by Andrew Wood, Convenor Blue Wren Subcommittee

The Subcommittee held a face-to-face meeting on Tuesday 14 July, our first since February 2020. Under COVID-19 rules provided by the City, our volunteer bushcare groups are now able to resume work in Glebe’s parks. A working bee to remove weeds from Orphan School Creek Park was attended by six volunteers on Friday 26 June; the next working bee to plant further native flora and remove weeds will be on National Tree Day at 10am on Sunday 2 August (if you would like to attend, please contact Judy Christie – 0437 693 372). Also, the City has removed the builders’ rubble and household garbage that had been dumped in the Park as well as fallen tree branches.

On 17 June, Anna Szanto, the leader of the Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group had an onsite meeting with Jenny Kent, Community Gardens and Volunteer Coordinator, City of Sydney, to discuss the plans for the park. The upgrading of the park, which is about to commence, is expected to take five months and will include the removal of the oleanders (Nerium oleander) on the northern boundary and a noxious weed tree (Celtis australis).

Palmerston Steps Open Space (photo: V.Simpson-Young

Given the continuing outbreaks of COVID-19 infections, it was decided at this time not to hold the 2020 biodiversity lecture to be given by Anne Dickson, President of the National Parks Association of NSW; it may be possible to schedule her lecture towards the end of the year. Judy Christie will again organise the Society’s spring bird survey commencing in Paddy Gray Reserve, Hereford St at 6.45 am on Sunday 1 November 2020 with breakfast afterwards at Esca in Glebe Point Rd. If it is raining, the survey will be postponed to 8 November.

It was decided to delay posting the Craney Small Grant applications to fund biodiversity projects in Glebe’s preschools and schools until January 2021; normally they are mailed to the schools in May. The Subcommittee will write to the schools telling them of the arrangements for 2021.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on the Environment and Energy will be holding a ‘Feral and Domestic Cats Enquiry’. Helen Randerson and Judy Christie will write a submission, by 30 July 2020, from the Society; there is a particular need for Federal Government to provide grants to local governments to support the education of residents on the proper care of their pet cats by keeping them indoors and preventing their predation of native fauna.

Palmerston Steps Open Space. The Oleanders can be seen against the wall (photo: Anna Szanto)