MOSMAN Park Council has pruned by three the number of new trees in a plan to restore riverside Garungup Park on Rocky Bay.
In the past, residents had chopped trees in the area to improve their view.
Mayor Brett Pollock said enforcing $5000 fines for unauthorised pruning may not be necessary after the five-year Garungup Park Environmental Management Plan was adopted at last month’smeeting.The plan has been developed to continue current views, stop weeds, manage bushfire threats and return native species to increase the park’s role as a flora and flora corridor.
It replaces a 2010 plan which a staff report said had faltered during budget constraints, and had been affected by volunteers’ own restoration efforts and changed attitudes to views.
Before colonisation, the area comprised limestone heath, Tuart tree woods and low forest.
However, only pockets of the original ecosystem remain after 19th-century quarrying, subsequent building of the State Engineering Works on the site and housing development this century.
Mr Pollock said the new plan reflected a community view of what should now happen to the park, consultation including 90 letters to neighbouring residents in October provided 49 responses, which the report said were positive about the plan.
However, residents’ issues included vegetation clashing with views, managing the fire threat, and how both would be affected by the council’s plans to prune some of the current plants and any new planting.
After subsequent talks with residents it was proposed to reduce the number of new trees and prune, by separating the vegetation’s understoreys from the trees’ canopies, to reduce the fire risk.
New plants would be lower growing, and the park’s southern path would be used for the planting so there would be less impact on views.
The report said the $45,610 cost of the plan’s first year could be funded in the $66,400 Environmental Maintenance budget for 2018-19