Merri Creek Management Committee

BBB plantingIn early 2017 the Friends of Merri Creek was awarded a Community Grant from Melbourne Water to establish new populations of endangered Matted Flax-lily (Dainella amoena) along Merri Creek in Reservoir. The project was rolled out with signiticant assistance from Merri Creek Management Committee. Five new populations were established to link three nearby fragmented remnant populations of the species and to providea crucial stepping stone for the Matted Flax-lily's native pollinator, the Blue Banded Bee. Fifty-five volunteers helped to plant 1600 indigenous plants, including rare wildflowers, that will help control weeds and provide habitat for local fauna and pollination partners for rare wildflowers.

See the photo story of the completed grant, showing before and after photos - here.

Big River understorey establishingMerri Creek Management Committee recently completed work on the Big River Project in partnership with Collingwood Children’s Farm. This involved a 1km stretch of vegetation along the edge of the Yarra River in Abbotsford, controlling high threat weeds such as Pampas Lily of the Valley and Wandering Tradescantia. With the help of some wonderful volunteers, over one thousand understorey and mid-storey plants were added to the site, providing much needed stabilisation and biodiversity to the river bank. See the before and after photos here. The project was funded by a Melbourne Water Community Grant.

We hope for another successful grant application in 2019, so we can continue this restoration work in partnership with the Collingwood Children's Farm. (Photo: Indigenous understorey of Tussock Grass and Hop Goodenia establishing on the Yarra River bank.)

South African Weed Orchid editedWebMCMC congratulates Friends of Merri Creek for obtaining a $23,242 Community Grant from Port Phillip & Western Port Catchment Management Authority to control the highly invasive South African Weed Orchid (Disa bracteata). The grant will support Friends of Merri Creek’s fledgling Special Weed Orchid Terminator volunteers to continue their weed control work. Along with MCMC staff expertise, the Darebin Council's Green Army team’s enthusiasm, and the methodical surveys of volunteer Andrew Kuhlmann, SWOT systematically searched 80% of Ngarri-djarrang grassland in 2017, and removed over 1,500 Weed Orchids.

Laffan woody weed removal smallMCMC recently completed two 18-month projects along the Merri’s middle reaches, both funded through Melbourne Water grants. The Loving Laffan project saw MCMC take on the Weed of National Significance, Gorse (Ulex europeaus), along a one kilometre stretch of Merri Creek south of Laffan Reserve in Craigieburn North. Dense infestations were controlled along several hectares of endangered Escarpment Shrubland vegetation. The planting of 200 indigenous shrubs restored some of the habitat values that had been provided by the Gorse. Hume City Council’s Bushland Management Team assisted MCMC staff in this physically demanding task. During this work we discovered a previously unrecorded population of the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth and a population of Emu Foot (Cullex tenax), an endangered pea not seen locally in over a decade. 

The second project Merri Models saw MCMC restore endangered Creekline Tussock Grassland at Craigieburn’s Rushwood Drive Reserve

Horsefields Bronze CuckooMCMC has kept a record book of flora and fauna sightings since 1997 with our own staff being key contributors to this. The current (third) volume began in 2004 and is almost full. These records are useful when reviewing the success of restoration in providing habitat. They can reveal whether wildlife is just passing through or whether it is significantly supported by the landscape. Some of the detailed notes from Spring and Summer 2017 provide valuable insights to this process.

Resin Bee males croppedLessons from a suburban front yard:  
Over summer, a fascinating array of insect life visited the wildlife garden at the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) depot in East Brunswick. Their presence in the garden illustrates some valuable principles of wildlife gardening. See the pdf article.

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