Merri Creek Management Committee

Brunswick North West Primary School students gather around a symbolic blue dripIn October 2015, Brunswick North West Primary School students celebrated their water project supported by MCMC and a State Government grant: Melbourne’s water: Proactive from Brunswick, in their thriving new indigenous garden by thinking about how water works at school around a symbolic blue drip.

 Bunjil carving at Thornbury Primary School indigenous gardenWurundjeri Elder, Uncle Perry Wandin, and his daughter Renee created a fabulous contribution to Thornbury Primary School’s new Woiwurrung indigenous garden by carving Bunjil high up into the 3 metre tall tree stump in October 2015. MCMC facilitated the carving and organised the indigenous garden as part of our Learning Grounds program.

GSM female

The results of Merri Creek Management Committee's (MCMC) 2014-15 Golden Sun Moth survey are now available. The surveys were conducted at Bababi Marning (Cooper Street Grassland), which is a native grassland reserve adjacent to Merri Creek in Campbellfield.

Since 2012 a Communities for Nature Grant has allowed MCMC to conduct annual Golden Sun Moth searches and vegetation surveys to help us understand how to protect the habitat of this critically endangered, day-flying moth. See the report summarising the survey results here.

brunswick North West Primary siteBrunswick North West Primary School is working closely with MCMC on a new water-focused plan. Together, we aim to improve some decrepit property at the northern boundary of the school and to re-landscape an area above Melville Main Drain (ex-Melville Creek), which will include planting of over 3,000 indigenous plants. This integrated water cycle project is funded by the Victorian Government. If you’re interested in this project, contact Angela Foley: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Merri Creek upstream from Blyth St on 2 12 17The heavy rain from Friday 1st to Monday 4th December 2017 brought floods to many parts of Victoria and although Merri Creek wasn't badly hit, the creek was still high and flowing fast - as shown in this photo looking upstream from Blyth St, Brunswick East on Saturday 2nd December. As is now usual following high flow events in the Merri catchment, the creek turned a distinct muddy colour and has carried lots of litter downstream. 

Fawkner Primary School students at Merri CreekFawkner Primary School hit the ground running with early excursions in February to Merri Creek. Students explored the life cycles of indigenous animals such as the Spotted Marsh Frog, the Short Finned Eel and the Damselfly. They became acquainted with indigenous plants along the way, through sketching and printing with our local plants.  The activities were funded through Moreland Council’s annual contribution to MCMC.
If your school is interested in similar excursions and activities, please let us know This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - also see the excursions/activities page.

WW2 Dec 17For the past two years, Melbourne Water and MCMC's Waterwatch program have been training keen community members to collect and identify waterbugs in order to assess the health of Merri CreekThis citizen science project, which is open to anyone, helps provide a picture of the comparative health of Merri Creek and a basis for future actions to improve the condition of the waterway. In 2017 MCMC ran five waterbug sampling and identification sessions with a total of 26 participants on five sites on the Merri Creek. The collated results showed that the lower, urbanised reaches of the Merri Creek only support waterbugs that are tolerant of pollution. Things are a little better in the upper reaches, north of Epping where some of the sensitive waterbugs, less tolerant of pollution, are found  (See table of waterbug pollution sensitivity in Read More section)

Thornbury Primary School is building on its Woiwurrung language education program with a new master plan for indigenous revegetation in their school grounds. Their successful Communities for Nature grant application in 2014, supported by MCMC, will see the school community involved in replacing some concrete and bitumen with indigenous plants.  MCMC’s involvement is also supported through Darebin Council’s annual contribution to MCMC.  
If your school is interested in developing indigenous gardens, please contact us.  Check out more on this here

After the success of 2014’s projects in Reservoir and Northcote, MCMC and Friends of Merri Creek have received almost $60,000 for new bushland restoration and community plantings along Merri Creek in Northcote, Thornbury, Preston and Reservoir:
A $20,000 Melbourne Water Community Grant will establish low growing vegetation along Merri Creek, between Normanby Pde Thornbury and Kendall St Preston. The project, Addressing threats to urban habitat on Merri Creek, will protect and enhance rare vegetation that was re-established gradually over 25 years and encourage adherence to dogs-on-lead areas to support local wildlife. In parts of this narrow urban stretch, the habitat widens around Strettle Wetland and Tate and Egan Reserve. This area now supports uncommon birds such as the Nankeen Night Heron and Banded Rail.
Another $20,000 Melbourne Water Community Grant has funded Friends of Merri Creek for the project, Koonda Lat is where it’s at, to control weeds, restore habitat and engage the new residents of nearby apartments near the Koonda Lat bridge on the shared path in Northcote. The Friends hope to involve new residents of the area in the community planting scheduled for 16 August.
A $19,993 National Landcare Program 25th anniversary grant will build the resilience of Reservoir’s 9 Hectare Native Grassland, Ngarri-djarrang. The project, RRR: Community Restores Resilience, involves an ecological burn, weed control, and a community planting. This planting will extend the cover of grassland over a currently weed dominated area.

The Wurundjeri Tribe Council has also contracted us to do some revegetation works at the important archaeological site, Sunbury rings, funded by the National Landcare Program 25th anniversary grants. Besides revegetation, we’ll also be managing weeds and mapping weeds of National Significance.

Plains Yam DaisyThe story of the Plains Yam Daisy links us to thousands of years of this land’s traditional custodianship and to conservation challenges facing current and future generations. In May 2014, a community survey added another line to this story.

For thousands of years, the daisy’s sweet, fat roots were a staple food for local Aboriginal people. The abundance of Yam Daisy reported by early European explorers seems likely the result of the careful tending of the land to sustain important foodplants.

The introduction of sheep in 1835 broke this age-old relationship. On the grassy plains around Melbourne, the flocks ate the daisies and then dug up and ate the roots. Within a few years the daisy was decimated. Detailed knowledge around this plant disappeared along with the forced removal of Aboriginal people from their land, their language and their traditional way of life. 

The lost Aboriginal knowledge might have shed light on the botanical puzzle facing scientists in the second half of the twentieth century. Since 1800, different forms of yam daisy had been collected and named from different parts of the landscape in Australia and New Zealand. In the 1970s, when fresh collections of plants were made, it was discovered that a skinny-flowered kind once found across the basalt plains north and west of Melbourne was now extremely rare …and, it was getting rarer.