Would you like to do something about the litter that gathers along the Edgars and Merri Creeks after rainfall? In 2018, twenty-nine volunteer cleanup events were held (that we know of) with 460 people contributing to this massive effort. In 2019 thirty three events were held with over 400 participants. In 2020 we are hoping for even more.
Friends of Merri Creek encourages community litter cleanups on creeks in the Merri catchment, but wants to make sure that this is done safely. See Friends of Merri Creek community litter collections page. The Friends also need your help to collect information on the type and amount of litter entering the creeks, with the aim of tracing it to its source and planning to prevent further litter from reaching the creeks.
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.
Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) recently farewelled two of our longest-serving staff members.
In January 2019, Katrina Roberg (right) resigned from her position as Manager of our Ecological Restoration Program (formerly Parkland Management Program) after 13 years. A month earlier, Brian Bainbridge (left) said farewell after 21 years with MCMC. He resigned from his substantive position as Ecological Restoration Planner in early 2018 but stayed on for the rest of the year for one day per week.
Merri Creek Management Committee staff and visitors were amazed to see a Little Button Quail in the native grassland garden at the front of MCMC's office in East Brunswick on 18 January 2019 (photo left). This species is usually associated with more inland grasslands. Its presence, even only for a couple of days, clearly shows the value of planting indigenous plants in suburban gardens.
Around the same time in January a number of people reported hearing the distinctive call of a lone male Eastern Whipbird in nearby Merri Park, Northcote and across Merri Creek in Phillips Reserve south of Blyth St in Brunswick East. It was heard by the Friends of Merri Creek bird surveyers in mid February and was still calling in mid March. Whip Birds are usually associated with wet habitats, including rainforest, eucalypt forest and dense scrub near watercourses along the coastal band of Eastern Australia.
Even 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.
A 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.
Whether 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.
On 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.
Merri 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.