John Street Reserve

Blue wren themed bird bath in recently completed habitat garden in John Street Reserve. The adjacent inscription reads ‘Whatever the bird is, is perfect in the bird … Whatever the bird does, is right for the bird to do. Judith Wright 1915-2000.’

Blue wren themed bird bath in recently completed habitat garden in John Street Reserve. The adjacent inscription reads ‘Whatever the bird is, is perfect in the bird … Whatever the bird does, is right for the bird to do. Judith Wright 1915-2000.’

Kevin Simpson, Landscape Architect, Design, whose firm has recently completed the establishment of the habitat garden in John Street Reserve (see photo of blue wren themed bird bath), has summarised their work as follows:

John Street Reserve is a small pocket park located on the old factory footprint of the Abrams’ Co-Operative Broom and Brush Company in Glebe. The factory closed in 1982 and Leichhardt Municipal Council created the original park shortly afterwards. Our improvement works completed in 2016 are the first major works to the reserve in over 30 years. Due to its industrial past the works included extensive soil testing and remediation in line with environmental standards.

More native plants and improvements to lighting, seating and accessibility were made. We also introduced information signs about the reserve’s ecology and history.

By creating diverse habitat in the reserve it will encourage native species to colonise, particularly the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus), commonly known as blue wren. Habitat areas are marked with protective fencing.

If you look carefully, among native grasses and bushes behind the fencing you will see glimpses of sandstone and terracotta piping that was salvaged when the reserve was built. These relics have been left to provide habitat for animals such as lizards where they can bask in sunlight or hide from predators.

As part of the City’s urban ecology action plan, creating habitat pockets and corridors is vital in our efforts to increase native species numbers and maintain our unique biodiversity in the urban environment.

The extensive new plantings in the Reserve are being watered by local residents. There is, however, a continuing problem with owners not keeping their dogs leashed while in the Reserve and also not picking up their animal’s faeces – residents will be writing to the City requesting that an additional dispenser for plastic bags used to pick-up faeces be installed at the northern entrance to the park as well as additional signage stating that dogs should be kept on a leash.

Recent bird sightings in Glebe’s parks

In September, Jenna Reed Burns ‘spotted a brush turkey (Alectura lathami) on my way to Glenmore meats via the road that runs beside the light rail (Railway St). Both I and my two dogs could not believe our eyes – it was in full breeding plumage (with bright yellow wattle and red neck band). Amazing that it’s warm enough in Sydney to have brush turkeys, but worrying as they do gardens a lot of damage.’

Robert Hannan also saw a brush turkey in Ernest Pederson Park in Ferry Rd and reported that a masked lapwing (Vanellus miles) hatched in William Carlton Gardens on 10 October.