In October, we helped organise students to release plastic bottles fitted with GPS devices into Merri Creek in Coburg, part of a collaborative project between RMIT University and Melbourne Water called Litter Trackers. The project aims to better understand the movement of litter in Melbourne’s waterways and raise awareness about the environmental impact of litter on our waterway health and marine and aquatic wildlife. Ninety five percent of the litter on Port Phillip Bay beaches comes from suburban streets transported through stormwater drains.
Four-year old children from Walker Street Community Kindergarten enjoyed nature play by Merri Creek at Hall Reserve in Clifton Hill in late July 2019, led by MCMC's Waterwatch Coordinator. The day began somewhat wet and windy, but many of the children wore gumboots and raincoats and enjoyed splashing through puddles and clambering through wet grass.
After a stroll to look at the height of the creek after rain and noticing how much rubbish was there, the children enjoyed looking for little creatures under leaf litter and bark, smelling eucalypt leaves, observing the growth of seedlings, and looking at waterbugs with magnifying glasses.
In 2019, staff from Intrepid Group participated in three different hands-on activities . After twice handweeding in East Brunswick earlier in the year, they planted over 500 small indigenous flowering plants (forbes) at Moomba Park, Fawkner in late July (photo left). These plants will help to link habitat and create a seed source for future rare plants along the Merri.
CSL Ltd staff planted shrubs and removed woody weeds at Galada Tamboore in early July 2019
as part of a bird habitat creation project funded MCMC's Merri Creek Environment Fund. They also helped out last year at a planting near Merri Creek in Fawkner, for a project funded by Melbourne Water.
Our sincere thanks to the Intrepid and CSL staff for their efforts If your corporate group would like to volunteer with MCMC, check out the information here and get in touch.
We partnered with Melbourne City Mission for a morning of activities along Merri Creek in Fawkner during the 2019 Easter School holidays. Activities included a walk and talk along the creek, looking for birds and other wildlife. A Swamp Wallaby was spotted on the banks of the Merri, we caught waterbugs from of the creek, tested the water (salinity and turbidity) and met a local Spotted Marsh Frog. Kids also had fun rolling down hills and climbing trees. The session finished with morning tea put on by Melbourne City Mission.
It 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 2018 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.