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.
During July 2017’s NAIDOC Week, Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di Kerr provided a Welcome to Country for the big group of 60 people who came to a special Murnong Encounters evening put on by MECCARG (Merri and Edgars Creeks Confluence Area Restoration Group). Murnong, or PlainsYam Daisy, was a staple food for Wurundjeri people and Aunty Di has been closely involved in the local MECCARG project to revive and celebrate this vital food plant.
The MECCARG community was very proud to have Dr Beth Gott (on left in photo) lead the evening with a detailed account of Murnong, based on her long and distinguished career as an ethnobotanist.
This flourishing indigenous garden, planted in 2015 at Brunswick North West Primary School and named Yakai Barring in Woiwurrung language (meaning ‘surprise track’), is full of educational opportunities. After two years growth, the Poa labillardieri (Common Tussock-grass) was quite abundant, so in May 2017 students in Grades 1 & 2 harvested it. They noted that the soft flower heads had already dropped their seed and could understand how Wurundjeri got clues from nature to know the seasons and the right time of year to collect seed. Later, the 125 students examined water bugs, gazed at toy dalai wurrung (playtypus) and iuk (short finned eel) and made detailed observational drawings.
On National Eucalypt Day 2017 Merri Creek Management Committee staff showed students from Collingwood College and Kangan Institute’s Gunung Willam Balluk the three Eucalypt trees at the Merri Yarra Confluence that were scarred by Wurundjeri in 2016. The new marks provide fresh significance for understanding this very special place. The schools' excursions were supported by funding from Eucalypt Australia.
The original Merri-Yarra Biik project was supported by a Partnering for Sustainability grant from the City of Yarra. The project is summarised as a case-study on the City of Yarra website (Go to success stories towards the bottom of the page). Photo: Wurundjeri Elder Uncle Colin Hunter Jnr. inspires students from Collingwood College as he shows the recently scarred trees, March 2017.
A new group of volunteers will now be working on the last Wednesday morning of each month to help care for Merri Creek. You too can be part of it . No skills required, just a willingness to work!
The group will work with skilled Merri Creek Management Committee staff to undertake a range of tasks.
Depending on the time of year, activities could include:
|29 Feb 2020;|
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Frogs and Dogs at Glenroy Library
|01 Mar 2020;|
02:00PM - 03:30PM
Streamteam Water Quality Testing - Fitzroy North - Friends of Merri Creek
|07 Mar 2020;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Friends of Merri Park Litter Clean-up
|08 Mar 2020;|
10:00AM - 12:00PM
Litter Clean Up – Coburg - Friends of Merri Creek
|15 Mar 2020;|
10:00AM - 12:30PM
Woody Weed Whacking, Bababi Marning #1 in 2020 - Friends of Merri Creek
|15 Mar 2020;|
11:00AM - 05:00PM
Waterwatch stall at the Whittlesea Community Festival