16.10.2010: The GreenWay to Biodiversity

One of Sydney’s best-kept secrets is a narrow stretch of greenery now known as the GreenWay. It connects the Cooks River to Iron Cove Bay in the inner west of Sydney. A grass roots initiative started way back in 2001 to connect the shallow valley that extends right across Sydney’s Inner West council areas of Canterbury, Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt, following the Hawthorne Canal and the Rozelle freight rail corridor.

The project to establish this green corridor, and encourage biodiversity, in the middle of urban Sydney has its roots in the Inner West Environment Group (IWEG), originally founded to help re-establish bush along the Hawthorne Canal. This not-for-profit community environmental group is currently working on some six bushcare sites along the GreenWay as well as working on “Creating a Green Link Community Revegetation” and “Making Sustainability Happen” projects.

Making Sustainability Happen

One of the desired outcomes of the “Making Sustainability Happen” project is to ensure that GreenWay becomes a best practice model for sustainability, establishing guidelines that can apply to the urban environment to provide habitat and a corridor for indigenous flora and fauna, in one of the most densely populated areas of Sydney. The ultimate aim is to enhance biodiversity with an emphasis on habitat for the recently discovered colony of endangered Long-Nosed Bandicoots.

Another laudable piece of work the group is carrying out is the re-establishment of a Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark Forest – thought to be the local vegetation pre-European settlement 220 years ago – and the reintroduction of local plants including grasses and shrubs. In fact in the 10 years since IWEG germinated (excuse the pun) they have planted more than 6,000 native “tubestock” – young plants ready for revegetation. The upshot is a marked increase in grass cover and with that dramatic increase in insects, bugs and small lizards et cetera all creating great habitat for wide range of wildlife including birds, flying foxes, possums, swamp wallabies, frogs, reptiles as well as the endangered Long-Nosed Bandicoots.

The GreenWay Trail

Animals and plants are not the only winners on the GreenWay! Along with the wildlife corridor, there’s also a fabulous tree-lined walking and cycling trail, art, and plenty of spots to relax and enjoy nature and temporarily forget about the urban crush. To help celebrate this, the inaugural GreenWay Festival is currently underway (10-17 October 2010), culminating this weekend with two fabulous days of activities and food! The organisers say the highlights of the week include GreenWay Day on Saturday 16 October, which will include activities along the existing section of the GreenWay from Iron Cove Bay to Summer Hill and you shouldn’t miss the Summer Hill Grand Food Bazaar on Sunday 17 October.

 

Source: Green Times

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