Merri Creek Preston - once surrounded by majestic trees, diverse aquatic vegetation and a chorus of frog calls. It may have looked like this prior to European settlement. Actual Photo: Merri Creek at Cooper St, Epping
Uncover a creek where majestic trees were removed for fuel.
Which became more valued for its ability to satisfy a cow’s thirst. Where grazing led to erosion and the collapse of aquatic food chains.
Uncover a creek where rubbish was dumped. Where runoff from urban streets was directed to drain away to the bay.
Uncover a creek where alien trees and weeds were encouraged to grow, crowding out the gums and rushes and water plants.
The Merri grew to be despised, dangerous and unloved.
To recover the Merri Creek has taken the vision and passion of the community and the cooperation of residents, councils, governments and utilities.
The willows and weeds have been replaced with indigenous (local native) creekside plants that attract native wildlife.
Major effort has been needed to stop pollution and rubbish entering the creek and to avoid roads and buildings from crowding out the floodplain.
Paths and parks allow people to recover the pleasure of the Merri as it ripples through its rocks.
We thus recover respect for the creek and for ourselves as creek custodians.
We discover that ongoing work is needed to ensure plantings survive and thrive in a changing world.
We discover that the litter in the creek comes from the streets and the drains. By keeping our streets clean, we help keep the Merri clean.
We discover that we can help nature by keeping to paths and respecting wildlife in its habitat. When we slow down, we discover that we are a part of this restoration of nature.