By Andrew Wood, Convenor Blue Wrens Subcommittee, Bulletin 1/2023, March 2023

News from the volunteer bushcare groups

With all the recent rain, Glebe’s parks are looking beautifully green and the native flora is thriving. The Orphan School Creek Bushcare Group held a working bee in the park on Saturday 4 February. The following paragraph was published in an article by Ben Cubby in the Sydney Morning Herald on 27 January:

‘Secret Sydney spot you escape to? 

We’re a city of secret parks. My favourite is a couple of streets away in Forest Lodge in one of those unregarded sandstone gullies where the ground is too rough to build on. This one is called Orphan School Creek playground. There’s a sandpit full of donated toys, a patch of grass and a winding path down to a creek. I call it the Dragon Forest because it looks like the sort of place they may be there.’

In Rozelle Bay, the native florae  planted last year on National Tree Day have not survived; as the site selected in Federal Park was not suitable. Most of the native flora planted in John Street Reserve some years ago has died and requires replanting, also the care and maintenance of the site needs to be transferred from Skyline, the City’s Park maintenance contractors, to the National Trust’s specialist bush care staff. In Harold Park / Johnstons Creek some regions are becoming dominated by Casuarinas spp (equisetifolia). (Nick Sangster counted 27 swamp she-oaks (Casuarina glauca) in the area – and many need to be removed. The Glebe Palmerston and Surrounds Landcare Group continues weeding in the parks; it is made difficult by the slippery drains which must be crossed to access the sites. There is a need to reduce the tree canopy to permit more sunlight to enter, a new light in the upper part of the park has not yet been installed and there is a continuing problem with the dumping of rubbish at the Lombard Street end of the sites.

Innovation and Ideas Grant

‘The Hill’ was the subject of articles in the August 2022 Bulletin and September 2022 Bulletin

Professor Dieter Hochuli, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Sydney University. (Image Supplied)

Last year a grant of over $40,000 for a project entitled ‘Glebe’s Hill – unravelling its biodiversity secrets and potential’ was received by the Society from the City of Sydney. During the coming year Professor Dieter Hochuli’s group at the University of Sydney will be recording the wildlife in this fenced, contaminated site of crown land on the northern side of the Tramsheds. 

In preparation for the commencement of the study, the Society has signed a contract with the City and is awaiting a contract from the University of Sydney as well as the finalisation of a Licensing Agreement between the City and the Society to permit access to the site. The City has appointed a Grant Relationship Manager, James Macnamara, who is also the City’s Urban Ecology Coordinator.

The grant will fund two public information sessions one in May and another in November which will be held in the Tramsheds community meeting room – details will be available in the Bulletin and all members and friends will be invited to attend.

Here are details of recent media articles and an interview about the grant: 

  • An article by Erin Modaro about the award of the Grant was published by CityHub Sydney online on Monday 17 January and subsequently in the print edition of the newspaper 
  • Live interview between the ABC’s Sarah McDonald and Professor Dieter Hochuli, University of Sydney, about the Grant on Monday 23 January on the ABC Morning programme  
  • An online article by the ABC’s Rosemary Bolger about the award of the Grant was published on 31 January

The entrance gates to The Hill near the Jubilee Park light rail stop. (photo Andrew Wood)
‘The Hill’ on the northern side of the Tramsheds. The Society has proposed that this Crown Lands site be retained as a dedicated urban wildlife habitat refuge (Photo: Andrew Wood)