News

Corrimal East and Tarrawanna students’ artistic skills were inspired by Towradgi tree vandalism

The students artwork on the Towradgi Park tree guards
The vandalism of a Norfolk Island Pine at Towradgi Park last September

LATE last year the local community was devastated by the tree vandalism of 12 Norfolk Island Pines in Towradgi Park.

The Norfolk Island Pines have since been replanted with protective fencing with signage from students sharing the importance of trees to the community.

Pictures featuring vivid splashes of green, red, blue and yellow dominate two large signs installed by Wollongong City Council in the park.

The two signs feature a total of 26 illustrations created by students from Corrimal East and Tarrawanna Public Schools that were inspired by last year’s tree vandalism incidents at Towradgi Park.

Council invited the students to create drawings and artworks that showed their thoughts on why it was important to have trees in public spaces. The original artworks feature on tree guards alongside Towradgi Park’s bike track.

Wollongong Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said the community was devastated by the loss of two Norfolk Island pines, which had been cut-down in a shocking act of tree vandalism as well as the suspected poisoning of another ten pines.

“The pines were only 10 years old and were much-loved by our community who valued their shade and natural beauty,” Cr Brandbery said.

“In response to this incident, Council has since replaced the vandalised trees with more Norfolk Island pine trees. We’ve also installed protective fencing around them to keep them safe while they grow.

“It’s true that any tree vandalism has an impact on everyone who uses and enjoys our public spaces. The decision to damage a tree takes away much needed shade, as well as impacting important habitats for local birds and animals.

“No one wins when someone decides to destroy a tree. The artwork created by students from two local primary schools does allow us to offer a positive and constructive channel for the outpouring of love, loss and sadness that this vandalism incident received from our community.”

If you’ve seen anyone vandalising a tree or plant, you can report it to Council online or contact the Police on 131 444.

Visit Council’s Urban Greening webpage for more information about greening the city, and how you can get involved.

What’s your thoughts on this story? Scroll down the page to have your say in the comments section.


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About Mick Roberts

A journalist, writer and historian, Mick Roberts specialises in Australian cultural history, particularly associated with the Australian hotel and liquor industry. Mick has had an interest in revealing the colourful story of pubs, inns and associated industries in Australia for over 30 years. He is currently working on a comprehensive history of the hotel and liquor industry in the Illawarra region of NSW. Besides writing a number of history books, Mick has owned and managed several community newspapers. He was one time editor of the Wollongong Northern News, The Bulli Times, The Northern Times, The Northern Leader and The Local - all located in the Wollongong region. As a journalist he has worked for Rural Press, Cumberland (News Limited), Sydney based, City News, and Torch Publications based in Canterbury Bankstown, NSW. He currently calls the inner-Sydney suburb of Surry Hills home.

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