Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Sustainable Streets

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Sustainable Streets

Sustainable Streets

Converting grass verges to nature-strip gardens

Adopt-a-nature-strip garden

The whole-of-street approach

Fee for service

No spray zones

Due to widespread concerns and recent issues raised by the World Health Organisation about the use of Glyphosate, Marrickville Council would like to advise that residents can request for dedicated "no spray" zones for footpath areas outside of their property.

"No spray" zone indicated by red triangular markings on the footpath

A red-coloured triangular symbol will be located on the kerb to mark the agreed "no spray" zone, with the pointed ends of the triangle indicating the area to be excluded from weed spraying. This is done with the understanding that residents will help to prevent weed infestations by undertaking manual/hand removal of the weeds that appear in the gutters and footpaths adjoining their homes.

In direct response to considerable community interest, Council has adopted a new approach to verge management and maintenance. Verges, also known as nature strips, are important areas of public land that have the potential to provide ecosystem services and help create more liveable spaces.

An ongoing process of collaboration with the community to manage and maintain footpath gardens will see more sustainable streetscapes emerge. These are some options available:

  1. Converting grass verges to nature-strip gardens. Where residents wish to convert grass nature strip to garden, Council can help with removing the grass and preparing the soil. This service is free of charge.
  2. Adopt-a-nature-strip garden. Where residents wish to adopt an existing verge garden, Council can offer practical assistance and advise based on the physical conditions of the site and individual needs.
  3. The whole-of-street approach works with community champions and activated neighbourhood groups that are able to achieve a minimum 50% opt-in rate to participate in the Sustainable Streets program and agree to maintain street gardens.
  4. A fee-for-service is available whereby new gardens are cut out from concrete, this suits individual households who are focused on improving their property frontage. Call the Sustainable Streets Officer to get a quote.

Residents are encouraged to take some ownership for the area adjacent to their property boundaries by working with Council to implement local environmental improvements.

With a small amount of effort residents can make a significant contribution to the streetscape.

Call the Sustainable Streets Officer today at (02) 8595 2422 to discuss how you can get involved.

Frequently asked questions

What is a verge garden?

The verge is the strip of land between the road and the property boundary. This area of public space is where street trees and grass nature-strips can be found. Some verges are full width concrete from the kerb to the boundary line, other areas have a combination of footpath and grass verges. The width of the verge can vary significantly from as narrow as 0.3m to several metres wide. Council encourages resident involvement in streetscape improvement projects and works collaboratively with residents to convert grass and concrete verges to beautiful and functional verge gardens. Verge gardens are also referred to as nature strip gardens and footpath gardens.

How does a verge garden differ from a community garden?

A community garden is a designated area of land where people go to grow food and other plants. Community gardens can be located in school or church grounds or other areas of open space. For a list of community gardens in Marrickville follow this link to Council's community gardens page.

Do I need Council's permission to garden on the verge?

Before you start installing a verge garden please read the verge garden guidelines and checklist. If you understand and agree with all the requirements for safety, access and standards, please return a completed copy of the checklist. Most gardens can proceed once the checklist is received by Council. For those gardens that have more complex considerations please call Council's Sustainable Streets Officer on 8595 2422 to discuss your plans or email sstre@marrickville.nsw.gov.au.

Can I grow vegetables on the verge?

Due to potential for soil contamination it is best not to grow food plants on the verge. Many years of leaded petrol emissions have had a negative impact on soils, especially in streets that have been exposed to heavy traffic over a long time. People that are considering growing food must undertake soil testing to avoid unnecessary health risks.


Guidelines and checklist

Tips and advice

Media and research

The Verge Crew

Photo gallery

Sustainable Streets in practice

Planting days

Plant examples