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Merri e-News - December 2019

Merri e-News - December 2019
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Merri E-News


Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)

Unique 'Merri' Christmas cards

PardoloteFlame Robin Merri Christmas card 2018Merri Christmas card 2019Our volunteer Christmas Card Working Group has produced some stunning 'Merri Christmas' cards featuring the Spotted Pardalote, the Flame Robin and the Sacred Kingfisher. These are three of the many bird species that  live along Merri Creek. Funds from the sale of these cards will be used for ecological restoration projects along the creek - $5 each or ten cards for $40. Order form here. 

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'Creek Life' reprinted

Creek Life coverWe have reprinted our popular full colour book, Creek Life: Flora & Fauna of the Merri Creek Valley. This is the story of a Sacred Kingfisher's journey to find a home, traversing 13 flora and fauna communities along Merri Creek. It features beautiful illustrations by former MCMC staffer, Brian Bainbridge, along with evocative descriptions of the communities. 

It's available for $20 at the MCMC office, 2 Lee St Brunswick East (cash, cheque or direct deposit) or from our neighbours at CERES Nursery. If you'd like the book posted, email us at and add $3 for postage.  For direct deposit details see further.

What a wonderful present for the Festive Season (suitable for all ages)!

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More Merri Parkland

Leonard St Parkland end of current roadWe applaud Moreland Council's initiative in purchasing Merri Creek open space at 1-17 Leonard St, and 154-156 McBryde St Fawkner from the State Government. This 0.7 hectare site includes part of the Merri Creek Trail and contains a precious remnant of the critically endangered Victorian Volcanic Plains Grassland plant community. The McBryde St frontage makes a good local entry point to the Merri Trail and parklands and has potential to be much enhanced. In the vicinity are ideal areas for bush kinder visits and general nature play.  More details on the site and its values are here.

The Friends of Merri Creek will help restore the native grassland at this site with their recently awarded grant from the Federal Communities Environment Program. 

New homes for creatures

Nest Box MonitoringThirty-two nest boxes and log hollows for microbats and small birds were installed in trees along Merri Creek in Merri Park, Northcote by skilled arborists in early September. This work was supported by generous public donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund and a grant from the Hazel and Arthur Bruce Bequest.

Who will take up residence in these new homes? 

We need the help of volunteers to monitor the boxes and hollows through camera monitoring and ‚Äúsunset watches‚ÄĚ where we will look for bats and birds leaving and entering boxes and hollows. Our next community monitoring sessions are on Sunday 8 December, 10am-12pm (Registration essential) and Wednesday 19 February, 7.30-8.30pm.¬†

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An erosive problem - upper Merri sodic soils

Merri Yarra confluence mixing smallThe first activity of MCMC's Upper Merri Sodic & Erosive Soils Working Group kicked off with a special presentation by eminent soil scientist Dr Robert van de Graaff in October.  Dr van de Graaff explained that due to the geological and climate history of the Merri Creek catchment, most soils in the catchment are sodic and thus highly susceptible to erosion. These soils present major challenges for urban development and until now have been largely overlooked.  Detailed mapping of the soils and assessment of the degree of risk they pose is sorely needed. Dr van de Graaff's presentation is here (8.8MB pdf). 

Photo: The muddy Merri (foreground), thick with sediment from sodic soils in the upper catchment, meets the Yarra, June 2018 © Katrina Roberg

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Merri Creek grants for 2020

Nature PlayFederal Communities Environment Program: At very short notice we helped prepare eight Expressions of Interest for this grant program, in close consultation with Friends of Merri Creek and Wallan Environment Group. The EOIs went to five MPs in the Merri catchment. Two of these grants, of $20,000 each, have already been awarded. Both are for native grassland restoration in Fawkner, part of the Wills electorate. We are hopeful that another five EOIs will result in fully funded projects for a variety of Merri sites.

Hume City Council Community Partnership Grant:  We are delighted to have a $10,000 grant for the first year of A Little Nature Play in Hume. The three-year project will enable Merri Creek Management Committee staff to support and lead outdoor nature play in the City of Hume. Funding for the second and third years is contingent on the success of the first year. 

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Frog habitat dioramas a big hit!

Frog habitat kids a mumMore than 30 happy participants made dioramas showing the habitat requirements of Melbourne’s frogs in an activity led by Merri Creek Management Committee community engagement staff. The activity was a 2019 Fun Palace event, held at at Lalor Library in October.

Fun Palaces is a global annual event held every October celebrating the culture at the heart of our communities. Fun Palaces invite local people along to share their passions and expertise with others in the community. Activities are free, creative, interactive and lots of fun! 

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Tracking Merri's litter to tackle waterway pollution

Julia and Mayor with Antonine CollegeIn 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.

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Waterwatch groups nominated for Darebin awards

ToniFionnulla Meri Creek at Ncote WW group DCC vol awards 2019Congratulations to the Reservoir Frogs Group and the Merri Creek at Northcote/Brunswick East Waterwatch Group for being nominated in the Sustainability category of the City of Darebin community awards. Both groups are supported by the Merri Creek Management Committee. This year there were more than 50 nominations, so the competition was tight.

Although neither group won in the category, Toni, the leader of the Merri Creek Waterwatch group in Northcote/Brunswick East commented "It was a thrill being nominated and I just wanted to share the acknowledgment with everyone in our group, as it’s a 100% team effort and I’m so lucky it’s such a wonderful group."

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Want to know about Merri Creek activities?

Although the end of the year is almost here, we still have some activities coming up and there might be something that suits you. Just check out our calendar.  If you would like to get email notifications about events along Merri Creek, subscribe here. You can sign up for notification of all events, for events in a specific area, or for certain types of events.  You can also follow us on Instagram at:

Merri Creek Management Committee. 2 Lee St, East Brunswick, Victoria, Australia 3057  (view map in new window )
Phone:(03) 9380 8199     Email:
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