Friends of South Surrey Park  

Sunday Working Bee cancelled




May Sunday Working Bee - Cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions
Our greenhood orchids are preparing to flower again.  It is exciting to know that they are still there after they were planted in 2018 by Adrian in various spots around the park.

Also growing in the park are lots of fungi, several of which are very poisonous.   Here is a warning forwarded by Phil Crohn from Eastern Health.

Eastern Health
May 13 at 3:52 PM · 

Alert from Health Victoria:

Poisonous mushrooms including Death Cap mushrooms and Yellow-staining mushrooms are currently growing abundantly around Victoria as a result of the recent heavy rains.

Unless you are an expert, do not pick and eat wild mushrooms in Victoria.

In most cases the sooner treatment can begin, the better the outcome. If it is suspected that you or your child have eaten a poisonous mushroom, do not wait for symptoms to occur before seeking medical attention.

For more information visit their website by clicking  here

Report from our President

In this time of COVID-19 restrictions, all levels of government have stated that volunteering is a reason that individuals can leave their house. Volunteering is considered work under these guidelines. I have been particularly grateful of the City of Boroondara’s acknowledgement of FSSP as valuable workers in maintaining South Surrey Park. However, to be able to work in the park I have been interviewed on our risk assessment relating to minimising the spread of COVID-19. The guidelines included:
  • No training of new volunteers. All workers must be able to work independently and correctly identify weeds especially when interspersed with native grasses.
  • Working at least 1.5m apart with their own tools (often on extended loan from the shed)
  • Working away from the path so that walkers have at least 1.5m clearance.
  • Knowing beforehand where the work site is located and going directly to that site to begin weeding. Tuesday Toilers have been rotating through Zone 1 above the little bridge (Leader: Fran), Zone 2 between the bridges (Leader: Pam) and Zone 3 below the big bridge (Leader: Maggie). Only the leader has retrieved and returned any equipment from the shed. This means only one wheelbarrow is used. The key is passed to the following week’s leader so there is less handling.
  • No worker is to attend if they felt unwell or uncomfortable working in SSP.

With these guidelines in place, Tuesday morning attendance has had an average of 6 workers. There is no longer the social chatter, instead we have been delighted to hear the bird life. Yellow tailed black cockatoos joined us one morning. Pardalote song and kookaburra laughter have also been a pleasure to hear. We are all appreciative of the opportunity to be out-doors so maintaining the rules of engagement has been paramount. Many, many bucket loads of weeds have been removed from the park and Adrian has been most impressed with the number of tray-loads he has had to cart away.
The aim of the weeding has been to encourage the growth of the native plants rather than just weeding large areas that can be sprayed. Once an area has been weeded mulch from the nearby semi-permanent mulch piles that Adrian has deposited is then placed around the newly weeded plants.
With the knowledge that working in SSP was acceptable under COVID-19 restrictions, a number of individuals have continued to weed around native plants at other times during the week. This has resulted in a massive clean-up of Zone 1, the area we were not allowed to access in late 2019 due to the Union Road works. In the past month there has also been many correas planted from cuttings taken in 2019 and microlaena circles created from seed collected in the park over summer.
At this stage there are no plans to reintroduce Sunday community working bees. However, the regular Tuesday mornings with the above guidelines will continue. It is also anticipated that any plantings for 2020 will also happen on Tuesday. On May 12, Adrian and Peter Tucker from the City of Boroondara organised the planting behind Hills 20. To minimise handling Adrian collected the FSSP plant order from VINC, drilled the holes prior to our arrival and placed the plant tubes beside the holes ready for planting. Peter also provided an extra 100 plants from his stock. These included “pretties” which should look lovely along the path later in the year. These plants were then watered in (it is surprising how dry it is behind Hills 20 even after all the rain we have had) and mulch was spread around them.
While working in the park, it has been very pleasing to hear from those walking past very positive comments about how good the Park looks and the work we have done in creating this bushland environment. I am optimistic that we may get some new members now that more locals know who we are and what we do.

Pam Welsford
FSSP President

Tuesday Toilers

Here are two of the Toilers working on the hill behind the Verdun street car park.  This is the area in which they were planting on Tuesday, 12th May as reported by Pam above.

Aspect Group
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions our Aspect Group can no longer visit the park.   Last year, they potted up  many correa cuttings which Maggie has been nurturing.   She showed me one which she has planted and it is about to flower already.

Botanical Painting of some plants from our park by Lee Sunho
Lee Sunho or Sun as she is better known locally has lived and worked in the Surrey
Hills/Canterbury area for over 10 years. While she has many ties to her birth country of Korea, she has come to appreciate the unusual colours and textures of our local plants.
When growing up Sun did not think that drawing and sketching would be a significant part of her daily life but more recently her passion for discovering the colours and shapes of the natural world has become a very keen hobby. Her enthusiasm for observing function and form in plants and her desire to improve her botanical painting skills have led her to produce a number of vibrant paintings of waratahs and eucalypts. Closer to home she has undertaken a study of some of the plants growing beside Back Creek. A number of these are included in this artwork which contains Correa reflexa  flowers, Juncus flavidus, broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius) an introduced species from Europe, plantain and Persicaria Dicipiens or slender knotweed. Persicaria Dicipiens was among the plants collected by Joseph Banks 5 May 1770 at Botany Bay.
Recently Sun has been visiting South Surrey Park with her granddaughter and has been keen to discuss with the Tuesday Toilers their work in improving the park. Thank you Sun for sharing your South Surrey Park plant study.
Pam Welsford

In The park at the moment - Black Cockatoos and many smaller birds.

Now that restrictions have been eased a little, we can go to the park and look out for birds.   Black cockatoos can be seen high in the trees but don't forget to look closely in the bushes in the understorey.   The small birds, like thornbills, pardalotes and spinebills will be flitting around in the safety of the cover.    
The Brown Thornbill does inhabit urban parks, especially along waterways and in remnant vegetation.   If you click here  you can read more about it.

This photo comes from the birdlifemelbourne web site.   To go to their site and learn all about how you can contribute to saving our birdlife click here.  Bird watching adds so much to your daily walk.

Greenlink Box Hill
Greenlink is still open for you to purchase your indigenous seedlings.   There are a few changes due to the Covid-19 restrictions.   You can buy plants from them on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings from nine until twelve o'clock but they would prefer you to order by email using their very adequate plant list and photographs and pick up your order when its ready.   They will be taking card payment only. In order to ensure everyone is 1.5 metres apart they have limited the number of volunteers working there. 
here is a link to their site.   
Now is such a good time to be planting in your gardens and their seedlings are appropriate for our area and will grow well.

Membership of Friends of South Surrey Park
You can join in the work of the group and contribute to running expenses by becoming a member.     If you would like to become a Friend of South Surrey Park you can find the application for membership form at the end of this newsletter.

Facebook and South Surrey Park website
You can see some of what is happening in the park on Facebook and South Surrey Park website.    

Work in South Surrey Park is brought to you through the efforts of the Friends of South Surrey Park, a voluntary group working with the local community, City of Boroondara and Melbourne Water.  For information about your local Park, contact any committee member below.
Pam Welsford (President) - 9830 5178  -
Ursula Povey (Vice President) - 9836 6149 -
Maggie White (Secretary) - 9888 4479 -
Lyn Read (Treasurer) - 0408377668 -
Jenine Fleming - 9830 7767 -
Peter Hannay - 9830 5493 -

Registration Number A 0032389N.
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MEMBERSHIP $15/$30/$100: + $ DONATION:=                $...................TOTAL..............
A single subscription is $15, or $30 for a household, or $100 corporate/group. (This covers our insurance with Victorian Landcare and some expenses). It is payable to Hon Treasurer, Lyn Read, 6/136  Through Road, Vic, 3127 telephone 0408 377 668 or direct deposit to our Bendigo Bank account, BSB 633 000, A/c No 1205 19285. Remember to put your name in the ‘reference’ box so we’ll know you’ve paid.


Friends of South Surrey Park is supported by Boroondara Council and Melbourne Water


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Friends of South Surrey Park · 26 Albion Street · Surrey Hills, Victoria 3127 · Australia

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