Merri Creek Management Committee

Yellow Ochre butterflyIn 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.

Merri Park Wetland planting May 2014Along 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.

PascoeValeGirls in Fawkner with Bikes in RainYear 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.

Habitat Heroes SkinartWe recently completed the second year of our fabulous Habitat Heroes project on Merri Creek in Fawkner. Eight community events were held including a community planting with 78 attendees, regular bird surveys, a threatened species talk at the Fawkner Library, and field excursions with students from Pascoe Vale Girls Secondary College and Fawkner’s Darul Ulum Girls' School. All of this great work was supported by a grant the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. 

 

Plains Yam Daisy in cageMCMC has cracked some of the Plains Yam Daisy’s ‘lifecycle code’, expanded its Merri Creek populations and prepared the way for others to follow.
We learnt that on the Merri Creek:
•    plants go dormant during late summer dry periods and regrow rapidly following fires and autumn rains;
•    flowers and seed are mainly produced in autumn with a second flowering peak in early summer;
•    plants are generally short lived in cultivation but appear to have an indefinite lifespan in the wild; and
•    seedlings germinate rapidly following autumn rains when they are vulnerable to slugs and trampling by kangaroos but that copper tape barriers and chicken wire cages are an effective protection.

Download the full details here.

MCMC has produced a new leaflet on responsible dog ownership as part of a bushland restoration project based in Preston and Thornbury - funded by Melbourne Water Community Grants. The leaflet outlines how dogs can be managed along the Merri Creek in ways that support local wildlife and ensure that volunteers and park workers can avoid the ‘yuk’ factor.