melbourne pollinator heart corridor gardening project port city phillip emma cutting

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Cutting said that after the initial eight-kilometre corridor for pollinators is created, it will be expanded elsewhere in Melbourne. And she had inquiries about the starting releases in Adelaide and Sydney.

Cutting, a music teacher and gardening enthusiast who once suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome, said street gardening has helped her get out and connect with the community.

A green street in South Melbourne in December 2021.Credit:Eddie Jim

“It’s such a positive activity, it ticks so many boxes in terms of improving mental health, greenery and quality of life, and I’ve seen what it does for biodiversity.”

In December she said age that the council’s original specifications for distances between plants and borders, walkways, trees and service infrastructure would be too restrictive.

The petition also claimed that well-established gardens that did not meet the new guidelines would be removed “at the pleasure of the council”.

But Cutting said that after negotiation with the community, the council’s final guidelines would allow for much more street gardening and preservation of existing plots.

“They went from [in the original plans] almost all of the existing gardens fall short of a compliance level,” she said.

The council originally wanted a 1.5 meter radius around every utility such as power poles and NBN pits, but have now agreed to it being a 30 centimeter radius except for hydrants. fire where 1.5 meters remain.

An early draft stated that residents could not plant within 1.5 meters to 2.5 meters of a tree; which has now been changed to 50 centimeters.

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Additionally, council minutes on the resolution state that “modifications to the current natural strip gardens will only be requested if safety or access issues arise.”

Cutting said she supported the council’s restrictions to protect the health of trees, and the accessibility and safety of paths and roads for residents.

“But these are not the only considerations. We also need to think about climate change, biodiversity, community health, mental health, street design and livability”.

Port Phillip Mayor Marcus Pearl said: “We have listened to our community and believe we have found the best possible way to green our city through beautiful street plantings without risking the safety of people with mobility issues. or sight.”

He said the elimination of established natural strip gardens had never been part of the council’s plan. He wanted to address complaints that the gardens stretched over pathways or obscured children’s walkways.

Pearl said the council was looking at ideas such as de-paving to provide more space for street gardening and hiring a part-time community greening officer to provide advice, information and organize events. gardening workshops in public open spaces.

“We look forward to more residents wishing to beautify their natural strips and enjoy the social connection this can bring under these clear guidelines.”

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