Park News – January, 2016

Happy New Year!

We wish all our Friends all the best for 2016!

Our Projects for 2016

  • As advised in a “STOP PRESS” article in December’s news, we’ve been awarded a significant grant from Melbourne Water for two new revegetation projects and also for further print runs of our corridor brochure.
  • One project site is to the north of the creek, to the east of Furness Street in Furness Park.  This should become a great spot for birdlife being more isolated than most of the park.  The other site is also to the north of the creek, more or less opposite the Billabong in Kalang Park.

Kalang Pavilion Offical Opening  12th February

  • Even though the new pavilion at Kalang Oval has been up and running since December, it will be officially opened by the Mayor, Cr Daw, on 12th February, 2016.  You are welcome to attend the opening – please read the invitation on our noticeboard for details.  Council would like an RSVP for the numbers please.

pavilion completed

  • Our Committee relocated our first meeting for 2016 (on 26/1) to the multi-purpose room in the new facility – and we have given it the thumbs up! Given the excellent meeting area and copious storage facilities available, we’ve decided to accept Council’s offer and will hold all our 2016 meetings there.
  • In relation to more mundane matters, the rubbish bin nearby (beloved by dog walkers) will be replaced shortly and the Brittle Gum removed at the start of the construction project has been replaced by an indigenous Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon).

Calendar for 2016 Revisited

  • Now that you have your new 2016 diaries or entries in your devices, we thought we should revisit our Calendar for the coming year.
  • Community Working Bee dates for 2016 are planned to be:
    • Saturday 14th May (testing the popularity of a Saturday working bee)
    • Sunday  5th June –  World Environment Day
    • Sunday  3rd July
    • Sunday  31st July – National Tree Day
    • Sunday  21st August
    • Sunday  4th September (a bye in the footie before the finals)
  • Bird Survey dates are proposed to be (Saturdays) 30/4 and 15/10/2016.

In our Corridor – Sparks Reserve Calamity

  • Cyclists and the bicycle advisory group had requested path repairs for the shared asphalt path along the eastern side of Sparks Reserve.  Council’s “solution” ? – rip up the asphalt, axe 58 trees and put in a three metre wide concrete path likened to an aircraft landing strip– they’re not exactly bright Sparks are they!

middleborough rd tree to be axed

  • The front page of the current Whitehorse Leader (25/1) shows outraged protesters in a campaign of protest including signs, balloons and banners drawing the attention of the community to Council’s unfortunate “solution”.  Cyclists, the Blackburn and District Tree Protection Society and concerned individuals protested – alas, in vain.  No doubt to avoid further embarrassment, Council quickly removed all the expressions of protest on the day the tree felling commenced (18/1).  Traffic disruption along Middleborough Road is still happening.
  • Sparks Reserve is diagonally opposite the Creeklands on the west side of Middleborough Road and runs between Canterbury and Albion Roads. It is part of the bio-link corridor linking our park with Gardiners Creek Reserve further west.  Friends might be interested to know that birdlife we don’t often see in the park such as Ibis may be found there and that the reserve is a dogs-off-lead park (unlike all of the Creeklands).  It is also home to the Box Hill Rugby Union Football Club, the Box Hill Archers and a soccer field.

Facebook Page

  • We thought we’d better try and catch up with Web 2.0 before 3.0 arrives!  For those who prefer notifications via Facebook, we’ve set up a page automatically linked to this web-site for all “Creekies”.
  • Blackburn Creeklands Advisory Committee

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month is the Sweet Bursaria (Bursaria spinosa).  It has been looking particularly beautiful this year with its prolific display of small white flowers.  Unlike most of our shrubs and mid-storey plants, it seems to be and coping well with our hot and dry spells.

bursaria 2

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the month is Agapanthus (Agapanthus praecox ssp orientalis).  The photograph shows an Agapanthus plant growing at the water’s edge in Furness Park (since removed with gusto!):

agapanthus_furness_park

  • On the positive side, Agapanthus is drought resistant and good at stabilizing banks.  On the negative side, it is a prolific and hard-to-eradicate introduced weed.  We’d like all our friends and neighbours to dead-head your Agies once flowering is finished,  so seed does not enter the creek system via storm-water.
  • Alternatively, you might consider replacing them with an indigenous plant of similar habits (eg a species of Dianella or Lomandra).  Please see our Useful Links page for details of the local indigenous plant nurseries who will be able to help you with choices.

Sightings

nankeen night heron

Nankeen Night Heron – photo courtesy Wendy Gare

  • There have been several interesting sightings recently:  Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (Richard), Nankeen Night Heron (Wendy – see her picture above taken near Blackburn Road), Black-faced Cuckoo-shrikes, Musk Lorikeets, land yabbies and a bee swarm.
  • Bees are important for pollination and honey production.  There are usually several active Honey Bee hives in the park.   These bees occasionally swarm off to a new location – presumably, looking for new food sources.  The photo below shows a bee-utiful swarm on the move in late November in Kalang Park:

bees swarming

  • The removalists completed their work in about an hour on that occasion.
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