  Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland is a fantastic achievement & is very beautiful.  Lucky are the people whose properties back on to or face the wetland.  I’d love to be waking up to the sound of the birds in the morning.

From being a lawn with a couple of trees, it is now an important habitat area filled with waterbirds & other life, including turtles.  On top of this, the wetland cleans the stormwater coming down the Cup & Saucer Creek channel before it enters the Cooks River.  The community will benefit from the new works too, as we have already benefited from the environment of the Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland.

The habitat around Cup & Saucer Creek Wetland from the pedestrian bridge at the Sugar Factory to Mary McKillop Park will be extended & the lawn removed.  This is a good length in an area filled with waterbirds.  There will be new viewing platforms, new seating (great because there isn’t much), saltmarsh plants & gravel paths, plus many new trees.  The area from Burwood Road to Beamish Street will also have new trees, saltmarsh plants, a viewing platform & a gravel footpath.  Similar additions are planned for the area at Whiddens Reserve.

Slowly this beautiful river will be repaired from the terrible damage inflicted upon it over the last century.  The restoration works by Sydney Water will be a better legacy to bestow on future generations & I am quite excited about it.

You can download the plans here – http://bit.ly/RriIM7

For more information see Sydney Water’s website – http://bit.ly/SmzOgl

Sydney Water plans for the area from Flockhart Park to Beamish Street

Sydney Water plans for Whidden Reserve

 

Part of the view from Kendrick Park across the Cooks River to Wolli Creek

Marrickville Council is currently doing restoration work on the Cooks River bank in Kendrick Park Tempe. This is the lovely park on the opposite side of Tempe Reserve & right next to the Prices Highway.

Bank restoration along the Cooks River at Kendrick Park

The riverbank has been experiencing erosion.  Council has placed many sandstone blocks along the bank with felt matting to stop the soil from washing into the river.  I presume this will stabilize the area & allow the mangroves in the area to take root & establish naturally. The space between the stones provides space for river creatures to live.  One very old pine tree near the bank has died so I assume this will be removed soon.

The works look great & it appears that some areas will be set up as steps to allow one to sit on the bank to watch the river go by.  The work seems to match what has been done on the opposite bank near the Wolli Creek development.  Bank restoration work like this has been done with great success around Tempe Reserve.

Kendrick Park itself is well used & people travel from afar to enjoy the space.  There are

Cooks River cycleway next to Tempe Railway Station heading toward Kendrick Park

lots of different species of trees & two massive Hills Figs closer to the highway.  It was a hot afternoon, but the temperature was much, much cooler under the Fig trees.  If you like Fig trees, they are worth a visit as they have been allowed to grow naturally & have an expansive canopy.

There is also a Mulberry tree near the riverbank for those who like fruit trees in public spaces. It is full of fruit that should be ripe for picking in a few weeks.  One of my fond memories of being a child was summer eating of Mulberries direct from the tree.  Take you kids there & let them get purple fingers & black tongues.

The park is below a sandstone cliff face. Lots of trees are growing here as well giving the area a bush feel rather than a landscaped urban park.  The Cooks River cycleway travels past Mackey Park, follows the river past Tempe Railway Station then through this park before crossing the Princes Highway to Tempe Reserve.  It’s a surprisingly picturesque walk as there has been lots of bush regeneration.

There was a cycle day happening last weekend.  People were cycling from the Olympic Stadium to Tempe Reserve, then back again.   At least 100 or so cyclists rode past while we were there.  The cycleway is brilliant for bike riders.

Kendrick Park is yet another lovely park along the Cooks River.  I don’t remember play equipment, but kids were riding bikes & tricycles along the many paths while we were there. It’s worth a visit & the restoration work along the bank only enhances the beauty of this park.

Dead tree Kendrick Park

Two massive Hills Fig trees in Kendrick Park

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