Sophie Golding, Urban Ecology Coordinator, City of Sydney attended our meeting on 30 June 2015 and we congratulated her on her excellent presentation on the results of the Society’s 2013 and 2014 spring bird surveys to the Regional Landcare Bushcare Forum on 15 May 2015 at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sophie reported that the City is planning to facilitate and organise events in the local government area during October 2015 to enhance the awareness of birds, and to promote bird surveys and events to help children learn about the City’s birds. This year’s survey in Glebe will be held on Sunday 27 September. The City will again provide data sheets for recording the numbers of each bird species seen and will analyse the results. On the same day all Society members will be invited to identify and count birds in their own gardens and complete a data sheet.
Sophie also reported that the establishment of the new park adjacent to the Harold Park development was close to the planting stage. Ferns and grasses are naturally regenerating on the park land near the terrace houses at the southern end of the site. The privets and Celtis, already part of the new park (especially on the top of the cliff face), still need to be progressively removed.
For the past three weeks in a shop window at 26 Ross St, Judy Christie from the Friends of Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group organised a photographic and native plant display about the Creek (see photo). It included historical photographs of the park dating back to the time in 1926 when the creek was relocated in buried storm water pipes. We also invited other local residents to join the Group. The planned working bee in the park on Sunday 21 June 2015 was cancelled as the City had not completed the necessary preparatory work. The latest working bee was held on National Tree Day, Sunday 26 July 2015.
The Glebe Bushcare Group continues to collect litter in the Federal Park area, and stakes and lids have been placed to help protect recent native plantings. The City is proposing to provide the Rozelle Bay Community Native Nursery with alternative accommodation in Chapman Rd near the Pet-O building. The Group continues to meet each Wednesday at 8.30am.
On Monday 15 June, Helen Randerson, Judy Christie and Jeanette Knox met onsite with Joel Johnson, Manager, Parks Trees and Aquatic Facilities and Sophie Golding from the City of Sydney to discuss future plantings in the Town Hall Garden. It appeared that ‘heritage’ has been the sticking point in the plans for future planting in the Garden i.e. the reason the grass has remained at the front, rather than following through on the approved DA provisions. The original DA, approved by the City in June 2010, was to establish a small-bird-friendly native habitat garden on the sunny grassed area in the front of Hall. Joel and Sophie both seemed surprised that Glebe Town Hall had been planted with choice shrubs when it was opened in 1880, and they asked to be sent the Town and Country Journal article from 1880. The City also agreed to contact Peter Tonkin, who was the heritage architect for Glebe Town Hall’s refurbishment – Peter has a great native garden himself and he should be supportive. They were given a copy of the DA provisions, which they didn’t seem to have seen, and a list of ‘Blue-wren friendly’ native plants. Judy also gave them a copy of the 13-14 June Sydney Morning Herald Spectrum article about good new native hedging plants. We walked around the whole site, and discussed the need for appropriate maintenance and coordination, considering the Town Hall’s proximity to Jarocin Ave where wrens have recently been seen.
Sophie Golding reported at our Subcommittee’s meeting that the City had made no final decisions regarding native plantings in the garden. It was agreed that there should be no difficulty in establishing a volunteer bushcare group to assist with the future maintenance of the Garden.
The Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group met on 20 June 2015 and six members were inducted by Rae Broadfoot, Community Gardens and Volunteer Coordinator, City of Sydney. Topics covered included emergency and evacuation procedures for the site, hazard and incident reporting procedures, first aid and injury reporting, and personal protective equipment. The Group will be working on the Upper and Lower Palmerston Ave zones as well as the William Carlton and Quarry St gardens. The Group has decided to apply for a grant from the City to provide funds for a toolbox, first aid kit, tongs, hose, tap, brightly-coloured vests, and signs to indicate who we are, to be put out whilst we are working. A meeting was held on 18 July to draft the grant application.