Once you ecoPOP, you just can’t stop!

The City of Fremantle has invested in two ecoPOPs!

This was a concept that I wrote about here and here, with hopes that Wray Avenue could have one incorporated as part of the Manning Street realignment. After several discussions with people, I felt there was opposition to the idea there because of the impact on sight lines and dropped the idea.

Since then, I have spoken to people about the idea of replacing one of the median strips at the intersection of Attfield Street and Wray Avenue.

This is an excellent location as it is a wider section of street, so it will impact less on sight-lines. There is very little shade around this point of Wray, so it will add that amenity and its associated cooling effect. The east/west alignment will maximise this effect. Finally, there is also no feature in this environment to slow down traffic (as the custom brought by Galati’s does further to the west) and the ecoPOP, with its strange appearance, is likely to do this.

Despite City Councillor hopeful Roel Loopers “poop-pooping” the idea on his blog, I do think these can provide excellent benefits to our community. Unlike trees planted directly into the ground, the ecoPOP infrastructure should support its own water and fertilisation, as it functions more like a closed-loop system. It is also meant to be a temporary structure that can be replaced with a permanent one later once a community embraces the concept, the ecoPOP then moved to a new area to inspire.

It’s great to see them in Kings Square – where we’d all like to see more people – and I hope passers-by stop to have a look and imagine where they could be in their community. While it doesn’t seem to be connected to gutters for the rainwater tanks and it doesn’t demonstrate the shading benefits (and it doesn’t have worms in the worm farm yet)  it is still a visible concept for the public to consider. Some interpretive signage for people would be a good feature to add too.

Hopefully you can swing by King’s Square or Pakenham Street near CUSP to have a look at the latest models.

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More and more a true avenue

It’s less than a fortnight now until we start planting out more native trees on our verges.

Thanks to the amazing work of Diane and Mollie, a few of us are going to dress up our verges with the support of the City of Fremantle, in particular Michael Leer.

Diane and Mollie also coordinated the clean up a month back where we weeded and pruned and picked up litter to ready ourselves for this event and make the avenue more presentable in general.

The plant out follows on from last year’s balga tree planting, not to mention the incredible work done many years ago by other residents. I’ve seen photos from 20 years ago and the avenue is a barren, bitumenised wasteland. I can’t imagine what it would be like in our hot summers.

The present day Wray looks like a true, tree-lined avenue thanks to the hard work a decade or so ago. With more natives, hopefully we can encourage more birdlife to flock into the area and shade it out some for the hot summers.

In other happenings, the realignment of Manning and Wray has finally gone ahead. It has created a great space by Galati’s that is ripe for some creative imagination.

At a recent Living Smart course that Emma and I facilitated, a session run by the inspirational Katie Stubley (nee Dobb) shared the wonderful story of Italian verges and median strips being kitted out with bocci playing fields. The result was a culture of recreation on the street: a tradition rather than a work of place-making enthusiasts.

For what it’s worth, that’s my suggestion for that space anyway – one that I don’t imagine will clash with sight lines and provides the opportunity for interaction, fun and play on the street.

It connects with the recent heritage of the area and I’m sure we could even string some potted herbs around the outside at the same time!

I’d love to see us inviting teams from the Italian Club to play, or having some friendly inter-street competitions.

Anyway, that’s just one idea. Let me know what you think!

Wray Ave verge ‘makeovers’

The wonderful Dianne and Mollie are busy making preparations for a planting and mulch spreading day 9am, Sunday May 26. Can’t wait!

If you live on the Ave and you haven’t seen their yellow letter or registered your interest yet, call Dianne on 0407 199 018.

Did you know that City of Fremantle’s annual native plant subsidy offer through APACE is now on? Call 9432 9999 for details and grab some beauties before they run out! They do free mulch sometimes too: http://www.fremantle.wa.gov.au/sustainability/Verge_beautification

Here are the photos from our verge clean up day in preparation for May 26:

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