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Merri e-News August 2021

Merri e-News August 2021
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Merri E-News

August 2021

Newsletter of the Merri Creek Management Committee (MCMC)

Generous donors help bring back Merri banksias

Silver Banksia JJ HarrisonOur heartfelt thanks to the 124 generous donors to our 2021 Merri Creek Environment Fund Appeal, Help bring back the Merri banksias. We were delighted to raise $26,622 for this project, with special mention to one committed donor who gave $10,000 towards the project.

We’re also pleased to see a big increase in the number of donors, up from the 67 in 2020, and to know that so many people love Merri Creek. 

Along with the donations, we received many touching messages of appreciation for Merri Creek and the work we do, like: "I can’t thank you enough for preserving this space that sustained me during the hardest of times in each lockdown. Thank you." Such words mean a lot us, so thanks to those who support us in various ways. 
See more messages below.

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Vote to fund our project

                               MCMC’s project, Guardians of Galada Tamboore, is open for voting in the latest round of grants through Parks Victoria's Volunteer Innovation Fund.
You are invited to vote HERE (until 12 August) on three of the most innovative, creative and game-changing applications to increase the diversity and offering of volunteering opportunities in Victoria’s Great Outdoors. Naturally, we hope that you'll vote for our project.

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Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator FundedVols x 4 18 4 21

In a first for MCMC and for the Upper Merri, we will be employing a Landcare Facilitator to fill a Landcare ‘gap’ in the upper Merri and upper Plenty catchments in the Shire of Mitchell and the City of Hume.

The Upper Merri Landcare Facilitator will work with MCMC, Friends of Merri Creek and the Wallan Environment Group on project funding, organising events, engaging the community and trying to create or resuscitate other Landcare-oriented groups in the upper catchment.

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Final funds from the Growling Grass Frog Trust to MCMC

Growling Grass Frog metamorph by G HeardMerri Creek Management Committee (MCMC) has successfully applied to use the residual funds in the Growling Grass Frog (GGF) Trust. MCMC’s project will develop a masterplan to guide better planning and habitat outcomes for Growling Grass Frogs in the lowest part of the Merri Creek corridor where these endangered fogs are known to occur. We'll be scoping the area from Moomba Park, Fawkner, northwards to Cooper St, Somerton.

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Presentation on interpreting Indigenous cultural heritage

Smoking ceremony at Mt William quarryOn 2 February, MCMC's Angela Foley gave the presentation: Pitching in: Working with the recent ‘experimental archaeology’ of Wurundjeri Country, at La Trobe University’s Victorian Archaeology Colloquium 2021. The presentation considered appropriate ways for non-Indigenous people to ‘pitch in’ and work together to acknowledge Country.

MCMC participated in the colloquium with formally agreed support from seven Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung Elders. The formal requirement was triggered by the presentation’s reference to the article: The Koorong Project: Experimental archaeology and Wurundjeri continuation of cultural practices.

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Help needed to catalogue our photo collection

Merri Park being created 1997MCMC’s Nationally Significant image collection is almost ready to go public, but help is needed to make that possible. 
MCMC holds over 40,000 images of Merri Creek and community engagement activities along the creek dating from the 1970s, but only a quarter of these have been digitised and added to the database. While our photographic slide collection and most of our negatives have been scanned thanks to keen volunteers, we now need new volunteers to scan our print collection and add digital photos to the archive. (Photo from the MCMC Image Collection, showing Merri Park wetland Northcote being created in 1997.)

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Students make Waterwatch discoveries

Oak Park Green Team water testing sessionApril2021Students from Oak Park Primary School’s Green Team made some interesting discoveries about the water quality of Moonee Ponds Creek.
Every Wednesday at lunchtime over four weeks, about 10-15 students from Year 3-6 met with MCMC Waterwatch Coordinator, Julia Cirillo, to undertake water quality tests at Moonee Ponds Creek.

The students, along with Sustainability Teacher John Hughes, collected water samples from the creek to test temperature, pH, salinity, phosphate (nutrients) and turbidity (water clarity). They discovered that the creek water quality can change drastically after rainfall. In one week, when over 16mm of rain fell within 24 hours before testing, turbidity increased dramatically from 9 (excellent) to 21 (poor) and nutrients also increased. This indicated that the rain took large amounts of soil and other organic matter (eg dust, leaves, detergent) into the creek via stormwater drains.

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Two recent grant successes

Strettle wetland 11 4 21After a busy start to the year and the ups and downs of numerous lockdowns, MCMC is celebrating two recent successful grant applications, both focused on waterway restoration:

-$21,030 from Melbourne Water’s Corridors of Green program for the project, 'High Density Living: Improving Habitat Structure for Rare Merri Birds,' which aims to extend dense shrub habitat for rarely seen Pink Robins and Rose Robins, along Merri Creek in Thornbury, between Normanby Ave and Harding St bridge, where they've lately been seen.

- $21,687 from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Port Phillip Bay Fund for the project, 'Building up the banks of Brunswick,' which aims to repair riparian vegetation in Brunswick East, damaged by heavy use during recent lockdowns, as well as improve streambank stability and provide training to increase awareness of stream health.

Stay tuned to our event calendar for ways in which you can be involved in these projects.

Webinar - 45 years of restoring Merri Creek - Recording

Before and after MMBW depot now Merri Park 1986 B McGregorSee the recording HERE of this popular webinar on 24/7/21, which shows local environmental legends, Ann and Bruce McGregor, discussing their 45 years involvement in transforming Merri Creek from a weed-infested drain to bushland haven, illustrated with graphic before-and-after images of favourite areas.

Photos: Ann McGregor on the remains of a winch in East Brunswick, looking across to Merri Park Northcote, 1986 and 2019. Photographer: Bruce McGregor

Waterwatch workshop goes online!!

new recruits learning to take a water sample Merri Creek NorthcoteTwice annually, the Citizen Science Water Quality program, MCMC Waterwatch, offers free workshops to train new volunteers interested in keeping an eye on the health of Merri Creek and other local waterways.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, part of this workshop on 17 June was run online. This workshop was recorded and is now available as a two part training webinar.

Participants who watch the webinar and fill in the feedback form can join us for the field work component, which, once completed, makes them fully-fledged Waterwatch monitors.

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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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