Comparing the green spaces from aspects of type, availability, usage and functionality as ecosystems in metropolitan environments in varies Part of Sydney
Environmental awareness has become part and parcel of our daily activities. This is mainly attributed to the rising levels of environmental degradation and the presence of various environmental organizations that attempt to deal with these issues.
The most affected part of the environment is the green areas. Thus, areas under forest cover have continued to decrease in size in the past few years. This is quite common even in Australia whereby the presence of industries and an increase in settlements are the biggest causes. The effects of environmental pollution have led to substantial environmental degradation.
Subsequently, environmental degradation has caused severe health effects to human beings, plants and animals. Various ecosystems have also been destabilized. This paper reviews how Mascot, a suburb in Sydney, has been affected by human activities in terms of its vegetation cover. It also reviews a comparison of the green spaces from aspects of type, availability, usage and functionality as ecosystems in metropolitan environments in various parts of Sydney
The research was mainly based on field work and web based research. The main search engine used was Google. A field trip to L’estrange Park was conducted in order to get the real picture of how the park looks like. The results were compared with results from surveys of other suburbs within the area.
Results and Discussion
The total land area that is covered by suburbs in Sydney is 51.412 Km2. Green space in Sydney’s suburbs covers 17.79% of the total area. Parks and reserves cover 9.29% while national parks, nature reserves and sanctuaries cover 2.81%. Sporting fields and others cover 4.41% and 1.28% respectively. The total area of Mascot is 3.53 Km2. Green space covers 1.13% of this land while Parks and reserve cover 7.08%.
There are no national parks and nature reserves in Mascot. Sporting field covers 5.38%. Cleared land, undeveloped land and farmland cover 5.67% of Mascot. It is quite evident that the largest part of green spaces in Mascot falls under parks/reserves. Compared with other suburbs, Mascot is quite disorganized in terms of green areas because most of the green areas are occupied by sporting fields and others which have been isolated.
A visit to L’estrange Park shows various activities that occur there within a day. On that day, there were a total of 9 visitors to the park. The human activities present include jogging, cycling, feeding birds, dog walking and relaxation. There are a number of amenities such as a playground, basketball court, seating areas, and public toilets.
In addition, the field trip involved gathering data on the flora and fauna present in the area. Thus, the fauna observed include 4 butterflies and 2 bees. There were 10 pigeons, 14 crows, 2 Ibis and 4 seagulls. Rodents present in the park include a mouse and a rat.
There were also pets which include 16 dogs and 2 cats. Vegetations present include fig/corals, which are more common in the perimeter of the park and different grass species. There are also bushes and shrubs in the park. On average, the park condition is not well maintained since the walking areas are worn and the picnic areas are untidy. There is a good public access to the park with the presence of roads and residential neighborhood.
The results show that Mascot needs to increase the percentage of national parks because other suburbs have a considerable percentage of land covered by the same. This can be done by increasing the size of its parks, and also by connecting the isolated green areas. One thing worth appreciation is the fact that Mascot has a variety of fauna and flora.
This helps in boosting the ecosystem and preventing any imbalance of the ecosystem. This has been successful due to proper management (Chapin et al. 2009). It is therefore quite evident that the management of Mascot should take pride in preserving and regenerating its flora. This is because in due time, Mascot might suffer from lack of biodiversity.
The community may also suffer from health related problems caused by an imbalance of the ecosystem. The other area that needs to be worked on is the park. Mascot’s parks have deteriorated due to mismanagement. The walking areas need to be improved for aesthetic purposes. It is thus important for Mascot to consider constructing a raised wooden platform to serve as a walking area. This is more appropriate because it prevents one from stepping on the vegetation while walking.
This study has a number of limitations. One of the limitations is that one cannot make a prediction since the study only lasted for two hours and in only one location.
Therefore, it does not necessarily represent a typical representative sample. The other limitation is that there was only one person involved in recording of the data. It is important for future studies to be done with different people recording the data and in different localities and at different times. However, the study still gives a good representation of the faunal and floral interactions in Mascot.
It is important for Mascot to improve its green areas before they are depleted. Thus, there is need for preservation and regeneration of the existing flora. It is also important for the management to diversify its approaches to enhance a better balance of the ecosystem. Mascot has an above average allocation of sporting fields compared to other suburbs in Sydney. The authority also needs to expand the size of its green space by adjoining the adjacent isolated ones.
Chapin, S, Carpenter, S, Kofinas, G, Folke, C, Abel, N, Clark, W, Olsson, P, Stafford Smith, M, Walker, B, Young, O, Berkes, F, Biggs, R, Grove, M, Naylor, M, Pinkerton, E, Steffen, W & Swanson, F 2009, ‘Ecosystem stewardship: sustainability strategies for a rapidly changing planet’, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 241-249