The City of Sydney’s Working Group has drawn up revised plans for Ernest Pedersen Reserve which incorporate the design of the original front garden of the adjacent Rothwell House.
The Group was chaired by Chris Thomas, Manager Design, City of Sydney and the other members were Helen Rogers, Design Manager, City of Sydney, local Ferry Rd residents and Ferry Rd Bushcare Group members, Jenna Reed Burns and Iain Gibson, with Andrew Wood representing the Glebe Society. The revised plans are now on exhibition and at the onsite meeting with local residents at 4.30 pm on Thursday 20 February there was agreement that the new plans were a major improvement upon the initial proposals. The Society is in overall support of the revised plans for the Reserve as they recognise the unique heritage value of the site and its principal use as a passive park which can be quietly enjoyed by the Glebe community.
A continuing problem experienced by the five volunteer bushcare groups in Glebe is the lack of knowledge and expertise shown by the City’s park maintenance contractor, Skyline Landscape Services. For example, at the end of last year a section of garden embankment halfway down the stairs from Avon St into William Carlton Gardens was damaged. The plants were either slashed with a whipper-snipper or just pulled out of the ground and left to die and included Dianella, Dietes and Cissus antarctica. Then in January the maintenance crew raked up and removed the mulch from around the flora in Ernest Pedersen Park. When asked why they were removing the mulch, a bushcare volunteer was told that ‘the mulch was being removed under orders so that park could be mulched’. More recently in John Street Reserve some of the native vines which had been trained by the bushcare volunteers to grow over the loop border fencing were removed as were native grasses, but not the weeds; in addition there was no pruning of a large Celtis tree (a noxious weed) which has grown to cover the mid-section of the Reserve. It should be remembered that John Street Reserve was created as a native habitat to attract small birds. Skyline staff do not appear to be trained for fine detail weeding and habitat management. The National Trust bush regeneration team working in other Glebe and Forest Lodge reserves do have these skills and would be the appropriate contractors to work in Ernest Pedersen Park and John Street Reserve in liaison with our bushcare volunteers.