All hands on Wray!

The Wray Avenue verges were beginning to look a bit untidy with weed growth on the verges after Spring and the late rains and a little bit of litter so Dianne and Molly organised another clean up day.

It was a beautiful morning for it, with the sun shining and people happily greeting us as they walked into town. It was also great to see local, community-minded business owners helping out too – John Douglas from Brown Cow Design and Therese Pitman from Gourmet on Wray. Both of these guys are ever-present at these events and really supportive.

Molly, Diane and June have been doing regular litter pickups recently and it really shows – there was far less mess than usual. But we also felt that this vigilance had led to litter dumping, as the avenue looks tidier and people are more likely to respect it.

For me, I’m really excited that we’re taking ownership of this sliver of public space we have, caring for it and actively connecting with each other through it.

Massive respect to Dianne and Molly for their efforts on this!

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Get your ride on this Saturday

We have a promising weather forecast for Saturday and the plans are all coming together.

Let’s remember our start times, when you need to be at the intersection of Wray Avenue and Hampton Road:

  • Original Route: 10.30
  • Half-way Route: 11.00
  • Family Ride Route: 11.30

There is more information on the ride here.

From 12.15, we’ll be having entertainment and food at Replants,  96 Wray Avenue. This will include music from Sian Brown, Ewan Buckley, Dave Robertson, Crying Town and Tasha M.

We also want people writing Bike Haiku throughout the day and presenting these in between acts. If you have any interesting and inspiring bike-relates stories, we’d love you to share those  with everyone too.

There will be vegetarian food available for a donation, with all money going to the musicians. I have invited the Fremantle Primary School P&C to rattle tins to raise money for their playground as well, so please give generously.

Bike events at Replants will include:

  • A slow bike race
  • Musical “chairs” by bike
  • An obstacle course – “The gWRAYnd National”
  • A bicycle pinada

It seems Fremantle is going off on Saturday with low-emission events. From 4pm, Fremantle Follies will be running another cruise through the streets of inner Fremantle for anyone who still has the riding bug. You can join the Facebook event here.

Then there is more music and fun at Clancy’s Fish Pub for the Fremantle Community Wind Farm Project. Rock on!

If anyone has any time to volunteer some help, I’d love to know about it. I still have a couple of things I need help with and stuff like this doesn’t happen without good people chipping in.

Thanks to people who have “registered”. I now have a good sense of numbers, so I am going to remove that as it has given the impression that it is some sort of “official race”. The objective of the Old Time Road Ride is to connect the community – people who live on, frequent and use Wray Avenue – and celebrate history in the area. It also happens to land on International Slow Ride Day, so let’s look to that and enjoy our ride and the places we ride through.

With that in mind, here’s some of the wonderful wildflowers that are out for Spring that people riding the full, Original Route will have a chance to spy on Saturday!

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No Impact Man at Mala Yoga

While the old Beacon Cinema hasn’t been used for years and currently undergoes renovations to become a doctor’s surgery, it seems that there are more and more microcinemas operating on Wray Avenue.

This weekend Mala Yoga is showing the documentary No Impact Man from 6.30 Sunday 8 September, 10 Wray Avenue. And it’s free!

It’s a really interesting film about a guy called Colin Beavan who aspires to reduce his (and his poor family’s!) impacts on the world by changing his behaviour to eliminate any waste, pollution or resource depletion that he produces.

Therese from Gourmet on Wray commented earlier today, in relation to the dirty energy we’re forced to use, “Why am I paying for this with my money and my planet when cheaper and safer versions already exist?”

I love the way that she expressed this idea, recognising that we are paying for things with our planet – not just money.

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is going to be reconciling this with our culture and behaviour: how can we  keeping using of the world until there is nothing left?

This can be a challenging film as Colin takes his challenge to it’s most extreme possible ends (such as switching from toilet paper to rewashable linen clothes). It’s important to keep in mind though that he is exploring what is possible, and not advocating every viewer must adopt his methods. It’s not meant to be a guilt trip.

Instead, what you should take from this film is inspiration that we can take personal responsibility for our actions and our demands of the world we inhabit. It can provide you with just a few simple ideas as to how you can reduce your impact on the planet.

I really recommend getting along if you’re free – and hopefully walking or riding instead of using a car!

Old Time Road Ride

Spring is nearly upon us. And as I mooted in an earlier post,  I want to resurrect an historic Wray Avenue tradition – the Ten Mile Well Cycle race – which took place annually on the first Spring weekend prior to World War 1.

Here is the poster which you’ll hopefully see a bit around town.

2013 Flyer

Or you can find the Facebook event here.

The spring celebration and bike ride will be made up of two parts:

  1. an option of one of three road rides, setting off from and returning to Moondyne Joe’s Hotel; and
  2. a community party at Replants, with food and entertainment.

The emphasis on the rides is fun and socialising rather than racing. Three different rides have been planning for different levels of skills and bike.

NB: Please enter your name correctly but feel free to make the rest up if you don’t want to disclose that information. I really just want to know how many people are riding each route and this was the best event management website I found.

The schedule of events for the day is as follows:

  • 10:30am – First group of riders set off on the original route, from Moondyne Joe’s to Ten Mile Well  and back (roughly 30kms, or 1-1.5 hour return)
  • 11:00am – Second group of riders set off on on shorter route to Spearwood Hotel and back (roughly 15km, or 30mins-1hour return)
  • 11:30am – Third and final group of rider set off on a family-friendly 4km ride to the old Haymarket hotel and back (roughly 30 minutes return)
  • 12:00pm (until 3:00pm) – Post-ride celebration begins at Replants including live music, a slow bike race and an open mic Bike-u (or Bike Haiku).

For an example of Bike Haiku, here’s one I made up quickly inspired by our current weather:

Satellite spokes spinning

throwing dew drops at my course

cold, brisk morning ride

For more Bike Haiku inspiration and explanation, you can visit here.

There will be BBQ facilities available for lunch at Replants, so feel free to BYO bbq food. Alternatively, please bring food to share with others.

Feel free to invite friends and family – anyone who will enjoy the occasion!

We really want this to be as closer to a zero-waste event as possible, so please do not bring any disposable plastic, glass or aluminium. In the event that you do, we ask that you take it away with you at the end of the day. Bins will not be provided for anything other than compostable waste.

If you’re interested in helping out in anyway on the day, please add a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Time to install WA 2.0

WA20JamIf you could reboot Western Australia and install an upgrade, what features would you like to see?

This is the question being asked by Greens Senator Scott Ludlam, who is aiming at being reelected for a second term at this Federal election.

WA 2.0 is his vision, including fully costed plans, for a better, sustainable Western Australia. This is such a positive, wonderful vision for our state and I urge everyone to take a look. In contrast to the negative politics and pork-barrelling spend-a-thons that I hear people complaining about, this is the sort of thing we should be expecting – or demanding – from politics.

This Saturday at Replants, there will be a workshop showcasing Scott’s the plan, asking our community to share in a positive vision for Western Australia and exploring how we can take some responsibility for making this change.

After the workshop, a few local bands will be performing (including the first gig for the band I’ve been playing in!) and then everyone is invited to hang by the Replants fire to jam songs and ideas.

If you want to attend the workshop, there is food available for $10 and you;re asked to bring something sweet to share.

Wanted, a “very fair field of cyclists”

Whoa! Is it August already?

That leaves me scant little time to big up this little event I’ve wanted to get happening for a while now.

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a great event that first took place on Wray Avenue way back in 1896, when it was then called Hampton Street, of course!

The event was a bicycle race, coordinated by the Fremantle Bicycle Club. It was a 17.5 mile (28 kilometre) return run from Beaconsfield Hotel (now Moondyne Joe’s Hotel) to the ten mile well, now the site of the Ten Mile Well Hotel, on Rockingham Road in Wattleup.

F.B.C Road Race, from The Inquirer and Commercial News, 11 September 1896

F.B.C Road Race, from The Inquirer and Commercial News, 11 September 1896

I’ve read a lot about Fremantle’s love affair with the bicycle over a hundred years ago – something we are fortunate enough see happening again these days – and thought it’d be great to revive this race which ran up until the first world war.

My vision is for more of a social ride rather than an all out race that gives everyone in our community an opportunity to participate – although the speediest are welcome to try to beat A. Bolton’s original time of 55 minutes return to Ten Mile Well!

I’ve planned out three routes for different levels of cycling ability.

  • Route 1: Moondyne Joe’s to the Ten Mile Well Hotel (about 30km, 1-1.5 hours return)
  • Route 2: Moodyne Joe’s to Spearwood Hotel (about 15km, 0.5-1 hour return)
  • Route 3: Moondyne Joe’s to the old Harvest Hotel (about 4km, 20 mins return)

With a race schedule to wrap up about midday, I’d love to have a street barbecue afterwards, some fun awards and possibly even some live music to celebrate the start to Spring. I’d hoped to get it together for the first Saturday in Spring  but that clashes with the election, so I’m pitching for Saturday the weekend the following week – September 14.

Feel free to post here if you think this is a good idea, want to come on the ride or help out on the day. And stay in touch as I finalise details.

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:

IMG_4997 IMG_4998 IMG_5000 IMG_5001 IMG_5005 IMG_5006 IMG_5007 IMG_5008 IMG_5009 IMG_5010

Street busy bee this Saturday (preparing for planting!)

Dianne and Mollie have been preparing for a little gathering for sprucing up the Ave this Saturday April 6, 7-10am.
If you’d like to help tidy up, have a chat about a group verge planting in May and a cuppa after – do come join us at any time! Looks like Dianne and Mollie have lined up great support for plants and mulch in May. Nice one ladies. See their full invite for Saturday below.

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Tidy Up Wray Avenue Day
Saturday April 6th 2013

Dear Wray Avenue Resident,

Tidy Up Wray Avenue Day is part of an initiative, organized by local residents and supported by Fremantle City Council, to make the Avenue even more beautiful than it currently is. Over the last six months or so, a small group of residents has been involved in improving the verges in the Avenue. More than 20 grass trees were planted last August, all of which have survived the hot summer and are thriving. Occasional Rubbish Runs have been organized to pick up litter dropped by passers-by. There has been planting, mulching, pruning and clipping at various sites and our verges are looking the better for it.
Now we are hoping to extend the Verge Improvement Initiative along the whole length of Wray Avenue, from the Business Hub at the intersection with South Terrace to the Top End at South Street, and we’d like your help.

On Saturday April 6th, from 7am, we’d like you to join us for a morning of fresh air and gentle exercise as we tidy the verges in Wray Avenue in preparation for planting and mulching in May. Maybe you’d like to use this as an opportunity to do a job that you’ve been putting off for ages, and get stuck in to tidying up your own verge, and
perhaps get some help to do it. Or maybe you’d like to meet some of your neighbours and help them tidy up their section of the Avenue. Perhaps you’d be happy to wander up and down the Avenue picking up litter or pulling out a few unsightly weeds. Even if you can’t be there on the day, you can help by putting out your green wheelie bin so that we can dispose of the debris (we promise not to fill your bin up, and we’ll put it back onto your property when we’ve finished). Of course, if you want us to leave your verge alone, we will. Just let us know by Friday morning – you can ring Mollie on 9335 7946 or email Dianne (see below).

We’re meeting at the corner of Wray Avenue and Attfield Street at 7am., or come and find us later if you prefer a more leisurely start. The weather forecast is just right – not too hot and not too cool. Bring along a hat, gloves, sunscreen, water and any tools or implements that might come in handy – secateurs, shears, trowels, spades,
forks, rakes, brooms, bags and buckets, a wheel barrow if you have one and most importantly – a willingness to have a good time. We’ll finish with a coffee and a chat at the end of the session – we hope to be finishing up around 10am.

We’d also love to hear from anyone who wants to be part of the proposed Planting Day in May. The Wray Avenue Verge Volunteers and Fremantle City Council will to provide help to anyone who wants to plant and mulch the verge outside their property. Interested parties please note that you must be prepared to water your verge, especially in the period immediately after planting and in hot weather. The Verge Volunteers can help with ongoing maintenance. To help with organization, it would be really helpful if you can let us you are coming – contact Dianne on 0407 199 018 or emaildianbl@westnet.com.au. If you have any other queries or questions, feel free to get in touch.

Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning!

Regards,
The Wray Avenue Verge Volunteers.