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Merri e-News April 2021

Merri e-News April 2021
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Merri E-News

APRIL 2021

Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)

Welcome back to our community events

WW Vols Galgi Ngarrk2 24 3 21We are delighted that face-to-face community events are back after the long, pandemic-induced pause. There are a number of ways you can keep up to date about upcoming community activities.

  • subscribe to receive our events emails;
  • check out our calendar, which¬† includes¬†other groups' Merri events as well as our own;
  • join the Friends of Merri Creek's¬†Wednesday Volunteers who meet on site once a month;
  • follow the Friends of Merri Creek Facebook page.

During lock-down we ran a number of webinars; you can still view these via our digital resources page. 

(Photo: Wednesday Volunteers removing Gorse at Galgi Ngarrk on 24 March.)

Our 2019-20 Annual Report

Annual Report 2019 20 cover

 Check out Merri Creek Management Committee's recent achievements by reading our latest Annual Report (2019-20). Here's a few snapshots for the year. Despite COVID-19 restrictions ending face-to-face community events, we still achieved an impressive amount.

  • 402 volunteers provided hands-on help;
  • 3,322 people participated in environmental education activities;
  • we delivered 153 community events and school-based sessions;
  • we partnered with 45 organisations;
  • we worked with 34 clients and funding bodies;
  • our financial bottom line was once again very positive!

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Looking for birds, frogs & microbats on the Merri

People on World Wetlands Day walkMCMC recently led two walks along Merri Creek looking for small birds, microbats and frogs. The first was on World Wetlands Day, 2 February, at  Merri Park Northcote, and the second was in late March at Moomba Park, Fawkner. Frogs were heard calling, many birds were spotted and some microbats recorded.

At the Fawkner event participants looked for places to install nest boxes, while at the Merri Park  some of the 60 nestboxes that were installed in 2019 & 2020 were checked for occupation. A camera connected to a long pole was used to look inside nestboxes without having to climb trees and with minimal disturbance to any creatures inisde the boxes. At both locations a small Echo meter device assisted identification by picking up the microbats' calls, which are inaudible to humans.

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New Merri Creek Nest Box Monitoring Group

PardaloteGenerous donations to the Merri Creek Environment Fund are helping with the second year of the Merri Creek Nest Box Pilot Project.

60 artificial hollows were installed in Merri Park south of Arthurton Rd, Northcote. These aim to create habitat for smaller hollow-nesting arboreal species such as microbats and small birds (like pardalotes), and thus increase biodiversity along Merri Creek. The report of the first year is here.

Now we want to set up a Nest Box Monitoring Group. Volunteer monitoring of the nest boxes will help us find out which bird and bat species are using the artificial hollows; what type of hollows they prefer; and what pests we need to manage for.

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Flourishing indigenous grassland at NGV

NGV grassesMCMC is proud to have played a part in the creation of an indigenous grassland at the National Gallery of Victoria. The garden, which formed part of the installation, In Absence, showcases an expanse of Kangaroo Grass, Murnong and Poa behind the main NGV (International) building. 

We provided specialist advice to Melbourne architecture studio Edition Office on cultural and sustainability matters and detailed technical information, on site preparation and a plant list.

Our experience of delivering the Learning Grounds program formed the basis for much of our advice. Learning Grounds assists schools and community groups to develop indigenous gardens. We could also help your school or group to establish an indigenous garden - just contact us.

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MCMC helps supervise Litter Data Officers

Katherine child on litter clean upDuring the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, MCMC's expertise and knowledge was deployed to help in the supervision and training of three Litter Data Officers employed by Moreland Council. The role of these Litter Officers was to examine the state of litter and its sources across the municipality. 

Litter audits were conducted around several different sites including the Merri, Moonee Ponds and Westbreen Creeks, and in a variety of built-up site types. The results provide information that can help design education programs on source reduction and on locations for infrastructure, such as litter traps. 

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Measuring Merri's water quality

Water sensor research1A new project is providing much needed information on the ecological health of Merri Creek. Since mid-2020 MCMC has been involved in a collaborative project with RMIT University that has installed sensors in the creek. These measure water temperature and light every hour, and turbidity (water clarity) every two minutes. 

The sensors are located in Merri Creek at two sites, one in Galada Tamboore (Lalor) and the other in North Fitzroy. Data from the sensors is accessed without having to enter the stream.  The turbidity data can be accessed remotely while the light and temperature data can be viewed in near-real time from the creekside via Bluetooth to a personal device. Contact Julia Cirillo if you'd like to access the data.

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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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