Park News – February, 2016

Kalang Pavilion Officially Opened 12/2/2016

mayor and councillors

  • The new pavilion at Kalang Oval was officially opened by the Mayor, Cr Daw, on 12th February, 2016.  The photo above shows the Mayor (Councillor Daw at right) with our current local ward councillors Andrew Munroe and Denise Massoud.

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) has been reinstated, there’s a drinking fountain with dog bowl in place and the Brittle Gum removed at the start of the construction project has been replaced by an indigenous Blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon).

Main Street Bridge Maintenance

  • The Main Street bridge maintenance work conducted last year (April – June) was completed – excepting for some landscaping and a component to replace the old-style gal pipe handrails.
  • Council initially informed us that the replacement of the handrails was likely to start Friday (12/2) and continue into the next week.
  • We heard that delays in related work on the Jeffery Street bridge had delayed work on the Main Street bridge.  Jeffery Street crosses our creek further east in our corridor towards Blackburn Lake.

Jefferey Street bridge

  • A fortnight has passed us by – and clearly nothing has happened at Main Street – on the ground at least.  We’ve asked our contacts at Council who are none the wiser – saying “…there have evidently been delays…”.   In the meantime, Jeffery Street residents are very unhappy about the works done on their bridge which they describe as an unsympathetic “cage” around the pedestrian bridge with further similar work to be applied to the road bridge as well!  To ameliorate somewhat, the railings will be painted black once the gal cures.

Adverse VCAT Decisions

  • VCAT has approved the unfortunate development proposal for 60 Main Street adjacent to our park.  The VCAT member appeared to take a rather benign view of the applicant’s appeal describing that rather ordinary, inappropriate and opportunistic proposal as remaining “innovative and contextual”.  What a travesty!
  • Ultimately what defeated us was VCAT’s overly collegial and legalistic outlook.  It’s soul destroying – but at least we can be comfortable we did our best for the park in opposing it.  Thanks to all Friends who participated!
  • A similar decision approved a proposal of similar scale for number 2 Walsham Road in our corridor.

Butterflies Page on Web-site

butterfly - Meadow Argus

  • A butterflies page is now up on our web-site.  This is based on our recent noticeboard display and Martin Short’s Grade 5 project work.  It is resplendent with Ian Moodie’s and Ross Field’s photos.  Please click here  to take a look.

New Whitehorse Cycling Strategy

  • Whitehorse Council is preparing a new Cycling Strategy to guide education, infrastructure and advocacy actions over the next ten years.  We sent you an e-mail early in the month in case you had opinions you wanted to share with Council’s team.
  • We have made a submission advocating for protection of our park for our park users such as walkers including those with disabilities.   There has been a disturbing trend whereby both Council and Vicroads seem to prefer sacrificing pedestrian and parkland assets for bike paths rather than employing transport assets (such as a lane on a road or railway land).  Topical examples are:
    • Council’s sacrifice of 58 trees along Sparks Reserve for the Middleborough Road Shared Path renovation
    • Vicroads proposing severe impacts on Laburnum Park, pedestrian amenity (and trees?) on Laburnum Street and Elmore Walk for the Box Hill-Ringwood rail trail which was originally intended to use the rail corridor – not streets, lanes and parks.
  • We said:
    • Existing gravel paths in the park are pedestrian paths. Cyclists are welcome to use them but should modify speed/behaviours accordingly.
    • Appropriate education for cyclists of all ages is needed.
    • Existing pedestrian paths should not be converted into Shared Paths (ie concreted) because this would be damaging to park trees and would reduce amenity for passive park users.

BCAC Terms of Reference

BCAC Terms of Reference

or directly via:

https://blackburncreeklands.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/bcac-terms-of-reference-21-08-2000.pdf .

  • This is quite an old document.  Council initiated work to update the  Terms of Reference for all park Advisory Committees to current needs last year beginning with two seminars open to committee members.  The product of that work has not been made available yet by Council.

Corridor News

corridor - waltham

  • We’ve already mentioned the bad news from VCAT re number 2 Walsham Road.
  • On the other side of the ledger, our very keen Below the Lake Friends have already started their working bees for this year!  If you would like to build up your skills and stamina before ours restart in mid-May, they work every SECOND Saturday afternoon of the month from 3-5PM.  At the moment, they are weeding and mulching in preparation for autumn planting.  For further information, please contact Lynette on 0421 605 181.

Plant of the Month

kangaroo apple heath street

  • Plant of the Month is Kangaroo Apple (Solanum aviculare) – looking quite festive at the moment with its fruit at varying stages of ripening.  The plant above is in Furness Park next to the footpath close to Blackburn Road.  This is a fast-growing but fairly short-lived shrub that can pioneer new ground (eg after fire) creating shelter while other plants regenerate more slowly.
  • It has large, glossy, dark green leaves with clusters of violet flowers in spring.  The oval fruit start out as pale green in colour and change to yellow, orange and red as they ripen in late summer.  The fruit were “bush tucker” for Aboriginal people – but were only eaten when very ripe because they are thought to be poisonous at other times.

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the Month is Drain Flat Sedge or Umbrella Sedge (Cyperus eragrostis).

Umbrella sedge

  • Drain Flat Sedge is a species of sedge native to the West Coast of North America as well as to parts of South America.  It is found in riparian areas (river or creek banks), roadside ditches, drains, damp grasslands, and other moist habitats.  We recently removed a lot of it from our billabong ponds where it was threatening to take over.
  • Our picture shows a cluster of weeds at the southern end of the Waratah Wetlands – the weed of the month is the weed looking like an umbrella without its cover.  The seed heads turn a brown colour when ripe.

Sightings

  • The most interesting bird sightings have been Yellow-tailed Black-cockatoos, King-parrots and Butcherbirds in a wider range.

carp school

  • Our Friend Bob brought along some interesting photos of a school of carp in the creek he took in December to our February committee meeting.  “Class” was in about 50m upstream from the Garie Street bridge.  There were 5 or 6 “students” about 30 cm long.

carp2

  • Although this fish is an introduced pest, it is interesting our creek can support aquatic life of that scale.
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