Park News – May, 2014

The Land Adjacent to 60 Main Street – Council Works

  • Council has completed ripping, planting-out and mulching the old path area – this part of the park is now taking shape.

60main street

  • The way is now clear for further planting at that site at a working bee later in the year.

Malcolm Street Billabong Working Bee

  • Sunday’s (25/5) working bee at the Malcolm Street Billabong was a great success with almost 20 Friends and Committee contributing (including several new participants) and 682 (!) plants put in the ground. It was a great effort and very enjoyable morning.

billabong plantings

  • To finish off the working bee, we had time to weed the first secondary pond after the billabong (the main billabong is on the Malcolm Street side with two other ponds in series on the other side of the track – these will slow the flow of water into the creek and provide more opportunity for settling and filtration).
  • The maintenance team is currently completing the planting out of the western end of the billabong patch. A further working bee will plant out the secondary ponds on the creek side of the track.  It’ll be great if the planting out is done in good time for the Billabong Reinstatement project (see below).
  • For your diaries: next working bee will be at the Frog Bog (nb: this is not the Waratah Wetlands) on 29/6.  We’ll send a notice closer to the date.

Malcolm Street Billabong Reinstatement

  • We are quietly confident that the Malcolm Street Billabong Reinstatement Project described in our January news (link) will go ahead in the coming financial year.   Look out for next month’s news for details.
  • Redevelopment of the Kalang Park pavilion also looks likely to proceed.  Although primarily of interest to sporting clubs, the new pavilion in the park may offer a meeting venue and/or equipment storage for the Creeklands Committee.  We have seen a preliminary plan which seems to have good points:
    •  It’s expected to have low impact on the site and on park neighbours.
    •  Flexible internal partitioning which will allow reconfiguration to suit a variety of sporting and community needs.
    • Provision of an externally accessible, council maintained, universal-access toilet.

New Format Newsletter

  • The new format newsletter was distributed to Friends via e-mail on 5/5/2014 and via hard-copy to Friends without e-mail shortly afterwards.
  • If you missed it somehow, please visit this link.
  •  Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.  Feedback to date has been resoundingly positive.

Vandalism (?)

gloom

  •  We have reason to believe someone is deliberately poisoning young eucalypts that both we and council have planted on the northern side of the creek in the Furness Street area.  About ten trees seem to have been targeted.  Please keep an eye out in that area.
  • If anyone has information please let us know or report directly to Council on 9262 6333 (all hours).

Whitehorse Housing and Neighbourhood Character Review

  • The Whitehorse Housing and Neighbourhood Character Review has concluded and the results have been approved by Council for inclusion in the Whitehorse Planning Scheme.  This is now with the state Minister for approval.
  • For a brief summary, including links to the Council minutes, please visit this link.

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month is Common Correa (Correa reflexa).

correa reflexa

  • It is bird-attracting upright or spreading shrub and the indigenous variety has green bells (other forms have red bells).  Being indigenous, this attractive plant grows well in the Blackburn area and is quite popular with local gardeners.
  • Some may be wondering why one of the fungi has not been nominated given their prevalence this year.  Well, they have been ruled out on something more than a major technicality – one of our committee members (who is very knowledgeable in Biology) explains that fungi are not a family of plants …in fact, they are not plants at all and have more in common with animals.  They are in fact a Kingdom of their own.  Not plants, not animals, but fungi!  Anyway, here are some examples from the park including one that seems to grow a beard:

fungus1

fungus2

  • The current noticeboard display showing local fungi has been extended due to the prevalence of fungi this year – possibly thanks to the extended growing season provided by our “Indian autumn” (?)

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the month is Angled Onion (Allium triquetrum)– which is popping up in many parts of the park now.  It looks like a thick green grass 20-40 cm high at this time of year or like chives when very young.   On close inspection, its stems have three acute angles and has an obvious onion-like smell (hence the name).   It flowers in late winter and spring with white bell flowers.  It spreads by seed and bulb division.

angled onion

  • For gardeners who use Glycosophate spray, the plant is practically immune until the flowers appear.   It’s best to simply dig it out – including the bulbs.
  • For the more adventurous, but don’t take our word for it, the plant is supposed to be edible!

Sightings

There have been a few interesting bird sightings in the area:

  • Currawongs and galahs currently seem very abundant.  Bronze-winged pigeons also seem to be becoming more abundant and permanent.
  • Fish (presumed to be carp) have returned to the Laurel Grove pond having disappeared in the aftermath of the sewage pollution event clean-up.
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