Merri Creek Management Committee

Top Ten plants for a local indigenous gardenCommon bluebell small

Are you keen to have indigenous plants in your garden and to contribute to local biodiversity of the Merri?  Here are our top ten plants.  We've chosen them because of their:

  • attractive foliage, form and flower
  • ease of cultivation
  • adaptability to a wide range of conditions
  • size - none are too large or wide for a small garden
  • good value for attracting wildlife
  • ready cultivation by seed, cutting or division

The links below will open on individual plant profiles at the Indigenous Flora and Fauna Association website.

The Ecological Restoration Team

The Ecological Restoration Team manages and restores native vegetation along Merri Creek. Team members are native vegetation management practitioners who generally have qualifications in natural resource management or a related environmental field.

Key Tasks and the volunteering day

The focus of the teams' work is regeneration and restoration of indigenous vegetation, generally within public parklands. Works typically involve weed control (manual and chemical treatments) and planting (during autumn and winter), as well as other related activities such as litter removal, fencing, pruning and trail maintenance. On a day-to-day basis, the team usually works in groups of three to four staff, beginning the day at our works depot (2 Lee St Brunswick East). We start early and work all day in the field, usually quite strenuously.

The volunteer experience with the Ecological Restoration Team is most suited to students and graduates in a natural resource management related field. We also encourage those who would like to 'try out' their interest in this field of work, or those from other industries who would like to gain an insight into our work, or want to contribute to the Merri Creek's restoration. We try to be flexible to accommodate volunteers' needs; however flexibility and capacity to host volunteers may be limited at times because we have to meet our workplace commitments.

Below is an outline of the day-to-day operation of the team, what we provide and what volunteers need to bring along.

Congratulations to the Friends of Merri Creek, for gaining a $20,000 grant from the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA toKalkallo stony knoll restore critically endangered volcanic plains grassland in Kalkallo. The project: Stages in Restoration - Stony Knolls in Kalkallo aims to re-establish shrubs and continue weed control on areas of stony knolls in Kalkallo, where woody weeds have already been removed. It will also establish an access track that will also serve as a fire break, and continue woody weed removal effort along the eastern boundary of Donnybrook Cemetery. Merri Creek Management Committee is assisting the Friends in the delivery of this project in 2014-15.

Fifty-two species of indigenous plants have been identified at this Kalkallo Common Stony knoll project site. These include species that are rare in the Merri Creek valley, such as Slender Tick-trefoil, and Common Bronzewing Pigeon, which is not a common bird around here! Much of this rare remnant of stony knoll vegetation is still being smothered by dense thickets of Gorse and other woody weeds. This grant will enable the indigenous vegetation to be set free.

There’s a community planting scheduled for 22 June 2014 (see events calendar on lower left of page for details).

- the Ngarri-djarrang (Central Creek) example
Brian Bainbridge March 2009

Summary and introductory information

The State significant Ngarri-djarrang[1] Grassland Reserve covers approximately nine hectares of remnant volcanic plain grassland[2] to the east of Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir, Victoria, Australia. Threatened by weed invasion, adhoc biomass reduction and uncontrolled access, restorationof this site has been an ongoing commitment of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) since 1993.

Highly commended ecological restoration project by Global Restoration Network

The catchment-scale restoration of Merri Creek by Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has been selected in the 'Highly Commended - Projects with Potential for Biodiversity Research Partnerships' category in the Ecological Management and Restoration Journal’s search for the ‘Top 20’ ecological restoration projects in Australasia.

For the project nomination we prepared a report on our experience of restoring a native grassland in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir. The report Restoring a Native Grassland community – the Ngarri djarrang (Central Creek) example illustrates the ecological restoration work we undertake.

Download the Ngarri-djarrang Restoration report (pdf)

Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Central Creek GrasslandLocation

This 9ha grassland is located along Central Creek, a tributary of Merri Creek, in Reservoir, Victoria and now officially has the Wurundjeri name Ngarri-djarrang, meaning "thigh." (It is one of four grassland sites along Merri Creek that together form a proposed Parks Victoria park to be called Marran Baba, or "body of the mother.") 

Ecological Communities

Partially intact or small stands – Kangaroo Grass plains grassland (23.2 Central Creek).
Remnant, degraded or establishing stands – Kangaroo Grass stony knoll grassland (22.1; Central Creek)
Remnant of Plains Grassland, Stony Knoll Grassland and Grassy Wetland


112 indigenous species have been identified on the site, including nationally significant Short-fruit Water Starwort, Callitriche brachycarpa and Matted Flax-lily, Dianella amoena and State significant Rye Beetle-grass, Tripogon lolliformis. Short Sword-sedge, Lepidosperma curtisae on the site is believed to be of State significance (Robinson and Morgan 1997).