I see people doing all sorts of things in Centennial Parklands when walking the dogs but this was a bit different – a man was standing in front of a tree with a hand-held device that wasn’t some form of Geiger counter.
My fellow ‘walker’ approached him and asked what he was doing and the story was that every single tree in the park is being surveyed and this isn’t the first time it has been done.
The work is part of a project that has been underway in Centennial Parklands since 1999. The aim is to create and maintain what was the first working tree database for a park in Australia!
In the first survey done in 1999, some 9,000 trees were plotted in the database before Moore Park and the Entertainment Quarter were added to the Parklands.
The current survey is being done using a Panasonic Toughbook, a robust laptop where data is recorded straight into the database.
The data is analysed by Professor Peter Martin of the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment at Sydney University who does the number-crunching and calculates the trees’ value (a recent ‘value’ placed on the trees of Centennial Parklands was around $170 million!).
All this information is used every day by Parklands’ staff to assist with the care and safety of the ageing tree population. The survey generates priorities for tree works and the works that people see being done every day in the Parklands.
So it actually is great to see these men wondering around pointing their laptops at the trees!
Today’s guest post by park visitor Tempe Macgowan
Tempe Macgowan writes about urban life. She has a background in urban design and landscape architecture, and has been writing about matters relating to these for the past fifteen years. She studied Landscape Architecture initially and then after working on the redevelopment of Hyde Park in Sydney in the early 1990’s she went on to study Urban Design at Harvard University. Visit Tempe’s blog.