The City will soon be installing hives for native stingless bees in Orphan School Creek and Palmerston Ave parks and members of the two bushcare groups caring for the parks attended a ‘bee workshop’ conducted by the City on 8 February. A native hive has already been placed in the foreshore park opposite the Anchorage block of home units (see photo). The bees (also known as ‘sugarbag’ or ‘bush’ bees) are about 3 to 5mm long and will travel around 100 metres to pollinate and collect nectar from native and introduced flowers. It may be necessary to provide a water source near the hive during the hotter months. Each hive produces small amounts, less than 1 kg per year, of honey, which was relished by Indigenous Australians.

Native stingless beehive in Glebe’s foreshore park opposite the Anchorage home units (photo: Andrew Wood).

In John Street Reserve everything is growing furiously following the recent rains, but local volunteers are continuing to water the newly established lawn and are keeping the bird bath topped up. There is concern that some of the flora may not survive the current high temperatures.

The Ferry Road Bushcare Group (Ernest Pederson Park, William Carlton Gardens and Quarry Lane) noticed that the City has recently employed surveyors and a consultant arborist to prepare a report on the scheduled renewal of Palmerston Ave Steps, Sarah Peninton Reserve, Cardigan Street Park and Ernest Pederson Reserve. An onsite “pre-consultation” meeting was held at 3:00pm on Tuesday 5 February between eight landcare volunteers (members of the Ferry Road Bushcare Group, and the Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group together with Judy Christie from the Blue Wren Subcommittee) with six City of Sydney staff led by Ali Dexter, Senior Project Manager – Community Consultation, Community Relations. The meeting was most important as it gave the landcare volunteers the opportunity to speak about their ideas for the parks prior to the City issuing its park renewal documents. It is expected that the volunteers’ requests will be incorporated into the renewal plans thus creating a ‘win-win’ outcome, and saving much time and angst in having to object to some possibly unacceptable proposals for the parks.

Two new volunteers have joined the Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group; watering and litter collecting (including dog faeces) continues. Instead of removing the noxious weeds, privet (Ligustrum lucidum) and Celtis australis, Citiwide (the City’s park maintenance contractors) severely pruned native flora in the middle part of the park. Following complaints from the Group and local residents, the City has agreed to plant additional flora to fill in the gaps (the noxious plants are still to be removed!). As described previously, the Group was successful in obtaining a grant of $4,000 from the City to purchase tools and a storage shed. They have, however, been unable to accept the grant as the City has still not provided a satisfactory personal accident insurance policy to cover the work of their volunteer members (the present unsatisfactory insurance policy requires the Group to pay the first $500of any accident claim). Over the past three years, the Group has been asking, without success, for a water tap to be installed by the City in the lowest part of the park near the Glebe light rail stop. The Group will write to the City’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Linda Scott, to see if she can intervene to have the tap installed.