Friends Web pages

ISSUE 17 for MARCH - APRIL 2003.
Contact Bill with items for inclusion at gempark@netspace.net.au or send to PO Box 91 Emerald before 24th of each month.   View them on our web site www.emeraldlakepark.com.au   Click on the frog logo!

EDITORIAL.
The issue of Mountain bike races in the park has come up again.   An application by the Fat Tire Flyers to Council for two races to be held in the Autumn has been approved on a trial basis by the park advisory committee.   Past issues raised by the friends are:
    Originally a safety issue was seen with the intermingling of bikes and walkers along popular trails.   This was addressed by separating the route from most walker trails.   Then marking of the track with red paint on trees was particularly distressing to our group.   Marking with streamers and temporary barriers is more acceptable, and the route has been confined to lesser used parts.
    Environmental issues that the mountain bikes were destructive and in particular were damaging the growth of native orchids.   Also erosion of the tracks, by water accumulation on down slopes and wear damage to grassed areas.   Walking these tracks I find natural water courses are avoided and little if any erosion exists.   In fact these bikes often barely penetrate the under story but for a few spots where they must use their brakes.   The grass has recovered since their last event.
    Objections within our group are not unanimous.   The balanced use of our park as "a peoples park" for everyones legitimate enjoyment will require some rules to minimise wear and tear.   The F.T.Flyers are quite easy to get on with, they adhere to rules and do attend to the tracks both before and after events.   Their responsible attitude is engendered by leader Chris Bland and they produce significant off season revenue for the park.

Our Australian Native Orchid - it grows profusely in the area.

EASTER SUNDAY EGG HUNT
The crowd gathers before the hunt

    The Easter egg hunt organised by the Shire Business Manager Des Wynne and Amy Cumming for Sunday 20th April went off well.   The hunt led by our parks easter bunny Richard began soon after 11.00am. 500 Easter eggs supplied by sponsor Kenman Kandy were spread around the grassed area opposite the Kiosk.   The crowd in the first hunt before Puffing Billy arrived was approx 220 - 250 strong and visitors continued to fill the park following this event.   These were soon mopped up by the youngsters.   The Sing Australia Dandenong Ranges Choir also performed in the afternoon with members from the Hawthorn and Camberwell choirs as well. Approximately 25 - 50 people were performing and many family and friends attended.

OUR WEB DOMAIN NAME
After several meetings with council about the transfer of the FELP owned Commercial web domain name to Council.   It is still not clear what is the real purpose of such a change.   Many parks worldwide allow their friends groups to administer both park promotion and friends group awareness and registration through linked sites.   Also the indecison and waffling about the desireability of specific domain names is overwhelming.   It seems that only when FELP acquire a domain name does it suddenly become essential for Council to own.   At present there are two remaining "Commercial" domain names available in the market.   emeraldlakepark.net and emeraldlakepark.net.au.   The Council currently have no interest in either of these legitimate domains.   The former is available to anyone at all worldwide, the latter is subject to rules for which an entity such as "the Friends of Emerald Lake Park" or "Emerald Lake Park inc." would comply.   I am certian that should the friends also acquire these domains they would then suddenly become desired by Business Management.   This is exactly the situation regarding the domain emeraldlakepark.com which was suggested as an alternative to Council some 3 months ago.   This name was seemingly of no interest and was left freely available to any individual worldwide until recently when pushed for a decision.


The reason given is that the names .com and .com.au are too similar and confusion will arise.   Let me make this quite clear there will be no confusion possible when the visitors access the new pages, with the Friends clearly identified.   Cross linking will be clear and immediate between domains to minimise inconvenience to visitors. The "official" Emerald Lake Park web site is currently under construction by the Councils capable Amy Cumming.   With the expectation that a transfer of the domain name should occur when these are completed to our mutual satisfaction.   Frankly the changing of domains is not worth the effort, disruption and confusion it will create.   In the spirit of cooperation might I suggest that Council acquire the names emeraldlakepark.net and emeraldlakepark.net.au for the "official" site.   So far the FELP site has had 3142 visitors through the front page since the 9th April 2002 start.   Actual visits could be two or three times this number? So the value of our site far exceeds the cost of these domain names let alone the visitor disruption a change will cause.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE PARK

Fungi
Its fungi season again and a wide variety of mushrooms and other species are beginning to sprout this season.

Visitors
Now that the fire threat has subsided, Visitor numbers have picked up again.   Although a little late in the season, good attendance should extend beyond Easter to early May and the Great train race.

Environment Center
The Environment Center has had an overhaul and paint job done as part of the work Groups activities.   It is looking great and plans for reorganising the display panels for greater flexibility and suitability are in process.   It is hoped that greater use of this facility for small conferences and other activities will result from this effort.

Water Play facilities
All water play including the Water Slide have now closed for the year.   Pool facilities for the Summer was a popular topic at the Emerald Forum recently.   It is hoped that next season will be extended by opening earlier and encouraging School groups to visit before their break up.   I have had some dissapointed Grand Parents complain that the pool wasn't open at times this season when their young grand children wished to use it.   I think it should be noted that being a wading pool it caters for pre school children as well as pre teenage school children.   A section of the fence was broken several times this season but new uprights have now been fitted and so it should be solid again.

Amphitheatre Repairs
The Carl Stemp and Gus Ryberg Amphitheatres have had some repairs done by the jobs progam working group.   Several sleepers and uprights have been replaced and a general tidy up has given them a much needed cared for look.

Autumn Colors
Right on time each year and again this season one little Japanese Maple reaches full color on the 1st of May.   This one can be seen at the trails meeting of Lake Tribulation (Nobelius).   When the sun hits this it glows a brilliant red.   It looks like it is on fire against the background of dark green.   This only lasts about a week so you need to be quick, aim for 10am with the sun shining.
    Many other colors can be seen at present with a vast carpets of autumn leaves on the ground.   Come visit, stretch your legs and take a walk arround the two lakes, for a worthwhile view.

PLANTINGS IN APRIL
Shrubs purchased by FELP and planted in the Baker garden (beside the model railway path) and the Model Railway garden in April.

3 Brachysome Daisy
3 Alongyne Blue
3 Boronia Mulleri
2 Grevillea Samperflorens
6 Prostanthera Tubes
5 Crowea Saligna
    Large flowered form.

3 Crowea dwarf form.
3 Grevillea Lonigera
   Mt Tambourithe
2 Ozothermnus
    Diosmifolium
3 Erostemon

WORKING BEES 2003.
More plantings this Saturday of native shrubs purchased from local nurseries.   Some weeding of Montbretia has been done but there is more to go.   Leaf collection and mulching, material is available.


WORKING BEE DATES - 2hours only.

    April
        Saturday 5th. 9.00am
        Sunday 13th. 9.00am
        Thursday 17th. 1.30pm

    May
        Saturday 3rd. 9.00am
        Sunday 11th. Mothers Day
        Thursday 15th. 1.30pm

    June 2003
        Saturday 7th. 9.00am
        Sunday 15th. 9.00am
        Thursday 19th. 1.30pm

    July
        Saturday 5th.
        Sunday 13th.
        Thursday 17th.

    August
        Saturday 2nd.
        Sunday 10th.
        Thursday 21st.

    September
        Saturday 6th.
        Sunday 14th.
        Thursday 18th.

WORKING BEE PRIORITIES
Much work is being done by the constant efforts of the Community Jobs Team so the friends will be able to concentrate more on helping to keep the gardens tidy and seasonal mulching.   So far we have not made use of the compost that has been generated from two years of Autumn leaf collection.   This will require some co-operative help with transport to site by the parks officers if it is to be made use of.

THE NEXT FELP MEETING.
The next FELP meeting, will be held on Sunday 15th June at 11.15am in the Environment Center or nearby open air after the Working Bee.