Friends of South Surrey Park  

No Sunday working bee



Sunday Working Bee 26th April - Cancelled due to current Covid 19 restrictions.

Sunday Working Bee Report - 29th March
Here are Pam, Maggie and Fran going to Union Road end of the park and maintaining social distancing.

I could write this report with the standard voice that I have used for past Sunday working bee reports and the report would read in a very similar way. However, in these unusual times of COVID-19; physical distancing of staying 1.5m apart and practising good hygiene were in the forefront of our minds. (On the morning of March 29 in Victoria there were around 685 recorded cases of COVID-19. 21 cases had been acquired through community transmission). Social distancing strategies involved making sure we were not working close to the path as walkers went by and only having one person in the tool shed. Mulch work was undertaken with small teams of two; one filling the wheelbarrow and one spreading the mulch on the site. Those not mulching were weeding at least 1.5 m apart. Weeders were located on both sides of the creek and throughout Zone 1, i.e. Union Road to little bridge.
Eight Friends of South Surrey Park members attended the working bee. It was felt that this was a good turnout as members were strongly encouraged to attend  only if they felt comfortable being in the Park at this time. Around ten members of the Boroondara community had expressed interest in volunteering at Sunday working bees but it was decided to run the training for these new yet enthusiastic volunteers once the 1.5m public spacing rule is lifted.
The group that did attend the working bee were very experienced in preparing sites for planting by spreading mulch and the removal of the weeds that had grown rapidly due to the heavy February rains. This is FSSP’s 25th year and a number of members who attended were inaugural or close to inaugural members. Today, the strength of this group is the result of the foresight and input if these long serving FSSP members. An aim for the working bee was to spread the mulch above the outlets from Union Road. This is where there had been significant works done in Spring to stop water running over the gutter and down the embankment at Union Road. The addition of a large pipe under Union Road seems to have been a success. There does not seem to be any evidence of rocks, sand or clay over the path after rain or further gullying on the Union Road embankment. The contractors that re-vegetated the site did not plant native grasses and it is a goal of FSSP to have the vegetation from the path to the creek as indigenous as possible.  The mulch that was delivered was not quite sufficient, but it will stop some weeds coming through and will encourage the small wattle saplings to grow.
For 2020 there have been a number of smaller mulch piles left around the park. The aim of these, is that when we are weeding, mulch can be laid around individual plants to inhibit the growth of weeds and encourage the native plant to thrive. This is the system adopted by the Bradley sisters in the early 1960's. Only small areas adjacent to healthy native vegetation is cleared; without the broad spreading of mulch natural regeneration from the seeds of the healthy native plants should happen. The Zone 1 mulch heap was used to spread around plants that had been weeded late in 2019 and earlier in 2020.
The conclusion of the first Sunday working bee for 2020 did not come with the usual refreshments due to the practice of us usually having a number of people handling cutlery and serving morning tea but we all enjoyed being outdoors on a relatively warm Sunday, catching up for 2020,  being useful and appreciated by the passers-by. I hope that next month we can continue to have a few laughs and see so many with smiles on their faces.
Pam Welsford
Tuesday Toilers
Photo by Pam Welsford
Here is the park being weeded before the restrictions meant that the Tuesday Toilers could no longer meet as a group.   Locals are still allowed to exercise in the park as long as they have groups of no more than two and they stay two metres apart.   We are fortunate that we have this lovely park to help us through this very difficult time.

General News

Photo by Pam Welsford
Pam found these little Ruby Bonnets, or Mycena viscidocruenta in the park on one of her walks. The tip of the weeding tool shows how tiny they are. It is lovely to be out there looking out for seasonal changes and fungi are beginning to show up, especially now that we have had some rain.
Our guided walk is a wonderful opportunity for exploring the park with children as an educational activity in this strange time.   Look out for fungi but do not pick them as we do have poisonous fungi in the park. Fungi can be seen hiding under bushes and in amongst leaf litter as are  these little Ruby Bonnets.

We have mentioned this Eastern Spinebill in a previous newsletter but it has assumed importance in our lives in isolation.   At first I wondered what the bird was who made a call like a beeper on steroids!   My daughter, Anna, quickly replied that it was an Eastern Spinebill.  This photograph is from Wikipedia because the ones in our garden move so fast from correa to correa and in amongst the fuschia flowers that we are lucky to see them at all.   Watching them brings so much joy. You should be able to see them in the park; we have lots of correa with nectar for them to feed on.
In the Park this month Wahlenbergia stricta or Australian bluebell

Photo by Pam Welsford
Wikipedia tells us that Wahlenbergia stricta belongs to the Campanulaceae family.   It is found in all Australian states but not in the Northern Territory.  It is often seen growing by the side of the road, enjoying the extra runoff. (There are some lovely specimens growing alongside the path where our park joins Union Road.)
It is a perennial herb flowering mainly in spring or summer with pale blue bell-like flowers.   The leaves are long and linear, 5-70 millimetres long.  The five-petalled flowers are erect on long, slender stems and about 6-20 millimetres in diameter.   It forms thin, carrot shaped tubers.

More History
In our files there is a type written sheet which says:-

Ref South Surrey Hills Park
Notes from Alan Holts records file no. 38
In a letter from a friend of the Kleinert family 1976:
"Mr Kleinert owned all the land from the forge and up over the creek to Arundel Crescent boundary and out to Union Road and when Rose (his daughter) married they built on the northwest corner of the land fronting Arundel Crescent and later Kleinert sold most of their land to the Council.
Apparently Mrs. Kleinert sen. was a very public spirited woman and interested in the Progress Association and after her death the Rotunda in Verdum Street Park (possibly all now known as South Surrey Park) was erected in her memory.

In 1905 William Kleinert (wheelwright) stated (in an official document) that his father Martin Kleinert had bought land in 1860.    "The whole of the land was continuously occupied by father and his tenants up to the date of his death in 188?.   Father cultivated portion of the land for a market garden (up to 1885).   When not used as a market garden it was let as a whole for grazing"
Apparently in 1860 it was intended to dam up a creek running through the said land and to make a water reserve thereon for the use of the occupier and owners of adjoining allotments.

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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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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