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Green Light

The latest on the local environment

From the garden to the table

Gardening expert Paula Granelli explains the ancient practice of permaculture - growing your own food using a ‘no-dig’ system of raised garden beds.

According to Paula, permaculture is based on the idea of sustaining oneself on an eco-system which is not destructive to the earth. “It’s a form of gardening that uses no chemicals or pesticides and allows people with even limited outdoor space such as a balcony to grow their own food,” she explains.

On a practical level, permaculture means building garden beds from a combination of hay, compost and manure, instead of digging a hole. The beds can be enclosed or open and are replenished by simply adding more compost or hay. For unit-dwellers pots, planters and even polystyrene boxes can be used.

The results can be impressive. Paula recently assisted a local resident to turn their backyard into a permaculture paradise, growing fruit and vegetables ranging from mangoes and limes to zucchinis and beans. She also runs courses on permaculture at local education centres such as the Coastal Environment Centre at Narrabeen.

Paula says that the preferred method of growing plants the permaculture way is from seed. “Choose ‘heritage’ or ‘heirloom’ seeds as these aren’t genetically modified,” she says. Seeds can be bought online or at local nurseries.

This local backyard boasts an array of fruit and veggies grown the permaculture way

For more info and to see examples of permaculture gardens visit www.permup.com. The next permaculture course at the Coastal Environment Centre is on Sunday 17 August 1-3pm. To reserve a place phone 9970 1675.

Your environmental levy at work

Pittwater’s ratepayers currently pay a 5% environmental and infrastructure levy that helps fund numerous projects. Here’s a rundown of how the money’s been spent this financial year - and what’s ahead.

Improvements in 2007-2008

  • Road resurfacing in Avalon, Bayview, Bilgola Plateau, Clareville, Elanora Heights, Palm Beach, Warriewood, Whale Beach - $416,818

  • New footpaths and pedestrian crossings in Mona Vale, North Avalon, North Narrabeen and Newport - $592,412

  • Rainwater tanks and irrigation, seawalls and erosion control at Bilgola Beach, Careel Bay, Church Point, Bayview and Mona Vale - $671,931

  • Bushfire risk management and walking tracks in Newport and Warriewood - $222,669

Coming up in 2008-2009

  • Road resurfacing - $517,000

  • New footpaths and pedestrian crossings - $250,000

  • Open space improvements and rainwater tank installation at Avalon Golf Course, Lake Park Narrabeen, Careel Bay and Hitchcock Park at Avalon - $390,000

  • Further repairs to Church Point seawall - $30,000

  • Walking tracks and erosion control - $250,000

For full details on levy spending and projects visit www.pittwater.nsw.gov.au/environment

Part of the new sea wall at Church Point

pittwater.nsw.gov.au

Supporting & connecting our community

In this second of a series of feature articles on Pittwater’s 2020 strategy for the future, we look at how you can be involved in activities to help us meet the goals of Supporting & Connecting our Community.

Key social goals for Pittwater by 2020 The journey begins in 2008-2009

  • A 10% increase in the proportion of residents who feel that they belong to their local community

  • A 30% increase in the participation of residents in community events & activities

  • A 20% increase in volunteering

  • An 80% resident satisfaction level with the range and quality of

community & cultural facilities and events

  • An 80% resident satisfaction level with the range and quality of

recreational facilities and events

  • 80% of residents feel safe in the community

  • An 80% resident satisfaction level with access to health services

  • Produce a design for a new skate park at Mona Vale

  • Complete and open the Newport Community Centre

  • Develop a recognition program for outstanding members of the community

  • Develop ways to increase the level of volunteering

  • Provide an integrated childcare service for the 0-5 age group

  • Provide community events that celebrate diversity and where we live

  • Coordinate an annual events calendar for Pittwater

  • Finalise new facilities for Church Point and Bilarong Reserves

  • Help community members apply for a range of environmental grants

The arts ArtZpace

A designated space each year set aside for professional and emerging young artists at Avalon Recreation Centre. Artists can display and sell their work using professional hanging space. In 2009 ArtZpace will be between 10 January and 16 January featuring the work of ten artists and sculptors. For enquiries about ArtZpace phone 9970 1111.

Barrenjoey Music Room

On weekends at Barrenjoey High School North Avalon, the Music Room is a concert of high-quality, live music for the whole community. Music styles vary from classical, jazz to roots and blues, a capella and gospel. The concert features soloists, ensembles and bands and often impromptu performances as musicians mingle together. Phone 9918 8811 for info on the next concert.

Author Talks

One evening every month leading authors speak about their work at Mona Vale library. Each author talk is followed by a question and answer session, book signing and light refreshments. For more info about forthcoming talks phone 9970 1605.

Pittwater Camera Club

The Club meets weekly at Bayview and has regular photography competitions, lectures and social events, as well as weekends away. New members are welcome; visit www.pittwatercameraclub.org for more info.

For older residents Narrabeen Seniors Group

Mahjong, table tennis, indoor bowls, music and dancing are just a few of the activities held at Nelson Heather Centre, cnr Jacksons Road, Narrabeen. For more info about the group contact June on 9913 8821.

Avalon Active Seniors

At the other end of Pittwater, Avalon Active Seniors are based in the Avalon Recreation Centre and offer art classes, bushwalking, discussion groups and ballroom dancing. Contact Jan on 9918 7624 to find out more.

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