Park News – March, 2017

 Bird Survey Coming Up!

rainbow lorikeets

Keeping a look out in Kalang Park – Courtesy Ian Moodie

  • Our 2017 Autumn Bird Survey is scheduled for a 07.30 AM start on Saturday, 22ndApril at the Scout Hall in Pakenham Street.  Our usual excellent Group Leaders, Pat and Ian have confirmed their availability.   Both are not only highly experienced and knowledgeable, but are also great at sharing their expertise with the rest of us.
  • Survey walks start at 07:30 aiming to finish at about 09:30. The correlation of results inside the Scout Hall usually takes a further hour over morning tea – although most attend, it is an entirely optional “icing on the cake” for the morning.  You are equally welcome to cut to the chase and simply join us for morning tea and a chat if you wish.  For further information on our bird surveys, please click here.
  • For more information on the bird species seen in the park, please click here.

BCAC Committee Meeting

  • Nigel Brown, Manager ParksWide for Whitehorse Council attended our most recent BCAC Committee meeting.  Nigel was very generous with his time and gave frank and detailed responses in a wide-ranging discussion covering:
    • Our opinion that more bushland Parks Officers are needed on the ground.
    • How we volunteers can work most effectively with Council staff and contractors.
    • Controlling the width of our pedestrian paths.
    • The Bioretention Proposal at the bottom of Laurel Grove North.
    • The desirability of more areas being kept mower-free to allow natural regeneration.
    • Improving seats in the park for seniors.
    • Park use surveys and benchmarking against other municipalities.
  • Did you know you can also attend Committee meetings?  Our meetings are open to the public and we welcome anyone interested in our park.  Please click here for the dates, times and the location of meetings this year.

Maintenance Report including Upcoming Mulching Exercises

  • Council contractors are installing not one – but two – crossing points suitable for prams adjacent to the park at Pakenham Street.
  • Council has removed the fallen Blackwood which temporarily hosted a beehive in Kalang Park to the east of the Waratah Wetland and also trimmed a major fallen bough near the seat on the west side.
  • Council attended to reports of vandalism and park damage around construction of bike jumps along paths in the “Maze” area of Kalang Park.
  • In the meantime, our volunteer maintenance team has been busy:
    • Weeding and other maintenance between the wetlands and lately extending to the northern side of track adjacent to houses in Boongarry Avenue.
    • Planning to engage with Burke and Beyond to mulch the area adjacent the end of Waratah Crescent soon.  We also want to mulch out the planned planting area in Blacks Walk ahead of the Community Working bees there commencing in May. Council has delivered some of the mulch needed to the area.

Vale Dr David Grounds

  • Committee noted with regret the passing away of Dr. David Grounds during March.  He was an eminent psychiatrist and had served on our park committee from 1997 until late 2003.
  • He made significant contributions to the Creeklands – notably with the photopoints (currently being added to our web-site) and bird sighting records.  We have written to his family to express our condolences and remember his contributions.

Black Bridge in Blacks Walk !

  • Work on the bridge has progressed slowly with a delay occurring between replacement/reinforcement of the deck and the repainting of the superstructure.  Nevertheless, our photo shows the rather spiffy new look.

Corridor News

  • Gardens for Wildlife Information Evening: Some of our group attended the successful Gardens for Wildlife Information Evening on 20th March at Yarran Dheran emphasizing the benefits of indigenous plants in suburban gardens for bio-links and corridors.
  • We hope that the initial meeting can be built upon to emulate the success in Knox. At this stage, Whitehorse Council does not appear to be as supportive of this wonderful concept as is Knox Council.

Plant of the Month

  • Plant of the Month is the Twiggy Daisy-bush (Olearia ramulosa) which is showing off  its cute, tiny daisy-like white flowers in our photo (with a strappy Dianella in the background).  The inset in the photo shows them off in more detail.  It grows to a medium-sized, sometimes spindly though showy shrub with small leaves.

Weed of the Month

  • Weed of the Month is Desert Ash (Fraxinus angustifolia). It is a nuisance woody weed that comes to us from central/southern Europe, northwest Africa and southwest Asia.
  • Despite its common name, it tends to be a weed of waterways, riparian areas, wetlands, grasslands, open woodland, roadsides and disturbed sites.  This goes a long way to explaining why it is such a nuisance in our park!
  • It is a fast-growing, medium-sized, deciduous and spreading tree growing to 20–30m tall with a trunk up to 1.5 m diameter.  These days, it is recognised as a significant weed.  Unfortunately, it was a popular garden and street tree and was widely cultivated in Australia.
  • It tends to out-compete indigenous plants for moisture, light and nutrients and likes to take over its preferred areas.  Our photo shows one nuisance specimen in the road reserve near the park boundary with Laurel Grove North.  Our maintenance team is continually pulling out its prolific offspring around the bridge and little wetland there.   It also commonly occurs along the creek.
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