Reservoir's endangered Matted Flax-lilies (Dianella amoena) received a boost through a $20,000 Melbourne Water Community Grant awarded to Merri Creek Management Committee. The 2017 project 'Blue Banded Bees Bridging Brex, Broadhurst and BT Connor' saw three Merri Creek sites in Reservoir planted with dense patches of flowering understorey plants to attract the Flax-lilies' primary pollinator, the Blue Banded Bee. Additional Flax-lilies were planted to augment small isolated populations and to create new pollination 'stepping stone' patches.
The Friends of Merri Creek and MCMC held our first Wild Pollinator Count on 13 November, funded by donors to the Help the Blue-banded Bee campaign and the Victorian Government.
MCMC’s Brian Bainbridge pointed out the planting sites in 2017 around Bababi Djinanang in Fawkner, placed a ‘bee hotel’ in the grassland and explained how to do a pollinator count. Participants can now submit their own data to the National Pollinator Count which aims to understand more about the thousands of native pollinator species.
The project’s ‘Blue Banded Bee Band’ gig, supported by high profile local musicians, attracted lots of interest and an article in The Guardian. Read more.
In November 2016 MCMC’s Ecological Restoration Planner, Brian Bainbridge, discovered a butterfly only known from a handful of sites in Victoria! The Yellow Ochre Butterfly Trapezites lutea, sometimes called the Rare White-spot Skipper, doesn’t travel far and is probably breeding on Wattle-mat Rush, Lomandra filiformis. It was seen at Heathcote Junction while MCMC staff were re-establishing native grasses after disturbance from a pipeline project. This is 20 kilometres from the nearest record for the Yellow Ochre Butterfly in Broadford. Read more.
Along with organisations from across Australia, Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) contributed to the development of the new National Standards for Ecological Restoration. In late July2016, MCMC’s Ecological Restoration Planner, Brian Bainbridge, presented a paper at the launch of the Standards at a conference of Australian Association of Bush Regenerators in Sydney. We used 'before' and 'after' photos from the newly digitised MCMC image collection to show how MCMC has applied the six Principles of the Standards to 30 years of restoration of sites along the Merri.
Read more here.
Year 10 Outdoor and Environmental Studies students from Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary College braved blustery winter conditions, cycling from school to Merri Creek in Fawkner, to join MCMC staff inn exploring habitat values and contributing some hands on work to revegetation. This was part of MCMC's Habitat Heroes project, generously funded by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust.
After the the excursion, student Tarryn Clancy wrote to us:
“On Friday 17th June, the girls from Pascoe Vale Girls’, Outdoor Environmental Studies class had the opportunity to learn about the environment along Merri creek. We took the opportunity to prepare for our next bike riding camp and rode to and from the Merri creek where we met the wonderful staff from the Merri Creek Management Committee.
While planting native plants, we discussed the effects different plants and animals have on the environment.
The Merri Creek team were kind enough to teach us the effects we are having on the land. We were also able to learn how to test the clarity of water and what it means when the water in our creeks, streams and rivers are not clear. We also learnt how to properly plant trees and when the right time was to let them grow out without the protective guards around them. We now know how to make sure that we always have healthy outdoor environments like the Merri Creek because they are so important to Australian food webs and ecosystems.
It was a very special day and even though it rained on us, we all learned so much. We would like to say a big thank you to the Merri Creek Management Committee for your teaching us the importance of maintaining different ecosystems and making the day fun and interesting."
Our sincere thanks to the students for their enthusiastic assistance.