Park News – February, 2017

Blacks Walk Bridge Maintenance

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  • The planned maintenance of the bridge is well under way.
  • The bridge deck has been replaced and reinforced but repainting the superstructure is still to be completed.

Works in the Park around Laurel Grove North

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  • Council is looking at concepts for treating the drainage outfall of the Laurel Grove North/Linum Street road improvement scheme – as maintenance of those roads passes from private to public hands.
  • Committee is very keen not to:
    • put at risk the existing the small wetland on the eastern side of the path to Laurel Grove north (near the bridge) and the Waratah Wetland to the west
    • see the destruction of existing trees and plantings
    • have major excavations taking place adversely impacting plants and inconveniencing park users.
  • The park’s Master Plan highlights this as an area for potential further development with wetland plantings such as Carex.
  • Currently, much of the water draining from Laurel Grove flows via a shallow swale drain to the Waratah Wetlands and then on into the creek.

Other Works

  • Council has performed repairs and a very thorough cleaning out of the drains at the park end of Gardenia Street where flooding and erosion has been an ongoing problem.  Friend Alan reported that the cleaned drains and pit performed very well during a recent significant rain event.
  • Our own maintenance team has been busy too:
    • Work has mainly been on the northern side of the creek near the Waratah Wetlands with Honeysuckle removal a priority.  Recently, weeding work has continued westwards towards Tasmanica Terrace.
    • Council has deposited more mulch at the end of Waratah Crescent – we’re hoping to have a working bee with the folks from Burke and Beyond to spread it.

Wanted Poster!

  • The folks who do a great job looking after our Noticeboard are keen to obtain a full size version of the fondly-remembered 1980s poster below.

  • It was originally produced by the Fisheries and Wildlife Service of the the then Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands.  If you have a copy, we’d like to post it up on the Noticeboard for 3-4 weeks.

Plant of the Month

  • Our Plant of the Month is Slender Knotweed (Persicaria decipiens).  In the park, it grows in or close to the water.  Our photo shows a clump growing with Juncus mide-stream in the creek in Kalang Park.  it grows to about 30 cm high and has narrow lanceolate (spear-shaped) leaves which are 5–12 cm long and 0.5–1.5 cm wide.  Its delicate pink flower spikes appear from November to June.  The plant tends to die back in winter and regenerates in spring.

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  • Though the dark patches on its leaves make it look quite similar to Vietnamese or Hot Mint (Persicaria odorata), it is not the same plant and definitely does not work well in rice-paper rolls!

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the month is Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – which originally comes to us from Japan.  It is a vigorous scrambler that can smother indigenous ground cover, strangle standing plants and is hard to eradicate.  The picture below (taken by Friend Jan) shows Graeme, one of our Monday/Thursday Maintenance Team, in waders immersed in an in-depth weeding experience removing a Honeysuckle infestation coming down from the top of the creek bank in Furness Park – while also collecting rubbish.

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Sightings

  • Fauna Sightings:     
    • A large flock (50-60) of Corellas flying quite high overhead north-south 15/2/2017 and a smaller flock (~20) of Corellas also flying high overhead north-south on 20/2/2017.
    • Gang-gangs in abundance.
    • A Rakali near the Laurel Grove bridge and also a sighting near Blackburn Road.  A Rakali looks suspiciously like a very large rat but has a white tail and webbed feet.  See our photo in our November, 2015 news for a better idea.
    • Two very large carp near the Blacks Walk bridge.
    • Friend Karen has sent in another picture of the beehive we published in last month’s news.  It was on the fallen Blackwood shown in the photo in our article above on the Works in the Park around Laurel Grove North.  Council relocated the hive ahead of maintenance on the tree and due to its proximity to a path.  Here it is (thanks Karen!):

Events and Notices for your Diaries

  • “Gardens for Wildlife” Information Evening Monday, 20th March 7:00PM

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20th

  • At Yarran Dheran– Mitcham (Melway Map 49 B7).
  • Gardens for Wildlife program has grown from a simple idea at Knox where advice on appropriate plantings of 5-10 indigenous or native plants has ballooned into a movement of 600 people
  • Plants are provided by the Knox Environment Society (KES).
  • Autumn Bird Survey – Saturday 22nd April 7:00AM

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22nd

  • Our regular autumn bird survey is planned for 22nd April meeting at the Scout Hall.
  • Our two regular, fantastic group leaders, Pat and Ian, have confirmed their availability once again.
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