Search Result: ‘eastern suburbs banksia scrub’
You may know that Centennial Parklands is home to a range of native and exotic flora – but do you know we also conserve an endangered plant community called the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub?
Not only do we conserve it, but we’re a best-practice site for its conservation!
What is Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub?
Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub is a nationally and state-listed endangered ecological scrub and heath vegetation community confined to deep, wind formed sand deposits in the coastal suburbs of Sydney. Estimates are that it originally covered over 5,300 hectares, however today there is less than 127 hectares remaining (a loss of over 97%).
We have several remnant patches of remnant Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub in Centennial Park, and undertake active bush regeneration work at the sites at the Bird Sanctuary in Centennial Park and adjacent York Road in Centennial Park.
The fragments of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub that remain in Sydney are generally small and isolated, which inhibits the functioning of natural ecological processes.
In addition to vegetation clearing, other threats include habitat degradation resulting from increased nutrients from stormwater runoff, invasion by weed species, inappropriate fire regimes, and inappropriate access resulting in erosion and illegal rubbish dumping.
Build-up of leaf litter resulting in reduced germination of plants from the soil seed bank is also considered a threat, as are the effects of pests and disease. Grazing by European rabbits and predation by foxes and domestic animals, and infection of plants by the pathogen Phytphthora cinnamomi are also considered major threats.
Our ‘best practice’ conservation…
In 2008 Centennial Parklands was recognised as a best practice ‘Threatened Species Demonstration Site’ for our management program of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub remnants. This recognised the quality work of our horticultural and bush regeneration staff, supported admirably by a dedicated and hard working team of bush regeneration volunteers.
The role of fire…
Fire is an important natural element in many native plant communities, with some species – like Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub – being reliant on fires of a particular intensity and frequency for regeneration.
Within urban environments, the suppression of fire can result in a loss of species diversity through the local extinction of species that typically require fire for seed germination. Fire, or ecological burning, is a standard practice we undertake as part of our species management in the Parklands, as it helps germination and maintains the floristic composition and vegetation structure of the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub community.
What to know more about ESBS?
Here is a great Fact Sheet (PDF) on Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub in the Sydney Region.
If you are a public or private landholder with remnant ESBS on your property, here is a more detailed publication that outlines the NSW Recovery Plan for the species: ESBS Listing and Recovery Plan.
For those seeking more scientific insight, here is a brief presentation on the importance of fire in Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub communities.
We would like to acknowledge:
- the support of the Centennial Parklands Foundation for their funding support of the ESBS maintenance program
- the dedicated and long-term work of the bush regeneration volunteers who turn up routinely, work diligently and have displayed a long-term commitment to their project – to ensure our threatened plant community is preserved.
An important threatened species conservation project is underway in Queens Park to protect a remnant of the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS).
This Project, supported by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group through funding from the Australian Government, aims to:
- reduce weeds within the remnant vegetation to provide some space under the canopy species for native species regeneration; and
- create a buffer planting zone and plant non-provenance native species in northern edge of site to create a barrier to weeds and minimise mowing adjacent to the remnant.
What is ESBS?
ESBS is a nationally and state-listed Endangered Ecological scrub and heath vegetation community confined to deep, wind formed sand deposits in the coastal suburbs of Sydney. It originally covered over 5,300 hectares, however today there is less than 145 hectares (a loss of over 97%).
Six remnant areas of ESBS can be found in Centennial Parklands, with a considerable amount of restoration activity undertaken to restore and conserve the Bird Sanctuary and York Road remnants (in Centennial Park).
This Queens Park remnant, however, is in poor condition and is struggling to survive.
Bush regeneration works commenced in January 2016 and the buffer planting is scheduled for March / April 2016.
Park visitors are advised that weeds and grass will be sprayed with herbicide in preparation for planting.
Temporary signs will be placed at these location prior to the herbicide application.
Centennial Parklands recognised as ‘best practice’
In 2008 we were recognised by the then NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (now known as the Office of Environment and Heritage) as a best practice “Threatened Species Demonstration Site” for our management of ESBS remnants.
This recognition is an endorsement of the quality work of our horticultural staff who oversee the maintenance program, supported admirably by a dedicated and hard working team of bush regeneration volunteers.
This group of volunteers turns up routinely, works diligently and have displayed a long-term commitment to their project – to ensure our threatened species is preserved. You may have even passed them by and hardly noticed them. The cost of maintenance is funded by the Centennial Parklands Foundation.
What to know more about ESBS?
We were very excited recently to uncover two very rare little wattle plants in the Parklands. The ‘Sunshine Wattle’ or as scientifically named, ‘Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis’ has large, fluffy, pale yellow flowers, and is so uncommon, there are thought to be no more than around 1,000 plants in bush regeneration areas across the state!
The plants were discovered during a routine survey of the protected Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub areas in Centennial Park. Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS) is an endangered ecological scrub and heath vegetation community confined to deep, wind formed sand deposits in the coastal suburbs of Sydney.
Essentially, because our bush regeneration volunteers and environmental team members have been taking such good care of the community of native plants that form the Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub, vital species like the Sunshine Wattle have been protected and their growth encouraged!
What does Sunshine Wattle look like?
As its pretty name suggests, ‘Sunshine Wattle’ has large, soft, round, very pale yellow flowers which burst into full colour in autumn. The plant grows from one to five metres tall, it has unique branchlets which are angled and feature delicate narrow leaves. Each plant also has seed pods which grow from three to eleven centimetres long.
What else is being done to protect it?
Centennial Parklands will continue to maintain a best practice program for the management of the pockets of Eastern Surbubs Banksia Scrub remnants. This involves lots of quality hard work from horticultural and bush regeneration staff, supported by a dedicated team of bush regeneration volunteers. Occasionally, it also involves fire, or ecological burning which helps with germination and maintains the floristic composition and vegetation structure of the plants.
There are also other, more specific programs in place to protect the Sunshine Wattle Plant. Check out this Saving Our Species program page for more info.
How you can help
Left wondering what you can do to help? Here are a few simple ways:
- Join our happy Bush Regeneration Volunteers and contribute to the maintenance and management of our beautiful native flora in the Parklands (including the Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub).
- Leave no trace – take your litter with with you when you visit the Parklands; waste left in picnic areas easily builds up and has a negative big-picture impact on the environment.
- Support the Centennial Parklands Foundation. Did you know this charitable arm of Centennial Parklands contributes to a host of environmental projects, including funding of Eastern Surburbs Banksia Scrub management and the employment of a full-time environmental specialist?
Thursday 7 September 2017 is Threatened Species Day…
Centennial Parklands is not just a community green space, it is an important home for many rare native flora and fauna. There is currently a total of six threatened species and one threatened ecological community recorded across the Parklands. These are:
- Grey-headed Flying-fox, roosting colony at Lachlan Swamp
- Powerful Owls sighted on a regular basis
- White-bellied Sea-Eagle, a rare visitor
- Freckled Duck, a rare visitor
- Eastern bentwing bat, occasional visitor
- Acacia terminalis subsp. terminalis, two plants
- Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub, endangered ecological communities (six remnant sites)
There are other ways you can help to look after our threatened species:
- Keep dogs on leash when you are near the ponds or on-leash designated areas;
- Don’t feed birds or animals bread;
- Volunteer to participate in bat and bird surveys.
Ever wondered how people get their succulents looking so good? We have too. It turns out, there’s a knack to styling and growing succulents. Fortunately, Centennial Parklands’ fun new Inside Dig workshop is about to show you the top secrets to help you make your Instagram inspiration a reality.
Starting in September this unique workshop will combine beginners’ tips in a relaxed social setting. As a bonus, there’s plenty of wine, delicious antipasto and great company to be shared while you’re doing it!
What will it cover and why succulents?
This great new experience will help you tell your Senecio from your Sedum. According to Yates horticulturalist and Inside Dig teacher, Angie Thomas, “succulents are so versatile and hardy and you can grow them in a range of conditions”.
Think indoor plantings for your coffee table, a stylish corner cluster for your balcony – even a miniature fairy garden for a child – there are so many trends emerging that you will never be short of inspiration. As an added bonus, participants will get to take home their own succulent creation with the knowledge about how to keep it looking great!
When is it on?
Friday 1 September 2017. If you are interested, you can book your place online now, but hurry – spaces are limited!
Love getting your hands dirty?
Did you know there are other ways you can get your hands dirty with the Parklands? We have a volunteer Nursery Growing Group who meet twice a month and contribute around 900 hours per year to propagating plants to sell at our popular seasonal Plant Sale events. Get your green thumbs on one of their plants at the next sale, this Father’s Day weekend.
We also have a Bush Regeneration group who meet regularly to care for and restore the endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub flora in the Parklands. It’s incidental exercise out in the fresh air and right now, we are looking for volunteers. Register today to join in the fun!
Centennial Parklands has valued and encouraged innovative ways to support the environment since its inception nearly 130 years ago. The Park itself was design to address the city’s burgeoning need for an “additional air lung to the city”. Since then, its legacy has been to ensure the projects we embraced were for the benefit of the overall environment.
Here are five of our top environmental initiatives we are driving to create a cleaner and more sustainable environment for future generations.
Stormwater recycling program
The ponds of Centennial Park are intricately linked through a series of pipes and weir structures, which retain water in the ponds. Water flows through the pond system and eventually downstream to Botany wetlands and Botany Bay. Stormwater inlets capture stormwater from not just the park, but also the surrounding suburbs of Randwick, Bondi Junction, Waverley and Paddington and other local areas. Sydney Water controls the various drains that direct this water back into the Park’s ponds.
Stormwater traps, often known as gross pollutant traps, installed at key stormwater entry points into the Parklands, play a key role in preserving the Parklands’ environment. The stormwater traps capture a proportion of such waste; however during high water flows litter can bypass the traps and end up in the ponds. We run a volunteer litter patrol program to clean up the pond bank edges. Find out how you can assist us today.
One of the issues we face is that the cost to service the stormwater traps and dispose of the litter mounts up each year.
This stormwater is also repurposed and recycled for the Park’s hefty irrigation needs and reduces our overall need for additional potable water. However, if you live in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, you can help by:
- Always sweeping your gutters and driveways with a broom rather than hosing rubbish down the drain.
- Always washing your car on the grass. Putting soapy water which contain phosphates down the drain encourages the growth of algae and can sometimes poison our aquatic wildlife.
- Always picking up your dog’s faeces and put your dog poo bags in the bins provided. Remember there is no such thing as the dog poo fairy!
This will help reduce the amount of rubbish and chemicals that flow into our ponds, which are refuge and home to many wildlife in the Parklands.
Solar panels have been installed in five locations across Centennial Parklands, with the potential to reduce our energy consumption by up to 10%. In the past two years, we went through the process of upgrading the following locations with solar panels:
- Education Precinct, Centennial Park
- Centennial Park Depot, Centennial Park
- Centennial Parklands Equestrian Centre, Moore Park
- Moore Park Golf Depot, Moore Park
- Moore Park Golf Pro Shop, Moore Park
By using solar power, we can effectively reduce the energy needs of the parklands. Considering we operate street lighting, sports field lighting, offices, worksheds, offices, restaurants and cafes, pumping stations and irrigation systems, we need to find innovative ways to manage our energy consumption.
Management of Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub
There are a number of threatened species peppered throughout the Parklands. One such species is the native gem, the Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub (ESBS). Synonymous with one of Australia’s most iconic children’s story ‘Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’ the banksia in general is a significant symbol of Australiana.
Centennial Parklands has implemented a number of practises to ensure the protection of this and other endangered species.
The Parklands is currently undertaking bush regeneration works in two ESBS sites (the Bird Sanctuary in Centennial Park and York Road Bushland in Queens Park) to protect these important ecosystems. The restoration works are being funded by the NSW Environmental Trust and the Centennial Parklands Foundation.
The Parklands staff were excited recently to identify two endangered plants in the park. The Sunshine Wattle, Acacia terminalis subsp. Terminalis, plants were found in one of our ESBS bush remnants. This wattle species was one of the first Australian plants collected by Sir Joseph Banks in 1770 (See DECCW Recovery Plan).
The Parklands encourages community involvement in bush care activities including weeding, pruning, and raking in the Centennial Parklands Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub. See our website for further details here.
LED lighting upgrade
Centennial Parklands operates a lot of lighting and operations have been put in place to do our best to reduce electricity use through lighting. Many of the main lit areas have had their existing lighting upgraded with LED lighting.
In April 2017 alone, the following locations were upgraded with the LED lighting:
- Kippax Field
- Showground Field
- Driver Avenue
And most recently we have upgraded Moore Park Golf Driving Range, which you read more about here.
In order to effectively take care of these Parklands, we have implemented a number of waste management protocols. Just think of the potential waste more than 20 million visitors can produce annually. Well, we counted and the waste amounted to a whopping 1,040 tonnes of waste. With 78% of that waste falling under the non-recyclable category, we are working to dramatically decrease those numbers.
There are 360 bins in the parklands and 120 of those are recycling, which are emptied once – twice weekly. We encourage all visitors to make an effort to correctly dispose of their waste.
Look for the yellow-coloured bins to dispose of cardboard, paper, glass bottles and plastic containers. Please don’t put other waste in this bin, as contaminated bin loads won’t get recycled!
Most take away coffee cups cannot be recycled as they are lined with plastic don’t get recycled with cardboard and paper. The best option is to bring your own re-usable cup and receive 10% off your coffee from Centennial Homestead. Find out more about the special here.
In addition to these measures, we also collect all organic and green waste for recycling and reuse. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
What can you do to help?
These are just a handful of the many thoughtfully planned strategies we implement each year to ensure our commitment to the conservation and enhancement of the environment remains strong. You can read more about our Environmental Management here.
It is also the role of all our visitors to do the right thing when in the Parklands. We ask that you help us protect the environment with these three simple things.
- Please don’t feed the birds. Feeding them bread is like feeding them junk food. It’s not good for their health or the pond water quality.
- Keep dogs on a leash, especially around ponds and when inside Grand Drive. It protects our wildlife and dogs running on the horse track. Learn more about our regulations here.
- Leave no trace – take your rubbish with you or put it in the bin. If you have an event or picnic in Centennial Park please don’t leave your waste behind. We are a self-funded Parklands and it costs a lot of money to clean up after you!
There are also lots of wonderful places to visit in the Parklands which will help you appreciate our unique environment. We recommend:
- Go bird-watching (126 different species to find).
- Walk around the ponds and you might just see a long-finned eel.
- Visit the Grey-headed Flying-fox colony in Lachlan Swamp.
- And lastly join us for our free family event, Science in the Swamp, on Saturday 12 August 2017 – our annual community event not to be missed!