Biolink extends to Port Melbourne
Pickles St used to divide South from Port.
The South Melbourne Gasworks straddled the boundary. As did Danks St.
Until recently, Danks St east of Pickles St was a neglected forlorn median edged with some magnificent Eucalyptus botryoides. In late 2019, it was transformed with native understorey planting to create a section of a biolink in Port Phillip.
But Danks St west, the Port Melbourne side, didn’t get the same treatment at that time. Danks St west was used for carparking until 2008, when, against a furore of opposition, the Council banned carparking on the median and planted grass instead. Since then residents have urged for the landscape treatment to be continued across Pickles St.
Over the past month, Danks St west has been prepared for planting. Blue markings revealed the shape of the future garden beds. Mulch piled high one day was smoothly spread to create some undulating garden beds. When planting is complete, 5,000 locally indigenous plants from Bili Nursery will be in the ground.
It’s a bit late in the season to be planting but rain over the past week will have settled the plants in.
Danks St is just a short block away from Gasworks where the long awaited park upgrade is in the final design phase. A decade ago, on advice from environmental consultants, a drastic and far reaching plan to remediate the whole park and remove all trees was planned. Everyone who loved the Park was distressed.
In intervening years, the advice about how to deal with legacy contamination appears to have changed. A lighter touch is proposed. People’s deep attachment to Gasworks Park seems to have been heard and understood. Trees will only be removed if in serious decline. Many more trees will be planted. The garden beds will the planted with more locally indigenous plants to connect with the Danks St biolink.
Sione Napi Francis’ artwork Angel is a beacon in the Park. Its setting will be improved by removing the mound that separates the lawn area from the back wall of the theatre to which the artwork is attached. A new performance and gathering space will be created.
Barbeque facilities will be moved closer to the Graham and Pickles St corner near the new playground. New artwork commissioned from Gasworks resident artists will be installed.
Although consultation on the Gasworks Park design has now closed, nifty online tools enable you to see befores and afters at by scrolling left or right with your mouse.