Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan
We love local species in our city. We’re pretty chuffed to find interesting species live in our villages and we think we could provide a pretty nice home to lots more indigenous animals with a bit of clever thinking.
With this in mind, we are developing an Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan – it’s a big name for little creatures. The plan is being based on a survey of the plants and animals that currently live in the City of Sydney and will outline the best ways to keep them here and help them thrive. We hope to have this plan finished and ready to show you by mid 2013.
While the plan is still in development, we’ve already begun to implement parts of it. Here are some examples:
Blackwattle Bay Park habitat enhancement – we’ve planted hundreds of shrubs, grasses and groundcover in this foreshore park to both improve the diversity of locally indigenous plants and create dense understorey habitat to encourage small birds. We’ve also installed a number of rock features to encourage lizards and invertebrates.
Federal Park bush restoration – with the help of volunteers from the Glebe Bushcare Group, we’ve expanded on an existing bush restoration site in Federal Park, converting an area of turf to a new garden bed planted with locally indigenous shrubs, grasses, sedges and groundcovers that have quickly established to provide habitat suitable for a range of fauna species.
Johnstons Creek Canal habitat creation – with the help of hundreds of volunteers on National Tree Day 2012, an area along a concrete-lined stormwater channel has been transformed by thousands of locally indigenous shrub, grass, and groundcover plantings, which will contribute to the creation of a green corridor connecting the Glebe foreshore to Orphan School Creek in Forest Lodge.
Sydney Park stormwater harvesting – thousands of locally indigenous reeds, sedges, grasses, and shrubs have been incorporated into a bioretention swale designed to absorb nutrients from stormwater at one of the Sydney Park wetlands. This improves habitat for a range of freshwater wetland birds, frogs, reptiles and small birds as well as improving water quality. Roosting posts installed as part of the works have also encouraged wetland birds including cormorants, herons, and darters – and occasionally the posts are used by birds of prey too, such as the Black-shouldered Kite and Australian Kestrel.
Native bees for community gardens – hives of the native stingless bee Trigona carbonaria have been installed in six of the city’s community gardens, where they assist to pollinate fruit and vegetables as well as native species elsewhere, and produce small amounts of delicious honey.
Birds of Sydney Parks & Gardens brochure – the City assisted BirdingNSW to produce a brochure guide to the birds found in parks and gardens around Sydney, in conjunction with Birdlife Australia, the Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust, and the Centennial & Moore Park Trust. The brochure is available at all City community centres.
City of Sydney funded initiatives
Ecology of Pyrmont Peninsula
With the help of an environmental grant, Dr John Broadbent, under the auspices of Pyrmont Progress Inc, examined the flora and fauna of the Pyrmont peninsula, past and present. His report described the major transformations of the peninsula over the past 200 years and made recommendations to improve and restore biodiversity in the area. These recommendations are being considered in the development of the Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan.
Superb Fairy-Wren Habitat in Glebe and Forest Lodge
Another environmental grant funded the Glebe Society’s Blue Wren Group to conduct a study on Superb Fairy-Wrens in Glebe and Forest Lodge. Once common, wrens and other small birds are now rare in these and many other urban areas. The report includes recommendations for conservation and enhancement of small bird habitat, including what you can do at home. These recommendations are being incorporated into the Urban Ecology Strategic Action Plan.
Breathing Green Health into Moore Park
An environmental grant has also recently enabled Conservation Volunteers Australia to provide inner city residents the opportunity to help restore bushland at the edge of Moore Park. Each week, groups of volunteers work to control weeds and plant native species, with the guidance of a qualified and experienced team leader. As well as restoring bushland, the project provides social and health benefits, with many of the same volunteers returning week after week.