By Andrew Wood, Convenor, Blue Wren Subcommittee, December 2022, from Bulletin 10 of 2022

‘The Hill’ (source: annotation of a Google Maps image)

Award of an Innovation and Ideas Grant from the City of Sydney

‘Glebe’s Hill’ is an enclosed area (about 0.6 Ha) of contaminated Crown Land on the northern side of the Tramsheds with an entrance near the Jubilee Park light rail stop.

We have recently learnt that the Society has received from the City of Sydney an Innovation and Ideas Grant entitled Glebe’s Hill – unravelling its biodiversity secrets and potential. The grant will provide a unique collaboration between the local community, represented by the Society, and the University of Sydney’s Integrative Ecology Group led by Professor Dieter Hochuli. The result will be an increased understanding of the biodiversity of Glebe’s Hill and its potential as a site of the City’s first urban wildlife refuge. We will use a range of investigative tools – camera traps, bat detectors and systematic walk-throughs by expert wildlife researchers to determine the current values of the site, including the presence (or absence) of mammals, birds, bats, reptiles, insects and related vegetation.

In addition to collecting this baseline data from Glebe’s Hill, the project team will collect standardised data from several other local bush restoration sites. This will provide both a base line and a measure of potential for future development of Glebe’s Hill and its likely role in the mosaic of bushland sites.

The total value of the grant application was $72,166 made up of a contribution from the City of Sydney ($44,640) and in-kind contributions ($27,526) from the University of Sydney and the Subcommittee’s bushcare volunteers. The main budget item is the employment of a research assistant from the University of Sydney who will perform most of the proposed project.

2022 Craney Small Grants

This small grant program is named in honour of Jan Craney, a respected and much-loved former convenor and member of the Blue Wren Subcommittee. In her will, Jan left the Subcommittee a bequest to foster biodiversity in Glebe; Jan was particularly interested in the education of young people leading to an increased awareness of the value of native plants and animals. A further generous donation from a member of the Blue Wren Subcommittee has permitted continuation of the program in 2022 and grant applications were sent to the 14 preschools and schools in our suburb.

The successful applicants this year were Glebe Public School (a grant of $1,700 awarded for a project entitled ‘Glebe Public School Environment Project’) and The Crescent Early Learning (a grant of $600 for project entitled ‘Helping Bees Thrive’). On completing their projects, the applicants have been asked to write a report of about 300 words, accompanied if possible by a photograph, for publication in the Society’s monthly Bulletin and on the Society’s website.

One of the Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group’s sites (photo: V. Simpson-Young)

Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group

Ten volunteers attended a working bee on Sunday 6 November and 20 tube stock were planted. There are continuing difficulties in obtaining sufficient tube stock to meet the requirements of the Group and there is also the need for additional signage to show that the sites are a habitat regeneration area.

On Saturday 10 December, the Group will hold an onsite party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its formation and Judy Christie’s leadership.