Merri Creek Management Committee

IMG 2167Even though it’s been raining a lot lately, being out in nature doesn’t need to be a washout. Young families proved this when heavy rain fell at MCMC's most recent Nature Play event at Hall Reserve in Clifton Hill on late November. Parents and children came in their gumboots and raincoats, umbrellas in hand, and had a great time stomping in puddles, checking the high water level in the Merri Creek, spotting Tawny frogmouths and Kookaburras, collecting waterbugs and insects and meeting a local Spotted Marsh Frog.
The bushland at Hall Reserve is really taking off and providing important habitat to local birds, reptiles and frogs.

new WW recruits on the Darebin CreekIt should not come as a surprise that MCMC's Waterwatch Program is focussed on Merri Creek. But did you know we extend beyond the Merri? With assistance from some of our member Councils we support activities and community monitors on nearby waterways such as Darebin Creek and Moonee Ponds Creek. 

In late October we ran an event to recruit and train Waterwatch monitors for Darebin Creek. After an introduction to the site, close to Northland Shopping Centre, participants were trained in taking and analysing water samples - from the creek itself and from a drain outfall. One of the enthusiastic participants wrote an inspiring account of the day - see it below.

Angela Foley Dave Wandin in conversationA recent evening event looked at intercultural cooperation and being careful together on Wurundjeri Country. Uncle Dave Wandin, from the Wurundjeri Tribe Land Compensation & Cultural Heritage Council, and MCMC’s Special Engagement Programs Coordinator, Angela Foley, were in conversation at the Institute of Postcolonial Studies. Uncle Dave and Angela referred to many places of connection over ten years of projects on Wurundjeri Country and in particular, projects focussed on the confluence of Merri Creek and the Yarra River (Birrarung), for example the Merri-Yarra Biik project. The conversation was facilitated by Prof Libby Porter from RMIT University. 

A current Wurundjeri - MCMC partnership project continues the focus on the Merri-Yarra confluence. It is supported by a three year grant from the City of Yarra’s Investing in Community Grants, with the first year close to completion. 

Brunswick North studentsWhether it has been playing the part of a local animal or a plant being eaten in a food web, discovering more about the local custodians of the Merri Creek catchment, or getting wet testing water, Brunswick North Primary School Grade 3/4 students (photo left) have been actively involved in learning more about their local Merri Creek this year. Teacher Emma Beale, along with other 3/4 Teachers, have worked successfully with Merri Creek Management Committee to link curriculum requirements with citizen science. Learning about local places uses a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) approach. These education sessions were funded by the City of Moreland.

In contrast to the good news that Moreland Council is buying land for the Merri Creek corridor, it's hugely disappointing to report that Melbourne Water is planning to sell off Merri Creek land, land designated part of the Merri Creek Marran Baba Parklands. This 'surplus' land, at the rear of an industrial property in Trawalla Ave, Thomastown, is part of an original floodplain reserve owned by Melbourne Water. Over a number of years it was improperly occupied, filled and built on by the adjacent landowners, previous and current. Despite its modified conditon there is no reason it can't be ecologically restored, as has been achieved for many formerly degraded areas along Merri Creek.

Group on Meander without RayOn Saturday 22 September, an enthusiastic group of people came together for a guided meander along Edgars Creek in North Epping, organised by Joanna Durst, who coordinates the Friends of Growlers Grasslands (FroGG) group. The gorgeous spring weather added to the pleasure of discovering the ephemeral wetlands and constructed ponds along Edgars Creek. The bees were humming and frogs called loudly, while the participants considered possible future actions to involve the community and to keep an eye on local indigenous biodiversity opportunities for FroGG to lead. If you're interested, why not follow the FroGG group on facebook.

st albans handweed around SpinersMerri Creek Management Committee’s (MCMC) ecological restoration expertise is widely sought. We were recently selected by Metro Trains Melbourne as a preferred contractor to manage biosites throughout Melbourne’s train network. Biosites are sections of the rail reserve which host significant remnant vegetation and protect threatened flora and fauna species. 

During 2018-19 our Ecological Restoration Team will manage and restore indigenous vegetation at 21 separate biosites covering a range of different vegetation types from the grasslands of Sunbury to the swamps of Pakenham. This follows on from recent work by MCMC for Metro Trains at nine metropolitan biosites, and management of rail-side vegetation for other clients including VicRoads, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Level Crossing Removal Project. This recognition is testament to MCMC’s skill, expertise and efficiency in the management of sensitive vegetation remnants.

Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining a quote for our Ecological Restoration Services.

Waterwatch training groupCitizen Science is a phrase that’s bandied about a lot at the moment. You might think it’s a new activity but it's not. Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has been at the forefront of citizen science water quality monitoring. As early as 1992 we initiated a citizen science program that involved local schools in water quality monitoring of Merri Creek.

By 2017/18 MCMC's Waterwatch program had consolidated to support  30 volunteer monitors at 15 regular monitoring sites. In 2017/18 we also educated around 2,000 students at more than 20 educational organisations (from early years up to tertiary level) on waterway health. The data from our monitoring sites is lodged via the Waterwatch Victoria online data portal and is used by EPA Victoria for their Annual Report card of waterway health

IMG 1753National Threatened Species Day walk at GaladaOver 50 participants attended two Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) events on National Threatened Species Day, 7 September.  This is an annual day to highlight the plight of endangered plants and animals.

At the Whittlesea Public Gardens in  Lalor children and adults alike enjoyed Nature Play activities such as waterbug discovery and meeting a local Spotted Marsh Frog. From the Gardens, a Discover Grasslands Walk took participants on a guided walk to nearby Galada Tamboore, a culturally significant area for the Wurundjeri, and for its geology, geomorphology, plants and animals.  Thank you to the City of Whittlesea for supporting these events. Read more to see participants' feedback and other information. 

WW2 Dec 17Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) is delighted to renew our partnership with Melbourne Water for delivery of Waterwatch for 2018-19. This agreement covers services for the Merri and Moonee Ponds Creeks and the lower Yarra River. Activities include supporting community Waterwatch monitors, running community Frog events, running WaterWatch training for community monitors and providing ALT(waterbug) surveys for trained community members.

If you're interested in getting involved, please contact our Waterwatch Coordinator, Julia Cirillo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  ph. 9380-8199