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S EV E N C RE EK S PA RK MA N AG EM E N T P L A N

AN OVERVIEW OF POSIBIITIES OF HOLISTIC MANAGEMENT OF THE PARK

by James Douloudis

SEVEN CREEKS PARK OVERVIEW


W H AT I S T H E PA R K

The Seven Creeks Park has been many things to many people over many years but most of all it has been an opportunity to enjoy a green, peaceful oasis away from the rush and clatter of modern life. With the removal of the avenue trees there has been discussion about now being able to see the park with a view to looking at other options. From my perspective the removal of the avenue trees has made the park LESS. It feel and appears smaller is size and depth and the overall impact is Less. When you can see from one side to the other, or straight on to the road it shrinks and diminishes the park. Some may feel that opeing it up would make it look larger. The truth it that the area of the park is not enough for that to happen, so we need to create the impression of more but creating rooms of grass and semi-separate area by way of planting of trees. Upstream of the park we have a semi formal park area and then a longer area of primarily native trees & cover. Downstream we also have a semi formal park area and then a longer area of primarily native trees & cover, though to a lesser degree than upstream. I feel that park actually benefitted greatly from the formality of the avenue trees as well as the cover and visual depth of field they helped to create. We believe that this central section, the Seven Creeks Park, can and should be of a more formal nature. Seeing the park as it is we cannot help but feel that whoever designed the current layout and planting of avenue trees knew better than we think.

Height Creates majesty. Formality creates dignity. Light and shade create intrigue.

SEVEN CREEKS PARK


ITEMS OF RECOGNITION

ITEM 1. A park is a man made artifice for the benefit and enjoyment of man. It is a selected recreation of nature that man finds nurturing, refreshing and renewing to his mind body and spirit. It is not a reproduction of a natural nor indigenous habitat, but rather a selection of plantings to crate an environment that pleases the physical and aesthetic nature of man. It needs to be nothing more, nor represent any more, than that and should be under no duress to represent anything but itself. ITEM 2. Without diminishing Item 1, a park can in addition to being of benefit to man it can also perform additional purposes without detracting from Item 1. These can include but not be limited to: Habitat for a wide variety of bird, animal and insect life. Indeed it can and will create its own ecosystem and life cycle within itself given time. Environmental improvement by way of reducing evaporation, exchanging Co2 for oxygen, reduction of greenhouse gasses. Creating an atmosphere that is felt both within and far beyond its physical boundaries. ITEM 3. In order to achieve Item 1 & 2 several thing are necessary. a. A careful selection of trees and bushes. Trees with a variety of greens, Autumnal colours, deciduous and evergreen, tall and low. b. Trees that have an upper story exceeding 15 meters which creates greatly expanded habitat and many thousands of additional cubic meters of habitat and environment enriching capabilities. Thousands of additional cubic meters of LIFE.

c. An appreciation that the park is a living ecosystem with a lifecycle of its own, and not a landscaping project. Eg. Whole swathes of trees should never be removed in response to fashion or environmental ideology. Item 1 dictates that the only thing nesesscary for the park is for the tree selection to be pleasing and beneficial (Restful, playful, nurturing, Etc) to man. It does not need to argue for its existence in the face of changing fashions or ideologies. d. In accordance with item 3c removal and planting of trees and bushes should take into account trees coming to the end of their lifespan and ensuring suitable trees are well established 5+ years in advance of loss or removal of existing trees. e. There is no need to remove ANY trees unless the present a clear and immediate danger to life & limb. And then only, as far as possible, in alignment with item 3(d). Natural attrition through old age, disease and storm damage is enough to ensure a gradual turnover of tree life and/or species. f. IF a change of direction in the type of trees within the park is desired it can and should be achieved with all of the above items in mind. Patience is required but that is part of the understanding and appreciation of the life cycles of nature.

ITEM 4. 1. Given the importance of change through patience and understanding of nature a long term management plan should be established. 2. Once implemented the plan should not be haphazardly changed or adapted to suit trends, except in the manner outlined in item 3. In principle it would be possible to change the entire range of tree species within the park, but that could and should take hundreds of years for longer lied species and 40+ years for shorter lived species. 3. The management plan should be implemented and overseen by persons independent and free of the vagaries of public office and whom are able to have an active participation in the park development and have the ability to request and receive feedback from grounds keepers and staff, as well as have the ability to monitor the park in person on a regular basis.

4. Once a Management Plan is agreed apon and established such persons should have long term contract and shall regularly work and consult with council executives to ensure the implementation of the Management Plan.

M A N A G E M E N T P L A N S UB M I SS I O N S . ITEMS DEEMED WORTHY OF INCLUSION IN ANY ANAGEMENT PLAN

1. No trees shall be removed from the park unless the have come to the end of thir lifespan, or have been assessed to pose an clear and immediate threat to life and limb of park users and /or staff. 2. The removal on any diseased or dying trees should be anticipated to the extent possible under the circumstances and the replacement species and position be assessed and implemented as soon as possible. The recent removal of avenue trees without having the next step in place is a glaring deviation from this rule. 3. A 10 year moratorium on the removal of any trees over 3 meters in height, effective einneduately. In view of the removal of so many upper storey trees and the loss of thousands of cubic meters of habitat, environmental enriching vegetation and loss of atmosphere within the park we suggest an immediate 10 Year moratorium on the removal of any nd all trees over 2 meters, unless they present a clearly defined and immediate threat to life & limb. This will allow new planting to gain some height to offset the loss of those trees and any act as a buffer against any future loss. Trees with an extended lifespan of at least 60+ years should be selected. Trees with an upper storey exceeding 15 meters should be selected. Thees capable of withstanding both inundation and drought should be selected.

Trees known for not dropping branches should be selected. Trees of beauty in foliage and limbs should be selected. A mix of native and decisuous trees should be selected. Trees along the creek edge should be a mix of native eucalypts and deciduous trees and bushes. Upper story trees such as River Red Gums and similar for height and habitat for native species. A smattering of Deciduous for soft and soothing grren foliage in Summer and higlights of amber colours in Autumn, as well as the ability to create cool shady spaces in Summer while letting in light and sunshine in Winter. Medium size trees of various kinds to provide shady nooks in summer and help generate an overall park feel to the environment. Smaller bushes and shrubs for screening and providing food & habitat for low living birds and animals.

In certain places along the creek planting of smaller trees and bushes can had a depth of field not ttainable otherwise as ell as the ability to create cosy, green nooks for families to rest and enjoy within.

It is especially important to pland trees with good root structure and that can handle wet coditiobs to reduce erosion. This is important along the creek as a whole, but especially so on outer edges of creek bends.

Open spaces. It is important to ensure there are adequate open sunny spaces for familie to enjy the sun, for gatherings & ceremonies to be held.

Semi open spaces. These can provide a sense of expansiveness created through upper storey trees yet with a sense on inclusion created by overhead canopy. Enclosed spaces. Several spaces within the park are suitable to create more intimate areas for picnics, weddings or quite enjoyment of the park Thise can be achieved with minimal by sensible plantings.

Ammenities. Clean Toilet and BBQ amenities are all that are required. Playgrounds, features and novelties would demean, and detract from, the park. Simple nature is more than enough. Over time we would look to replace benches, seating & lighting with unique and quality replacement. Do the simple things, but do them well.

CONSIDERAtIONs. Height creates majesty, so tree with great height are well regarded. Height plus formailty = Dignity, so plantings pf similar s[ecies along avenue, or grouped / simetrical plantings would be well regarded.

THE FUTURE. The park has scope t be many things to many people. Graced with the backdrop of the Seven Creeks it is a perfect venue for wedding ceremonies, especially if planted in suitable way.

If ncouraged an increase in Weddings would bring commerce and recognition to the town in the way of increased visitor numbers, increased revenue for venue, catering and restaurant and proprietorsm and well as Euroa as as a whole as visitiors linger nd explore Euroas facitilities and shopping centre. An ideal family plauground suitable fr enjoying the nature in a safe clean and relaxing environment.