Citizen 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.
Over 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.
Merri 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.
We congratulate our member group, Friends of Merri Creek, on gaining the following grants. Merri Creek Managment Committee staff assisted the Friends with the grant applications, using our extensive ecological, community and project management knowledge.
$21,635 from Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority for the project: Returning and Re-learning: bringing cultural burns and locally rare plants back to Fawkner grasslands. This project aims to return Traditional Owner management knowledge and rare plant species to Bababi Djinanang native grassland by Merri Creek in Fawkner.
$8,800 from Moreland City Council Arts Activation Grant program for the Merri Murnong group's Murnong Harvest 2018 by Merri Creek in Coburg. The Merri Murnong group is a sub-group of the Friends of Merri Creek.
$3,500 from Darebin City Council for the Friends of Merri Park project to plant Climate Change adapted plants in Merri Park Wetland, Northcote. The Friends of Merri Park is a sub-group of the Friends of Merri Creek.
$500 from Parks Victoria for buckets, gloves, geared loppers, flexi-tubs, and safety glasses for woody weed removal at Bababi Marning native grassland near Cooper St, Campbellfield.
After Moreland Council's success in negotiating the purchase of VicRoads' land at McBryde St Fawkner, we are hopeful that VicRoads land at nearby Leonard St in Fawkner will also become permanent open space. This land is an integral part of the Merri Creek habitat and parkland corridor. If it is not acquired by Council for open space, it will be sold off for residential development. Merri Creek Management Committee congratulates Moreland Council on its decision to pursue acquisition of this land. We share Council's frustration that it has to use ratepayer’s funds to purchase land from another level of government.
Close to 80 enthusiastic people turned up on a gorgeous sunny Autumn morning (on 17 March) to remove unsightly litter from the banks of the Merri Creek in East Brunswick and Northcote. After a safety induction, donning of gloves and a statement of purpose from the community organiser, Tara Patwardhan-Kalra, the volunteers got down to business. Because there was such a great turn-out of volunteers, a large area of the creek’s bank, the nearby Merri Park wetlands, and surrounding stormwater drains, were literally picked clean of litter! In four hours over 40 large bags of rubbish were collected, and bundled up neatly ready for collection by Council. About a quarter of this could have been recycled.
Timely action by Moreland Council has saved two critical parcels of land next to Merri Creek from residential development. Excellent campaigns from the local community, Friends of Merri Creek (FoMC), Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) and in Fawkner, the Fawkner Residents Association led to this result.
Council negotiated a successful offer for a parcel of VicRoads land at McBryde St Fawkner. This significant piece of land abuts Merri Creek and has been an effective part of the open space corridor for many years. Council also made a successful purchase on the open market of a prominent block of private land at 2 Spry St Coburg North, next to the Merri Creek Trail and Merri Creek.
Aitken Creek in Craigieburn was a hive of activity as Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) helped to implement the ‘Aitken Creek’s Living Pathways’ project in 2018. This Friends of Merri Creek project has established pathways for blue banded bees to pollinate endangered Matted Flax Lilys. We invite you to learn about and help take care of this magnificent tributary of Merri Creek habitat corridor. You can use the new interactive on line map to tour the creek from home. View the map in the browser on any web-connected device. Or download the mobile app from the Google Play Store with your Android device.
After almost 21 years, Brian Bainbridge, MCMC's Ecological Restoration Planner, has left us for a position as Biodiversity Officer with Hepburn Shire Council. This move enables Brian to work closer to where he now lives. Brian has amazing skills in identifying fauna and flora and is excellent at planning, analysing and communicating ecological restoration projects. He has discovered a number of rare species at Merri Creek sites, including Golden Sun Moths. However we haven't lost Brian's valuable contribution altogether as he's still working for us one day a week, helping out with a hand-over to Michael Longmore.
If you would like to help protect Merri Creek beyond your lifetime, please consider making a gift in your will to Merri Creek Management Committee. Your gift, large or small, will fund important projects which may not otherwise be possible.
We understand that making your will is a very personal matter and all bequest information is held in the utmost confidence.