It was boiling hot, then thundered with rain on the evening of 30 January, but nevertheless 30 participants enjoyed learning about the local ecology and pollution issues of Edgars Creek at Creeds Farm Living and Learning Centre in Epping North, while celebrating 25 years of Waterwatch in Victoria.
The event, Our home, our nearby nature around Edgars Creek, organised by the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC), featured activities for the kids, including skin art of the local animals that live in Edgars Creek, looking at live waterbugs and meeting a Spotted Marsh Frog. Participants enjoyed the a chance to network and the delicious food supplied by the City of Whittlesea.
A line up of presenters spoke about Edgars Creek in many contexts. Participants heard about the restoration work that the local community are putting into the creek from Joanna Durst, of Friends of Growlers Grasslands. Then Julia Cirillo, MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator, spoke about the current pollution issues in Edgars Creek, including elevated turbidity levels, and outlined citizen science programs people can get involved in, such as Waterwatch and Frog Census. Lastly, Suresh Bajracharya from Melbourne Water spoke of how the Edgars Creek pollution issues will be addressed holistically, through an approach known as Integrated Water Management (IWM). Currently an IWM plan is being developed as a pilot for the whole of the Upper Merri catchment.
The most important part of the evening was thanking Waterwatch volunteers for their commitments and to celebrate 25 years of Waterwatch. Friends of Merri Creek Stream Team Coordinator, Irene Baker, gave a fascinating presentation of water quality data and stories about why she has been involved in monitoring the Edgars and Merri Creeks for 15 years. To thank the volunteers and present them with gifts and certificates, we were gratefully aided by Andrew Giles MP, Federal Member for Scullin, Bronwyn Halfpenny MP, State Member for Thomastown, and Cr Laurence Cox, Mayor at the City of Whittlesea.
The event was funded by the Victorian Government (Waterwatch Victoria and Melbourne Water) with support from the City of Whittlesea.