Park News – January, 2015

Happy New Year!

  • We wish all our Friends all the best for the coming year.  
  • The year has started with a bang for the park – with several construction projects underway.  We know our Friends will understand that some temporary path closures are necessary while construction work is undertaken and will be patient with Council’s contractors.

Billabong Reinstatement Project

billabong north pond

  • Materials have been delivered on-site and construction work has recently commenced on the Malcolm Street billabong project.   Work has commenced at the creek end and will go backwards to the storm-water source – so no water flow will occur which might impact construction.
  • The entire job should take 3-4 weeks.

Sheehans Road Path Realignment

Sheehans Road Path Realignment

  • The path to Sheehans Road from main East-Wast track on the southern side of the creek has undergone minor realignment.
  • Council felt this was necessary to deal with the changed conditions after fencing on the boundary with a neighbouring  private property was installed.

Main Street Bridge – storm water pipes/ bridge maintenance

main st bridge works

  • Whitehorse City Council (WCC) works to replace storm water drains/pits and perform bridge maintenance at the Main Street bridge commenced on 21/1.  There have been disruptions around the bridge and to paths in the park around that location.
  • Depending on the weather, the work is expected to take about another fortnight.
  • As this is a sensitive area of the park (eg the adjacent revegetation work and for local bird and plant life), Committee would like you to continue to join us in maintaining a watching brief as work progresses please.
  • Please e-mail any concerns to us – unless the matter is urgent – in which case, contact Mr David Stewart (Bushland Coordinator, ParksWide, WCC) directly on 9262 6213.

60 Main Street Development (Yet another twist!)

  • Last month, we reported that another application for development of the land adjacent to 60 Main Street had been advertised by Whitehorse Council.  Once again, the developer wants to build three two-storey houses on the block.
  • Despite the period for objections closing on 12/1,  a “forthcoming auction” sign was posted on the block on 7/1!  The property is to be auctioned on Saturday, 28th February at 11:00.
  • As per the developer’s first proposal, Council received about 60 objections from the community.
  • For more information and an updated, potted history of the developments so far, please click here.

Snail Killer Sandwiches in Lanes near Main Street

poison bait

  • Earlier in the month, someone was laying dog (or possum?) baits around Linum Street, Main Street and nearby laneways. There have been no further reports after extensive news publicity (see 3AW news for example).
  • Committee advises Friends to let the owners of dogs know about the dangers possibly lurking around the park.  Dogs should certainly never be off-lead.

The Way We Were (1980s)

The Osborns

  • The picture above shows Mr and Mrs Osborn.  Mr Osborn is holding the scythe normally used by his wife when keeping the longer grasses under control.  Despite her small stature, she did an incredible job planting out and wielding the scythe as necessary.  Mr Osborn’s main contribution was to mow the tracks inside the “maze” with his (domestic) lawn mower.
  • Looking at the photo – the area was far more lush with its dense Christmas Bushes, Cassinias etc than it is today – a testament to the skill, effort and care of the couple.
  • We owe them a debt for their pioneering revegetation work in the park – they were quite likely the Creeklands’ first volunteers.
  • The picture has been provided courtesy of their son who was raised in the area but who now resides in Sydney.  Nevertheless, he usually visits the park every Christmas.

Plant of the Month

Bursaria in flower - Furness Park

Bursaria in flower – Furness Park

  • Plant of the Month is Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa) which is flowering very nicely this year all over the park.  It is a woody shrub or small tree and is known to be a quite variable species depending on conditions – eg the moisture available.
  • It has masses of fragrant creamy white flowers in summer.  Apparently, the Aboriginals used to enjoy the “honey” in the flowers – hence its common name presumably.

Confused Plant of the Month

purslane

Young Purslane plant – Kalang Park

Confused Plant of the Month is Purslane aka “Pigweed” or “Water weed”  (Portulaca leracea).  We say “confused” because it is widely known as simply a pesty weed – yet it is an indigenous plant.  It has succulent green leaves, red stems and yellow flowers.

  • Interestingly, it is world-wide (probably spread by man) and is used for culinary purposes in many cultures including the Greek.  Also, the Aboriginals used its seed to make seed-cake and damper.  It’s one of the few and best plant sources of healthy Omega-3 essential fatty acids and has other goodies built-in!
  • It is likely to be indigenous to the Creeklands – though is more prolific nowadays and is likely to be genetically polluted with introduced varieties.

Weed of the Month

scotch thistle

Trampled Scotch Thistle on Neighbouring Property (no wonder we have weeds!)

  • Weed of the Month is Spear Thistle or Scotch Thistle (Cirsium vulgare).  It has an erect habit growing to 1.5 m tall.  Its stems and spear-like leaves are very spiny and prickly.  The top surface of the leaf is dark green and rough while the lower surface is white with short, matted hairs.
  • The purple flower-heads are 12-40 mm in diameter and mainly appear in summer and autumn.  The plant is spread by seed using a pappus (a sphere of hairs that aids in wind dispersal).
  • It is a native of Europe, Asia and North Africa – not only Scotland!

Fauna Sightings

Crested Pigeons - Kalang Oval

Crested Pigeons – Kalang Oval

  • There have been many interesting bird sightings recently:  Crested pigeon(s) have returned, Kookaburras are in abundance, the Common Bronzewing, the Yellow-tailed Black-Cockatoo (only heard so far), lots of Musk Lorikeets and a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike near the Furness bridge.
Having a Laugh - Kalang Park

Having a Laugh – Kalang Park

  • Interestingly, we have heard a theory that an abundance of Kookaburras means that there are likely to be no snakes.  Perhaps it’s true, there have been no snake sightings in the Creeklands for decades – quite unlike at the nearby Blackburn Lake Sanctuary !

VicRoads Bicycle Connections Project

VicRoads Bicycle Connections Project

  • The existing Gardiners Creek (Bike) Trail, ie shared path, ends adjacent to the Creeklands park (Blacks Walk).
  • VicRoads has issued an invitation to a “public engagement and survey” for the recently completed Ringwood and Box Hill Bicycle Connections Project.
  • Details:

Date/Time: 21 February 2015 (morning)
Meeting Point:  Ringwood Station (Thanet Court Car Park)
Contact: neil.hutchinson@dtpli.vic.gov.au

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One Response to Park News – January, 2015

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