A short post

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This is a picture of Wallsend library and has not a lot to do with trees but a lot to do with beautiful urban design.

I dragged les enfants out there a couple of weeks ago because it’s such a beautiful building and found it’s even more lovely than I remember it because it now has fig trees growing inside in the floor.

If you live in Newcastle and haven’t been it’s well worth the trip. I know it’s years old now but Council should give themselves a huge pat on the back for such a great place. The community there must love it.

I worked in Wallsend when I was going to uni; I remember one of my supervisors at the business I worked in saying that the Gas company and the Electricity company should move out to Wallsend because ‘it would be a lot more central for everybody’. (I disgareed at the time because from a Newcastle point of view Wallsend’s a long way from the CBD.) He got his way with the electricity people – they’re almost out there: and that reminds me of another building that is beautiful from a landscaping point of view: I must go and take some photos out there.

And speaking of giving pats on the back, Council can be proud of how beautiful the side of the Town Hall looks now without the row of garbage bins. Maybe I was just there on a  bad weekend (Does this look like a council …) We can now appreciate the building as it was intended to be.

I went on a school excursion of the Town Hall with one of les enfants a couple of years ago and saw things I hadn’t seen before. There are some lovely art works apart from anything else.

At the charette one of the things that was discussed was the public toilets in Civic Park and how to make these safe, clean, etc. I found out something that I didn’t know, that there are public toilets in the Town Hall. That’s probably obvious to anyone with half a brain who goes places on foot – it’s one of my resolutions: walk more – but I don’t recall seeing obvious signage telling people of the toilets. Did you know there’s a National Public Toilet Map? It’s such a clever initiative.

This is a picture of a fig tree in Mackey Park in Marrickville.It’s from a post on the Savingourtrees website (the first link is the Mackey St post, the second is the home page) in Sydney’s inner west. (It’s a mine of information, this website, and has been doing a fantastic job working to preserve and increase the urban forest in that part of Sydney: we are so lucky here in Newcastle to have as many large trees as we do.) 

The council there has put a notice on this tree telling the public that it’s going to be significantly pruned: a 12 metre branch is to be removed to prevent it falling on someone. What a great idea to calm people. There’s nothing so empowering as information. When the King Street plane trees were being felled I had a conversation with Newcastle Council and a manager suggested that possibly a place on Council’s website alerting the public to significant treee work may be something council could look at. What a fantastic idea.    

It was a relief to see Ms Jaeger, the Future Cities Director at Newcastle Council, on NBN news last night assuring us that the plans for amalgamating the war memorials would not happen. The story said that the external consultants could not find a good reason to move them. Fantastic. More congratulations in order. 

A fellow attendee at the charette was telling me that Council are growing several Lone Pine clones, presumably to prepare for the day that the tree in the Memorial grove dies. How fantastic. I can envision those trees being planted around the memorial grove but anywhere in the park would be wonderful.

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