Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walking the GreenWay Corridor

Yesterday, following a suggestion from The Sun-Herald newspaper, Mary and I did a walk along the Hawthorne Canal starting from Hawthorne Parade at Haberfield. We were not familiar with this part of Sydney and seemingly the area was was a recreational oasis with parkland, tennis courts, a children's playground, walking and bike tracks, an extensive off-leash dog walking area and the Cafe Bones. 

Hawthorne Canal at Haberfield
But this was clearly something more and we were in for some surprises. It is part of the GreenWay, a 4.5km urban corridor which links the Parramatta River at Iron Cove to the Cooks River, via the Hawthorne Canal and Rozelle Goods Line Corridor.

A collaborative project between four local Councils  (Leichhadrt, Marrickville, Ashfield and the City of Canterbury) state agencies and the community, the GreenWay Corridor links the community to local arts, schools, parks and bushland via shared cycling and walking trails and the extension of Sydney's light rail network.

Photo showing  construction of the Stormwater Channel
By way of a bit of history, construction of the Hawthorne Canal commenced in 1895 as a Stormwater Channel* to replace the Long Cove Creek which had become heavily polluted. The Rozelle Goods Line was built in the 1920's on reclaimed land alongside the Canal. It relieved congestion on the main network by creating a direct link for freight trains to Darling Harbour.  

After crossing over Marion Street at Leichhardt, we continued along the Canal and came upon the Hawthorne Canal Community Artwork
(a project by Leichhardt Council, GreenWay and NSW Government) in a railway tunnel underpass at Lords Road. Newly opened on 26 August 2011, it the product of many volunteer hours by community members and local school students and is a celebration of the history and the environment of the Hawthorne Canal.

External Mural at the Lords Road Entrance
It consists of  an external mural, a magnificent internal mosaic made up of more than 475,00 individual pieces   with a waterways theme, and an internal wall telling the story of local residents including the Aboriginal  people of the Cadigal and Wangal tribes.

Internal Mosaic
 A closer view of the mosaic pieces

Atop the embankment on top of this tunnel  is a section of the line for the Inner West Light Rail Extension along the Rozelle Goods Line from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill. This is due to be operational by early 2014

A section of the Light Rail Extension 

There are also several bushcare site along the corridor where local volunteers undertake weed removal, erosion control and planting of native species with a view to restoring native fauna and flora populations.

An admirable environmental concept and  a very interesting day.


* In its Government Contracts and Contractors Database, History Services NSW has some 8 records of contracts being awarded by the NSW government in connection the construction of the Iron Cove Creek Stormwater Channel

Go the website at:

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