Thursday, January 8, 2015

My Walk ... To Palm Park

It's been a day to regret not being outside every minute with the sun shining clear and bright, yet not too warm.

Part of my town walk goes through Palm Park. When I step out I turn right and enjoy the avenue effect of my neighbours' kerb plantings.

River Terrace can just be seen through the hole in the vegetation.
The little bridge at the left is over the mostly overgrown stormwater drain.

I cross the road, which is on a low levee. This road dog-legs around the busy Post Office and takes 13 school buses to the stop behind the Post Office and everyone else driving straight into the back roads going west, hence it's busy about twice a day. 

River Terrace, not busy today. It is the summer holidays in these climes.
Along the left is the famous creeping bamboo site my Landcare Group is engaged in clearing

We've turned left and are walking along the footpath beside the end of Burringbar Street which, two blocks back is the main shopping area. However, we're walking west, towards the junction of the two main streams of the Brunswick River. 

Palm Park in Mullumbimby, NSW
Most palms in the Northern Rivers region were planted in the 1970s to 1980s when people went crazy about palms. Palm Park originates from then too. Several species of the mainly introduced palms, eg Cocos Palm, became popular with our wildlife and so spread into the bush. They've become classified weeds. 

The Park is still being cared for, I see a bit of new concrete
path and wood-chips in the main palm bed.
I don't see any fungi today. Wood-chips are too new and all the old dead wood has been tidied away. 
So as usual, I step off the path before I get there and check out the wild bits. 

Mullumbimby Creek at low tide. Vegetation on show here is mainly native
to the region. Trees are comfortable with the brackish water,
none are turning their toes up against it. 
Different to the camphor laurel in the next shot. Camphors are native to China, a beautiful street tree in colder climates such as Sydney and more southerly regions, it has become our main woody weed. 

Camphor laurel roots bend away from the water.
They cause serious undercutting and creek erosion. 
Which is why we (Brunswick Valley Landcare) have a long-term project to replace them with native trees. We drill holes in the bole of the tree and inject poisons. When the tree eventually dies, we'll have replaced it with any number of creek-side trees.

Camphor laurel tree being poisoned. See the native seedlings already
beginning to come up? It's called natural regeneration. Our ideal. 

Bungwall Fern
These ferns are the reason we're interested in this bit of riverbank and anxious to return it to a more natural state. These ferns are at present 1.5 metres tall (4-5 ft) and live on swampy brackish river banks. They are of an endangered species. 

We get our feet out of the mud and continue over a close stand of bangalow palms, also a native, growing in a storm water drain, by way of this little footbridge. Beyond is the sun and my opportunity for some fast walking.

Footbridge over Bangalow Palm Drain

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