05 Jun 2020
On World Environment Day a new ebook 20 Years of Healing: Delivering the ecological legacy of the Green Games has launched showcasing incredible insights into the restoration and conservation of nature at Sydney Olympic Park.
Sydney Olympic Park Authority CEO Sam Romaniuk said 20 years was an appropriate time to take stock of the journey and celebrate the remarkable success.
“Today, the enduring legacy of the Green Games has witnessed the creation of ecosystems rich in native flora and fauna right in the heart of Greater Sydney,” said Mr Romaniuk.
“The diversity of wildlife you find at Sydney Olympic Park is incredible, supporting endangered ecological communities, an abundance of native plants and animals and features one of the largest remaining stands of mangrove forest on the Parramatta River.”
“The success of the natural environment is linked to long-term environmental management and this ebook is both a celebration in our 20th anniversary year, and a toolkit to share with the world.”
Penelope Figgis AO, Vice Chair Oceania of IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas and former chair of the Sydney Olympic Park Parklands Advisory Committee 2001-2011, said despite its blighted industrial history surprising areas of flora and fauna survived at Sydney Olympic Park in its diverse environments of mangroves, saltmarshes, forest, grasslands and wetlands.
“The story of conserving the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog, the continued role of our wetlands for native and migratory birds and the successful repeat breeding of White-bellied Sea-eagles are some of the inspiring stories we are celebrating on this anniversary.”
“These environments also provide a wonderful education asset to the people of Sydney allowing city children to really experience nature close to home.”
The ebook covers learnings from the conservation of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog including the construction of 110 ponds to support breeding since 2000, and today Sydney Olympic Park has one of the strongest populations of this amphibian known in NSW. Other chapters sweep the full spectrum of ecological management including building homes for bats, parrots and possums; how mangroves are responding to climate change; bringing back woodland birds; regeneration of critically endangered forest; the importance of urban ecology and more.
Kerry Darcovich, Sydney Olympic Park Authority Senior Manager Environment and Ecology, said she hoped the book would have widespread use so others could adapt local findings to solve similar sorts of conservation issues. “Managing ecology is not an exact science, it has a high degree of learn as you go, which is why this book is so valuable,” said Ms Darcovich. “It is a way of sharing our experience so we can help biodiversity beyond our borders.”
“The chapters of the book also recognise the site as an urban environment and the growing pressures that come with an increase in the local population, importantly this brings with it a new opportunity to connect more people with nature.” The ebook was authored by Sydney Olympic Park Authority ecologists as well as guest authors from universities and private industry, who have all worked on the environmental management of the site.
The Green Games saw one of Australia’s largest restoration projects, with the clean up of over 200 hectares of contaminated land and hand-planting of over 8 million individual native plants. Two decades on, and the environment is thriving as Sydney Olympic Park supports endangered ecological communities and has in excess of 400 native plant species and 250 native animal species including more than 200 native bird species, seven frog species, 13 bat species, 16 reptile species, native fish species and many thousands of species of invertebrates.Download your free copy of 20 years of healing