Falling for it 5.3.2011


I had to share a disappointment. I’m nothing if not generous.In the last post I congratulated Council on their care for a row of fig trees in Broadmeadow. The Lord Mayor had been briefed that tree work was taking place and he wrote (the Star on 2.3.2011):

The council is undertaking tree preservation works on the heritage-listed Hills figs in Dumaresq Street, Broadmeadow. Mulch has been placed around the trees to protect the roots and improve soil conditions. Also, a median strip has been retro-fitted to ensure the mulch stays in place and to stop motorists from parking on the tree roots.

The picture above is one I took in November last year. I was fairly appalled by the grass clippings at the base of the tree and assumed they were put there by poor (I’m trying to be Nice) local residents who didn’t know any better.

The tree is in Dumaresq Street Broadmeadow and is in the row of figs described in the Star newspaper article I quote. So how happy was I when I thought that woodchip mulch had been applied.

This is a fig in the same row, photographed yesterday.

What I fell for was the same information the Lord Mayor apparently fell for. I don’t know about you, but I don’t call grass clippings at the base of a tree ‘mulch’. I call them dumped rubbish.

A couple of months ago I found a fact sheet put out by Wellington (NSW) council asking people specifically not to put grass clippings near trees. Maybe NCC need to ask Wellington to hold an in-service about this topic.

And while we’re talking about falling for things, I’d love someone to explain to me how it’s OK to boast about a retro-fitted median strip when it has existed for decades. The next thing you know, our council will be taking credit for building Nobbys breakwater.

Decades-old 'retro-fitted' median strip but no mulch in sight. Not even grass clippings.

And, of course, in comparison to things like government atrocities in Libya, child poverty and climate change, a  row of trees thriving on neglect is nothing. Just don’t tell me (or the Lord Mayor) fibs.

And to take our minds off that, here’s an uplifting piece about how the US government has approved a new deepwater oil drilling project and is being pressured to approve more. The company who will drill is called Noble Energy Inc – sounds like something thought up by a ‘Simpsons’ writer.

Did I miss something? Didn’t millions of barrels of oil destroy fishing grounds, sea life and communities? Didn’t 11 workers die tragically?

And the eastern cougar has been declared extinct in the US after 38 years on the endangered list. Have you seen the website of the Red List? It’s an initiative to raise awareness of endangered species. Here’s a slideshow of the 25 most threatened tortoises.

And since that is just too sad for words, I’ll segue finally to something jolly – a fun piece of public art: an enormous fat dancing yellow woman in an article about place making. Sadly the writer doesn’t identify its location. Imagine one of these at the eastern end of Civic Park. Wouldn’t that ignite debate? Home


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