I was leaked a draft of the City of Fremantle’s new masterplan for the Esplanade Reserve. Although the report says that it comes out of the Visioning 2029 community project and is part of the futuristic Transformational Moves plans, I believe it will leave a lot of Freo people very unhappy if implemented.
The stand out new idea is to make an “Arborium” out of the Esplanade by putting a large dome over the entire reserve. The dome will have climate control and a rain-like reticulation system to create an inner city ecosystem.
A large variety of native plant species will be introduced to the reserve and an attempt made to breed the endangered numbat under controlled conditions. The Arborium will also act as an aviary and many birds will find a new home there.
The Esplanade Youth Plaza skatepark will be incorporated to make it an all-weather youth destination, while coloured motion-triggered lights will allow for night enjoyment of the park. New paths, seating, shade structures and art and water features will be installed, as well as a big screen for music videos and live sport telecasts.
The City aims to make the Esplanade a new big tourist attraction that will link the CBD with the Fishing Boat Harbour. Latest technology will see driverless GPS-guided small vehicles taking visitors on tours of the Arborium
The down side of this green-ideology-inspired idea is that the Ferris Wheel and many of the, too tall for the dome, Norfolk pines will have to be removed, and so will the Carriage Café.
The officers recommend that the Carriage will be rebuilt and the Tourist Wheel relocated to the planned extension of the Esplanade once Norfolk Street has been extended through to Mews Road, and the Italian Club and parking lot have been made into a green open space that will create a larger Esplanade park.
Under the new masterplan the City wants festivals to be held at Fremantle Oval instead of the Esplanade, once the Dockers have moved on to Cockburn, and also more often utilise Fremantle Park for events and festivals.
I am all for new, big and creative ideas but I am not at all sure why we need a 20-metre-high dome structure over our major inner city park. It sounds a bit gimmicky to me and it would cost a lot of money to put up and maintain.
There are a few pie in the sky ideas on the City of Fremantle’s transformational moves wish list and this one can be added to it as a highly unrealistic one.
It was a bit of a wildlife feast in Fremantle harbour on yesterday’s glorious Sunday. While dolphins excited the tourists several herons were busy trying to steal fish from the many anglers.
There are 64 recognised species of the lovely water bird, some are called egrets or bitterns. Keep an eye out for them and the dolphins!
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The noisy pink galah cockatoos are back in Fremantle in big numbers and were having a lot of fun around Bathers Beach and the Espalanade on Sunday, with many eating on the railway track. This one did not like it when I got too close to take a photo, but it makes for a nice picture.
Those funky and creative J Shed artists at Fremantle’s Bathers Beach are helping to beautify the area and looking after the environment at the same time. The lawn of the A Class reserve is recovering after a lot of TLC, and Janet Nixon is attracting birds in the Rottnest Island pines with colourful birds nests and water baths. The City has also done a bit with colourful benches and tables for all to enjoy and that will be extended to the headland near the Round House soon, where seating is long overdue.
I went to the opening of the photo exhibition The Maligned Seagull by Fremantle photographer Hank Kordas at Kidogo Arthouse on Bathers Beach yesterday and was impressed with the delightful gentle show in soft sepia tones. It is open till March 12, so go and have a look if you are down that way, or do it while visiting the Sunset Markets on Saturday.
The High Street mall in Fremantle is a very busy place where many people sit and watch the passing parade, read the local newspapers or have a bite to eat, so what a disgrace to see this bench full with bird shit on Wednesday morning. One would assume that the cleaning of public seats is a daily task each morning to make sure people don’t soil their clothes. Maybe the mall traders could also show more pride and check out the benches. It only takes a minute or two to clean them.
It does not take much to create beauty. A stunning blue sky over Fremantle and a large flock of cockatoos is all that was needed for this photo.